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The Death and Life of Superman

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,274 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
"Superman-dead!"--The DailyPlanet. On November 18, 1992, news ofSuperman's death shocked the world as the legendaryMan of steel was killed defending Metropolis fromthe monster called Doomsday. Here at last is thedramatic story behind the best-selling comic bookof all time: the fates of Clark Kent, Lois Lane,Ma and Pa Kent, the Justice League, and the reignof the four super ...more
Paperback, 527 pages
Published October 1st 1994 by Spectra (first published August 1st 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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The novelization of an epic journey

Don't worry, I have you!

It shocked me this quote on the book since it took me back to 1979 when I was like 6 years old and I went to a local cinema theater to watch Superman, the movie with Christopher Reeve. (Yes, I know that the film was premiered on 1978, but on those sweet old times, a synch global premiere was something that you didn't even dream about, in Latin American countries, we used to wait several months, even sometimes a year to watch a movie
Benjamin Thomas
Apr 02, 2015 Benjamin Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action-adventure
Wow, this one really surprised me! I must first confess to not being a huge Superman fan. I don’t dislike him so much as simply tend to prefer superheroes that are more human-like and use brains and gadgets to become super. Ironman, Batman, or, even better, the pulp heroes of yesteryear like Doc Savage are more to my taste. (And the Hulk. Can’t help but love Hulk). But Superman…nearly indestructible…tends to be boring for me.

I also remember back in 1992 when the announcement came that DC Comics
Dec 21, 2013 Ngutierrez31 rated it liked it
I have ambivalent feelings concerning The Death and Life of Superman. I very much enjoyed many things! Doomsday, the build up to the appearance of the pseudo Supermen, and the return of the Hero that cannot be slain (in either body or spirit) were all absolutely fantastic. It was great to see the world miss Superman so earnestly, though I wished the author would have conveyed the mourning in a brusquer manner. Regardless, the extravagant amount of time spent showing the reader how much the world ...more
Feb 20, 2008 Katie rated it it was ok
First let me say that my husband talked me into reading this book; I generally do not enjoy superhero fantasy novels. I've never been a reader of comic books, and other than film adaptations, my prior knowledge of Superman was practically nil. The story begins with a brief background of Superman, including his arrival on Earth, his life, loves, and death at the hands of Doomsday. The majority of the book focuses on the time after his death, where several imposters try to take his place. Who are ...more
Feb 15, 2010 Jason rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
I had not read comics in many years, but when I heard Superman died I knew I wanted to read that story. I didn't want to buy all the comics though, so I was glad when it came out in paperback form. I was impressed with this story. It was a very good story and involved so many DC characters. I didn't miss the fact that it wasn't in comic form. The writing was very descriptive; when I finally saw a picture of Doomsday it was exactly as I imagined from this book. There were a few heroes that "fille ...more
Conan Tigard
Nov 14, 2015 Conan Tigard rated it really liked it
The Death and Life of Superman is a recounting of the comic books that chronicled the death and return of Superman. Roger Stern was the writer for Superman in Action Comics, so he is intimately familiar with the creation of this story. I will say that I have all of these comics and read them originally in 1992 & 1993 in comic book form. Superman is my favorite superhero and always will be. After all, he stands for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Ya gotta love it!

Roger Stern does a good
Greg Kerestan
Jan 28, 2016 Greg Kerestan rated it really liked it
It's one of the classic X or Y questions, like Ginger or Mary Ann, Beatles or Stones, dogs or cats: Batman or Superman? I (like most people) always sided firmly and definitively with Batman. Why? Because he's cool, he's got personality, he's got better villains, better gadgets, and most of all, because he doesn't have powers that make him invincible. Batman's a superhero, but he's not a god. Superman is more or less a god, after all- and that sometimes makes him boring.

This book made me question
Jim C
May 28, 2014 Jim C rated it really liked it
Back in the early 90's, DC decided to do a storyline of the death of Superman and then later on, they did a storyline of his return. This is the novelization of these storylines.

When the comics came out with their respective black and white wrappers I purchased both of them. I have never opened them hoping they would be worth something (they aren't) and I have always been curious about this storyline. I thought this book did a great job putting this comic storyline to novel form. Even if you kno
Sep 28, 2014 Paige rated it did not like it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Okay, here's the thing: I really disliked this book. There may be a combination of external factors unrelated to the story that contribute to this. Outside a few old school movies, I am largely unfamiliar with Superman. I tend to find there's a lot of disconnect between visual mediums and prose. I also do not care for an overabundance of details. There is a reason a lot of this was probably cut from the comic. As a comic, I can see this being something that works. Can see the overblown nature of ...more
Cyd Highfield
Feb 23, 2014 Cyd Highfield rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
What can I say about this book?

I read it after the comic event but I felt that the book held so much more emotions and details that might have gotten overlooked in the comic.

You're brought through the journey of Superman encountering Doomsday, and fighting him, winning, and then dying.

The world mourns and you mourn with them. You see the effects of his death on a world that needs Superman. Crime grows bold again and things change for the worse - until five others bearing the S shield appear.

Victor Orozco
May 31, 2014 Victor Orozco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome! Read hundreds of pages in a few days I just could not put this down. Wonderful retelling of the comic book by Roger Stern. I can't help but feel though it was made as a way to create a movie because it feels like a movie. I truly remember how big a story this was when I was a preteen shelling out my allowance every week for the next issue of Superman comics. It was talked in schools and even on the news. This was something worth following.

Roger Stern did a great job in adapting the angl
May 21, 2012 Strawberry rated it it was amazing
HELLLLOOOOOOO, ITS SUPERMANNNNNNNN!!!!! i loved this book, i loved it so much i re-read it again and again and again. Can you tell i love Superman. anyone who loves the man of steel should read this.
Paul Baughman
Aug 15, 2013 Paul Baughman rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good for a novel based off of a comic book story.
I remember reading this back when it first came out and being very disappointed with it. Granted, I did not understand [or think about] how enormous the novel would be if it truly followed the multiple storylines of every single comic involved in this 'event' in the life of Superman. I had most of the comics in this 'story'; one of the things that bugged me the most was Green Lantern [Hal Jordan] not playing a part in the novel like he did at the end of the story in the comics. Ah, youth! [well, ...more
Andrew Perron
Aug 14, 2014 Andrew Perron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: superhero-prose
This story is underrated. Yes, it was a goofy sales gimmick, but it's one with a lot of thought and effort and storytelling put into it - and one that modern superhero stories and especially modern Superman stories should take a lesson from.

A list of things that this book has:

Important supporting characters. Well-knowns like Lois Lane and Johnathan and Martha Kent; less-knowns like Bibbo Bibbowski and Emil Hamilton; and only-showed-up-heres like Mitch Andersen all get their own storylines and c
May 25, 2013 Jape rated it it was amazing

This was a fantastic read. The story itself held my interest greatly, but the author’s work on combining all the different parts of the story, from 4 or 5 different lines of comic books, was excellent. The Death and Life of Superman was first written in the early 90s and spanned across several comic book series, including Action Comics, Superman, and Superman: The Man of Steel. Roger Stern took all of these stories and put them together to form a complete tale that read like a novel from start t
Printable Tire
Jul 08, 2010 Printable Tire rated it liked it
I've always been morbidly interested in this time of comics history, and I remember vividly the television news reports of my childhood proclaiming Superman's death and the progression of stupidity to follow. I've kept myself vigilantly ignorant of the whole narrative until I had the chance to read this novelized form of the comic books, which I've been saving for a summer read since probably 1997.

The first part is great. It is epic in scope, encompassing a cast of thousands, and if you can get
Paul Riches
Dec 10, 2013 Paul Riches rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 10, 2009 Menoedh rated it liked it
Novel pertama gue yang menceritakan superheroes. Awalnya cuma jadi buku bacaan iseng malah gue bawa kemana-mana karena penasaran dengan ceritanya. bagaimana sih cerita Superman bisa mati? Ngga ada yang spesial sih dari ceritanya. Mungkin karena gue udah tau kalo ini buku yang menceritakan bagaimana superman mati.

Buku ini bacaan ringan kok. Buat yang terbiasa baca komik, buku ini ngga bakalan bikin pusing. Gue bukan fans superman, I'm more of a spidey fans. Tapi karena ada nama-nama superhero lai
Ben Flay
Aug 21, 2011 Ben Flay rated it really liked it
Do you remember when Superman died then came back as four different Supermen?
Yup this is that story its dated now as were the ideas at the time Superboy was a sham fisted and cheesy as you could get
BUT the one character that they stuck with if bungled a little is the anti Christ Eradicator Superman creepy burning his message of truth and justice into the world
Now this book is big but really needs to be 2 there's people missing but what is here is good well written and well put
Sadly this gimm
Dec 26, 2015 Mark rated it it was amazing
I read this way back in 93. It was breathtaking at the time. Major characters really didn't die but this was a way to increase sales. It did increase sales and readers but I doubt they lasted. I liked the story and the artwork but I'm a Superman fan. It doesn't rise to the level of Batman's, A Death in the Family but I would rate it not too far behind (during that era).

It is definitely worth the read.
Taylor Page
Sep 18, 2015 Taylor Page rated it really liked it
The title says it all if you pay attention to the order of the words. Roger Stern really weaves the tale pretty well. He goes from Superman, to who and how events transpire that end up having multiple "Supermen" and "The Return." Don't want to say anymore due to spoilers but it's a good read.
Jul 23, 2007 Icarus rated it liked it
I was into comic books as a kid, but I gradually got out of them as they got thinner and thinner and increasingly expensive. Something about paying 75¢ to advance the plot the equivalent of a page and a half of prose must have bugged me, I guess. And you know what? I don't really need the pictures--give me a thousand words any day. So, while I remember when the Death of Superman plotline came out, I was hardly following it. I considered picking one of the issues up at the time, but it would have ...more
Oct 31, 2008 Jason rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Graphic Novels or Superman fans
I absolutely loved this book! Roger Stern is an accomplished writer and his talent really shines through as he delicately handles this important work. This book has often been called the "definitive" Superman novel. The character development gives you a realistic sense of the passions, the thoughts, and the intentions of each of the primary characters. Though Superman is on a brief hiatus throughout the book, his impact is no less noticeable. The pacing in this book was probably one of the most ...more
Jeff Miller
Jan 27, 2016 Jeff Miller rated it liked it
Part 1: After a little too much backstory, the first section took off as a rip roaring and wild ride. I've been pleasantly surprised that this novel has not been dark (as the cover seems to suggest), just good old-fashioned traditional Superman. The actual death scene was handled very well, and even though the reader obviously knows this is coming, the writer knows how to invoke the reader with emotion and suspense. Looking forward to reading section two.

Part 2: Part 2 is the aftermath of Superm
R.E. Page
Jul 02, 2014 R.E. Page rated it it was amazing
Excellent book for not only Superman fans but just all readers. If you do not know anything or partially know anything about Superman, this book will update you. It is a marvelous read for anyone.....Love it!!
Samuel Vizcarrondo
Feb 28, 2014 Samuel Vizcarrondo rated it liked it
its compiled into 3 stories; the death, the void, and the return. the death suck in a literary points. the void, the city missing Superman was quit touching. I would love to see a film of story two and three.
Keith Bell
Feb 13, 2014 Keith Bell rated it really liked it
Great read for any Superman fan. Only downfall would be the lack of insight into characters. Reads just like it is... a novelization of a comic book.
Asghar Abbas
Nov 28, 2015 Asghar Abbas rated it really liked it
Excellent vignette of what happened to the Man of Steel's legend. And Supergirl was in it. Yah!
Mar 26, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novelization of the biggest-selling comic storyline in history was well-written, with some extra things added in. Stern does a great job of really making you feel like you were there on the day that Superman died. You really feel the pain felt by his parents, friends, coworkers, and lover.

Stern does equally well with the triumphant return of the true Last Son of Krypton. While he alters a few details from the comics, they're minor details. All in all, it's a faithful version.

Of course, you
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Roger Stern is an American comic book author and novelist.
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