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The Death of Superman (The Death and Return of Superman #1)

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  10,429 ratings  ·  197 reviews
The story that drew national media attention when DC Comics killed their greatest hero is collected here. When a hulking monster emerges from an underground resting place and begins a mindless rampage, the Justice League is quickly called in to stop the colossal force of nature. But it soon becomes apparent that only Superman can stand against the monstrosity that has been ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published April 14th 1993 by DC Comics (first published January 1993)
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Superman by Mark MillarAll-Star Superman, Vol. 1 by Grant MorrisonAll-Star Superman, Vol. 2 by Grant MorrisonKingdom Come by Mark WaidSuperman by Alan Moore
Best of Superman
8th out of 172 books — 147 voters
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Required Reading Graphic Novels
206th out of 777 books — 1,358 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Alejandro
The Earth's Greatest Hero has fallen...


WHICH IS THE MONSTER THAT EVERY COMIC BOOK TITLE FEARS???

There is a monster even more terrifying and powerful than Doomsday that inflicts fear into the heart of any comic book title...

The Low Sales' Monster!

The four Superman titles selling at that time were suffering low sales, and the editorial team thought that if "nobody" was reading them, then it was better to kill off the character.

This is something hardly new in the business.

The Batman titles, ba
...more
Andy
Jun 10, 2008 Andy rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
It's no wonder that this is the best selling comic book of all time. "The Death of Superman" combines everything I love about WWF pro wrestling with the tight plotting of a Michael Bay film. Forget all the psychological nuance of Frank Miller's "Dark Knight" comics, Superman is GOOD and that's all you need to know. And who is Doomsday? Where does he come from? Why does he want to kill Superman? Does it really matter? You might as well ask why Hulk Hogan needs to body slam his opponents or why Go ...more
Sam Quixote
Now that you’ve read the title you can say you’ve read the book because that’s all this comic is: the title. Superman dies. The end.

If you do decide to read this you’ll be introduced to the most one-dimensional and worst villain of all time, Doomsday. Forget that post-Death of Superman we learn more about his “character”; in this book we know nothing about him besides the fact that he’s a monster who’s been imprisoned beneath the Earth for some reason, is now free for some reason and causing ha
...more
StoryTellerShannon
Superman may have met his match as some indestructible being (simply named “Doomsday”) filled with hate marches to Metropolis and obviously creates a path of destruction in its wake. Other JLA superheroes try to stop it but even as a group they are no match. Then Superman joins one JLA group and after they are defeated he's the only one left standing.

See Lois Lane with red hair. Watch Superman give his all against an impossible foe. See other JLA member get “pwned” even if they're third tiered s
...more
Greta is Erikasbuddy
Cult Classic Graphic Novel READ!



But am I impressed?



Not really because I know Superman is not really dead.



I think I was in 10th grade when Superman died. Then I think it was the very next year that they brought him back.....



I've never been INTO Superman until recently when I started watching Smallville. I've always liked the idea of Superman but never have been too thrilled with him.



The Death of Superman was just that. It was ok but I wasn't thrilled.



I was shocked to see that Lex Luthor had been
...more
Kirk
Most comic book fans know the story. DC was scheduled to do a Superman wedding run, but Louis & Clark was already going in that direction on television, so they figured killing Superman would be the next best way to boost sales.

So they set out to kill Superman (boost sales). But hey, DC had a bunch of titles that were selling like shit cakes dredged from a city gutter, so they decided to have the story arc cut across every shitty title they had in a desperate attempt to boost sales.

And it w
...more
Jake
It may be grossly unfair, on a literary level, to grade The Death of Superman as a graphic novel. More than any previous compilation-turned graphic novel, the serial nature of this publication seems explicit. That being said, DC Comics ultimately packaged and sold this multi-part story as a single work, which is how I encountered it this weekend. Special thanks to the group of local public libraries that diligently engage in inter-library loan, making it possible for me to read this work at no c ...more
Michael
Things to know before reading this book:
1. Supergirl in this one is not kara Zor el. its actually matrix, a shapeshifter from a pocket universe(yes you read that right) who was created by the lex Luthor of that universe to defend their world but ultimately got destroyed. DC comics at the time wanted superman to be the last son of krypton, which ment no kara Zor el, no krypto, no zod and the phantom zone criminals.
2. Lex Luthor in this book is actually lex Luthor junior, a clone of lex Luthor w
...more
Scott
The story here is simple: This crazy strong evil monster who's REALLY REALLY ANGRY arises from somewhere and beats up the Justice League, beats up America, and then beats up Superman until they both die. The end.

That's it. I'm totally serious. I mean come on! This was the Man of Steel. The Man of Tomorrow! Krypton's ichiban ass-kicking muchacho!! And the best death story they can give him is "a big monster punched him really hard"?!?

And Lex Luthor's like: "Punching him! Of course! Why didn't I t
...more
John Yelverton
This book made me cry for days after I read it. Heroes are not supposed to die!
Mike (the Paladin)
The heading on this says it's the best selling graphic novel of all time. I can see that.

I've noted before that when young I was primarily a Marvel fan. Still, till I was 12 or so DC comics were the only ones I'd run across. Superman was the small boy's hero...as a kid I tied a towel around my neck and jumped off the porch. I ran through the house hands out "flying". For my 4yh birthday I got a "Superman suit".

And I watched the Superman TV series with George Reeves.

So of the DC heroes Superman i
...more
Nicolo Yu
At one time, this was the biggest event in comics. DC Comics killed the world’s first and greatest superhero in a crossover event that drove a record number of units out of newsstands and comic shops and probably made the biggest bubble among those who speculated in comics at that time... That bubble busted eventually, driving the entire comic industry to its knees.

Superman returned in another crossover event, but it proved that DC Comics was willing to gamble on such a risky gambit. At that tim
...more
Helmut
Also bitte...

Wie kann man dieses Comic als das beste Superman-Band beschreiben? Es ist letztlich nichts anderes als eine recht lahme Aneinanderreihung von Schlägen. Ein einziges Splash-Panel, sozusagen. Die Zeichnungen geben kaum etwas von der in den Dialogen stehenden Dynamik und Schnelligkeit, in der der Kampf geführt wird, wieder. Der Mann, der Planeten bewegt und Atombombenexplosionen überlebt wird verwundet, weil die Knochen von Doomsday so scharf sind? Wie bitte?

Laaaaaaangweilig. Und eines
...more
Eric
Wow. First it's funny to realize that without obsessing over this arc... and/or the internet (it was 1993!) how much you actually missed. There was a lot to the story that I hadn't realized I never got the first time around.

Sadly it takes a hit because no one has the balls to actually kill off a character. There's always going to be some absurd method for bringing the top tiered characters back to life... hell even some not so top tiered but at the end of the day this could been epic. Truly epic
...more
Hrishi
I'd read bits and bobs of this a while ago, so came to it thinking it'd be epic. And it was, right? Quite epic... in places. Some panels were just great, the writing passable, with some glimmers of above average... and the art in general fantastic, and less dated for my taste. But...

Maybe it was that I knew they brought him back to life soon after.. Maybe it was that the whole thing was just one long fistfight, without reason... Maybe it was the complete lack of back-story or motivation for Doom
...more
Jason Jordan
Pretty bad! Which results from the lack of Doomsday's character development. Where's he from? Don't know. Why's he so powerful? Don't know. What's he want? Don't know. The characters explain that his motivation is to destroy, but that's not nearly enough information. Also, the Justice League B-team takes him on, too, but naturally I wanted the, ahem, A-team (consisting, primarily, of Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman) to see the action instead. The art and coloring are ...more
Melissa
What a steaming turd. The only thing good about this book is that Superman dies. It's like the WWF and Justice League had a baby.
Simon Torres
On the last page of several comics prior to Superman: The Man of Steel #18, a gloved fist is shown punching a steel wall, accompanied by the caption: "Doomsday is coming!" In that issue, Superman fights the Underworlders while a hulking figure in a green suit rampages through a pastoral field, deliberately killing a trusting songbird -and later a deer. This marks the first of seven issues in the "Doomsday!" story, which would continue through all four of the Superman books at that time, and one ...more
L.A.
This is the first comic I've read about which I sort of just felt, "meh." Maybe because I'm not all that up on the JLA. But still, it's not like we get much of a plot here. An seemingly unstoppable critter comes out of nowhere (though I suspect young Luthor had something to do with it) and crushes everything in its path. It doesn't seem to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it sure is deadly, so the JLA and Superman christen it Doomsday. Doomsday wreaks a lot of havoc. The JLA members try ...more
Raghav Modi
Yes, the plot is very basic. Yes, there are a number of loopholes in the story. Yes, it's just a massive fight sequence. But, The Death of Superman is a lot more than just what the title suggest.

When an "alien" being called Doomsday starts to cause havoc across America, it's up to the JLA and Superman to try and stop him. That's about it when it comes to the story. There is not much we know about Doomsday or even why he's doing what he is doing. But there is a certain anxiety in this mystery. T
...more
Eric
I don't know, for the best-selling graphic novel of all-time, there wasn't much here besides the fact that superman died (note: he did come back). There wasn't much of a narrative, just watching this creature (whom we knew nothing about) destroy the city until it and Superman fought till the death. I've never been much of a fan of the Superman comics anyways, but I did expect more for, perhaps, the most shocking incident in comic book history.
Vivek Mathews
Much has been written about this graphic novel. The title is self explanatory and eye catching. Fans have long argued its merits and limitations.

In all honesty I was slightly disappointed by it. The entirety of this work consists of a mindless physical battle between Superman and his would be slayer Doomsday. The Justice League plays the role of the sidekicks who get beaten up without much effort on the villain's part. The title of this book is in a sense counter-productive as it feels like a jo
...more
David
Superman dies

It doesn't hold.

Back in the early 90s, I remember one comic book,in particular, that made the headlines, when DC decided to take what was then a massive risk and kill off one of their lead characters.

This was in the days, of course, before that trick became 'old hat; before the comic industry kept killing off and bringing back to life their leads.

Reading it now, even if the plot isn't that strong (who is Doomsday? Where has he come from? What does he want? Why was it the the Justice
...more
Adam
The Death of Superman is obviously a keystone in the Superman canon; however, if you’re expecting any kind of story depth, then go elsewhere. But then again, the lack of depth kind of the point, isn’t it?

This volume is a kill-first-ask-questions-later kind of read. A mysterious, rage-filled being dubbed Doomsday breaks free (from where, we don’t know) and heads for Metropolis (for what reason, we don’t know) cutting a wide swath of destruction in his wake (you guessed it—we don’t know). The Ju
...more
Charles
I thought it was pretty weak. I might have liked it better if I'd been keeping up with reading comics but it's been a long time, and this sort of reminded me of why I don't read them much. The action parts were OK. But not much in the way of any kind of deeper story or justification for what was happening.
Alex Wong
I'll tell you why this is an amazing story. Tell me, how interesting is it to watch the all powerful man of steel going around beating up criminals who can't even pierce his invulnerable skin? That can be entertaining, it is the characters' struggles that make the story really interesting. We get to see Superman face a threat unlike any he has ever fought before. Even going all out, Superman can't even tire out the killing machine appropriately named Doomsday. There's loads of drama, and lots of ...more
Tomás
A este cómic lo leí de chico, en plenos años noventa. Me la compró mi viejo y no me puedo acordar que editorial lo editó, si Zinco o Vid. Me había gustado bastante, era la época del Mortal Kombat y ver como Superman se pasaba moliendose a palos con semejante enemigo era algo muy satisfactorio. Asique hace unos días volví a comprarlo (la que me regaló mi viejo se habrá perdido por algún lado) para comprobar si en efecto era un buen cómic después de tantos años. La respuesta es que no. No lo es en ...more
Christa
A great classic. I'd recommend this as a good place to start for people trying to break into the DC Universe. I tried a couple of other "events" and felt really lost. Although there were characters here that I didn't know much about, the story was very straightforward and helped me get a feel for the DC Universe, Superman, and the JLA.

I had, of course, heard of this story, and Doomsday, but a lot of the assumptions I had made were off. The collection is almost constant action, leaving me wantin
...more
Stephen Olley
Blue Beetle! Booster Gold! Bloodthingy! Icey Lady! That's right - It's the famous Justice League! Er... what?
Some odd things in here for someone, like myself, not familar with the early nineties DC universe.
But got to say that I enjoyed this a lot.
An unstoppable foe, non-stop action (which isn't always my thing but is done well here), and a fantastic final few pages. The simplicity of the story (monster comes out of ground, walks across America fighting superheroes, and then has another fight) a
...more
Mont'ster
"Stunt" is right - this graphic novel compilation of the much hailed "Death of Superman" is actually the seventh time that Superman has been "killed". Just one more reason that I have always preferred Batman.
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  • Superman/Batman, Vol. 7: The Search for Kryptonite
  • Superman: Peace on Earth
  • Justice, Volume 1
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  • Superman: Birthright
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Dan Jurgens is an American comic book writer and artist. He is best known for creating the superhero Booster Gold, and for his lengthy runs on the Superman titles Adventures of Superman and Superman (vol. 2), particularly during The Death of Superman storyline. Other series he has been associated with include The Sensational Spider-Man (Vol. 1), Thor (vol. 2), Captain America (vol. 3), Justice Lea ...more
More about Dan Jurgens...

Other Books in the Series

The Death and Return of Superman (3 books)
  • World Without a Superman
  • The Return of Superman
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