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Superman: The Man of Steel (Superman: The Man of Steel #1)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  5,290 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
Magnificently retells and reinvents the origin and early adventures of the Man of Steel.
Paperback, 132 pages
Published November 12th 1987 by Ballantine Books (first published December 1986)
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(showing 1-30)
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In 1986, Superman was relaunched alongside Batman and Wonder Woman following the epic Crisis on Infinite Earths. While Frank Miller reinvented Batman and George Perez mythologized Wonder Woman, John Byrne, a Marvel writer, did something...readable.

This book is 30 years old. So I give it some contextual leeway. And in the book's defense, I haven't read any Golden or Silver Age Superman. In fact, Crisis is as far back as my reading goes. But I feel like those nearly 400 pages adequately acquainted
Paul Dinger
Jul 15, 2009 Paul Dinger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is really one of Byrne's best works as a writer and artist. As a writer, he creates anew a Superman for our age who believes in morality and wonders what he can do. He even tries without the costume and sees a real reason why he should use it. Bryne wisely avoids the mistake of many writers and makes Krypton as ambigeous as possible. WE know more about his origen that Superman does. Bryne's run on Superman was about his confronting this myth and finding what works, you can see this on a sma ...more
Jesse A
May 08, 2014 Jesse A rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is definitely dated but, you know what, I kinda dug it.
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 John Yelverton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the fact that this book completely hit the reset button on Superman's origin story, it was so well done that there is very little if any room for complaint.
Nerdish Mum
Mar 23, 2016 Nerdish Mum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A perfectly fine and readable reboot of Superman to bring him into the modern times (In the 80's). I enjoyed the story with Bizarro and I liked the introduction to Magpie (I'm about 99% sure this was her debut but correct me if I'm wrong). The artwork looks like what everything since has been based on as to how Superman and Lois Lane etc look so it was definitely a defining moment, just not my favourite style of art.
Sam Quixote
Jun 10, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Byrne's classic 1986 reboot of the character is a surprisingly good read. I was expecting a full-on cheese-fest (and to an extent that is what I got) but it's also enjoyable and fun. A comic book that's aged like fine wine! Full review here!
Candy Atkins
Dec 14, 2016 Candy Atkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is where Superman started for me back in the 80s. I think the Justice League/Super friends cartoon ended and I was looking for more and found the DC. I recently spotted a copy in a bookstore and gave it another read. It doesn't hold up to modern day Superman but it was still enjoyable (except for Lois)
Dec 08, 2012 Gavin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
I should have read this before I started reading the more modern Superman Origin stories...this is the daddy of those. John Byrne redid Superman for the 80s, a few years before I started getting into comics. The look of Superman and Clark Kent here is pure what I grew up with. There's some good stuff, and some other stuff that makes it apparent this book is 27 years old.
This Superman has some seriously sanctimonious moments where he tries to put Batman in jail, then figures out Batman's Gotham i
Daniel Kukwa
Aug 20, 2011 Daniel Kukwa rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
With the upcoming (*shudder*) DC Comics everything-and-the-kitchen-sink reboot, it cleanses the palate to look back at John Byrne's relaunch of Superman, post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, back in the misty dawn of history, circa 1985. It's an origin story that strips Superman down to his most successful, basic characteristics...but loses none of his gravitas or back-story elements. It's fabulous stuff, and it breaks my heart to think it's all be chucked into the dustbin. Ahh...for simpler, happier ...more
May 25, 2014 Alexander rated it it was amazing
When DC chose to revamp it's characters in the 1980s, they went to one of the best writers and artists in the business for their most well known character. John Byrne's retelling of Superman's origin and early years is almost pitch perfect in every regard, grounding the character and refreshing him at the same time. This is the version that existed until the New 52 revamp in 2011 and is the one I find most appealing of all the iterations of this character. Must read for comic book fans.
Sep 22, 2015 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-books
Good looking if sometimes odd reboot of the man of steel.
Todd N
Nov 06, 2010 Todd N rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
My son picked this out for me at the library. He has picked up my habit of recommending books to everyone, so now I see how it might be viewed as irritating rather than a great gift bestowed by my superior, benevolent intelligence. But it is very cute when he hands a book to me and says, "Here, Dad. I got this one for you." So we went out to dinner and read our new library books. Then we went to a cafe to finish them.

Apparently this is a mid-80s reboot of Superman after getting a little stuck in
João Batista
Feb 25, 2016 João Batista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um bom livro de uma coleção que ninguém sabe qual será o rumo...
Enfim, temos aqui bem no início as feições de uma mãe Lara aflita a cada frase de Jor-El... mas sem o General Zod e aliados. Os traços físicos são bem condizentes com um quadrinho antigo; a ideia do símbolo no peito é um pouco diferente do que conhecemos; no capítulo 3, uma aventura na cidade de gárgulas nos prédios.
Lex Luthor parecido com Gene Hackman?! A quem pertence Metropolis?
No capítulo 5, Superman enfrenta um espelho... e a h
Apr 24, 2012 Noetic_Hatter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, comics-dc
This book to me is the iconic Superman story. Byrne's artwork has never looked better, and some of his Superman splash pages are as good as I ever ever seen Supes drawn. Lex and Lois are pitch-perfect, too. This run is the true beginning of the Lois that I adore, the modern Lois Lane who is one of my favorite characters in all of comics.

Also, I thought the trades did a wonderful job of recoloring the issues.The blue and red absolutely POP.

Note: The other two iconic Superman stories for me are:
Tar (Smoke)
May 28, 2016 Tar (Smoke) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Estoy puntuando el primero porque no hay una colección completa subida a Goodreads, pero la reseña va para el conjunto.

El tomo es bastante disfrutable, me gustan los cambios, aunque los diálogos a menudo son enormemente tontos.
Algunas de las viñetas son completamente brillantes y tiene escenas bastante graciosas.

Gustavo Nascimento
Uma das versões mais clássicas da origem do Superman. Os desenhos de John Byrne são excelentes, gosto principalmente do design doa kryptonianos. A história é bem competente e dá pra entender a importância dela para definir o que seria o Superman após a Crise nas Infinitas Terras, por outro lado algumas coisas não envelheceram bem para o leitor dos dias de hoje.
Jun 18, 2015 Arturo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dc-1985-superman
John Byrne is a great storyteller, and maybe one day I'll have the time and patience to enjoy a good story, then I'll reread this. But my patience has a limit.
Book Info: This collection contains The Man of Steel issues #1-6.


(Note: About 1-1.5 stars were deducted from this book based on age-related characteristics, which are outlined in the postscript. My main review will focus on other failings.)

Like both Waid's Birthright and Zack Snyder's recent Superman reboot, The Man of Steel begins on Krypton –Superman's doomed homeworld – as Jor-El and Lara solemnly accept their fate and decide to send their only son off toward Earth. It's a biblically-based
Feb 01, 2014 MC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A year and a half ago, DC Comics rebooted their line with the Flashpoint mini-series. Though there are frequently smaller “reboots” of certain parts of the continuities at both DC and Marvel Comics, there is rarely a resetting and re-imagining of the content on the order that DC introduced in 2011. In fact, the last such reboot of similar proportions (for DC Comics) was the GIANT crossover event that came to define “crisis crossovers” in the comics industry. That crossover event was Crisis on In ...more
Feb 06, 2017 Dion rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Standard. Bizarro was the best part and ignited the imagination.
Mar 10, 2014 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a big fan of Steve Gerber, who proposed a post-Crisis Superman relaunch with Frank Miller before withdrawing their submission when DC opened the field to other creators, I was skeptical of this, but my delay had more to do with acquiring a copy from the library instead of buying it. I did buy the first issue from a 99 cent bin late in 2014, but I read that first chapter again and still found it affecting.

This volume takes place over the first 28 years of Superman's life, and the passage of ti
Dec 24, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 31, 2015 OkatuFanBoy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Superman was one of the first superheroes that I was introduced to. Being the youngest kid out of five boys, a lot of people expect the youngest boy to have the same interests as his older brothers. Surprisingly, I was the only kid in my family to read comics. My older brothers had other interests. Nonetheless, Superman was my kind of hero. He was aggressive but always had a self of righteousness like Captain America. He had a sense of morality with his courage and kind heart.

What's also great
Josh Lafollette
Jan 08, 2016 Josh Lafollette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a little hard to appreciate what a big deal this book is, given how hugely influential it has been on the comics industry since its publication. It's the perfect balance between the fun that people expect from super hero comics and the drama that pulled adult readers into comics in the first place. It's not not quite as unconventional and innovative as its counterpart Batman: Year One, but it brought the Superman mythos into the modern era and really captured what makes the character work. ...more
Nov 16, 2008 Travis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-books
John Byrne's restart of the Superman comics was a nice effort to strip the Man of Steel back down to the basics.
He got a lot of what makes Superman work and emphasized his small town roots and general nice guy-ness.

His version of Krypton has a nice sci-fi look and feel to it. I do like that he kept the Kents alive and made them Superman's anchor to the real world.

On the minus side he gave us evil businessman Lex Luthor, which I always found a bit boring and flat. I prefer the mad scientist versi
Mitchell Bird
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
B. Jay
Feb 25, 2015 B. Jay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first major- and formal- reboot of Superman after the 1980's Crisis event that reset the DC universe, Man of Steel may have cast Superman in a more mature and "realistic" light, but it doesn't change the essential nature of his world. It bears relevance for the inspiration it has provided with the characterizations of Clark Kent's supporting cast, but there is no real overarching story arc, no twist on the classic mythos and ultimately proved as so-so as it looked to me when it hit the shelv ...more
Jul 12, 2015 Elisabeth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
This 80's reinvention of Superman was influenced by the 1977 film and went on to influence the 'Lois and Clark' TV show and later incarnations. Most is familiar to anyone who knows the character. However I found this version of Lois the most interesting I have encountered, and this Lex an intriguing variant as well. Byrne also originated (I believe) Krypton as a sterile, loveless world producing its children in a lab, with Jor El grasping for his doomed culture's last hope of humanity.
Nov 26, 2016 Trish rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not enjoy this Superman narrative at all. The initial story was boring and Lois Lane, for me, was intolerable.

I felt like tons of story was missed out or skimmed over; and not in a way that wanted me to read more.

The early Superman story, at the end, was laughable. To see the humble beginnings (quite rubbish) and see where it has led to is amazing.

I may just be more of a Batman fan. :-/
Eric Mikols
Feb 02, 2014 Eric Mikols rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: superman
This was neat. It makes the New 52 look even messier they way Byrne compresses more than twenty years of story into six issues. While I would have liked more time spent with certain moments, there's enough out there to fill in the origin stuff and I can get behind what Byrne is doing with the character.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: # 87 The Man of Steel 1 1 Dec 16, 2015 07:16AM  
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  • Justice League International, Vol. 1
  • Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: Gods and Mortals
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  • Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
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  • Superman/Batman, Vol. 3: Absolute Power
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John Lindley Byrne is a British-born Canadian-American author and artist of comic books. Since the mid-1970s, Byrne has worked on nearly every major American superhero.

Byrne's better-known work has been on Marvel Comics' X-Men and Fantastic Four and the 1986 relaunch of DC Comics’ Superman franchise. Coming into the comics profession exclusively as a penciler, Byrne began co-plotting the X-Men com
More about John Byrne...

Other Books in the Series

Superman: The Man of Steel (8 books)
  • Superman: The Man of Steel, Vol. 2
  • Superman: The Man of Steel, Vol. 3
  • Superman: The Man of Steel, Vol. 4
  • Superman: The Man of Steel, Vol. 5
  • Superman: The Man of Steel, Vol. 6
  • Superman: The Man of Steel, Vol. 7
  • Superman: The Man of Steel, Vol. 8

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