I found this at my local flea market in La Porte, In for $6. This is the ’93 edition, in fantastic condition. (I’d rate it at an 8.4.)
This is one of the few comic events that I read in real time, as it was being released. I hated Superman. Like everyone I knew who was even moderately interested in comics, X-Men was where it was at. Oddly enough, I read scant little of the X-Men at the time, preferring instead Silver Surfer and a laundry list of lesser known titles, but I vehemently espoused that Marvel was doing it right DC could suck an egg. Yep, I talked liked that.
But anyway, Superman. I was 14 in 1992. Batman the Animated Series had just started airing and Batman was the one good thing DC had going for it. I didn’t have a local comic shop, but frequently enough I’d make it to a neighboring town that did, and it was through discovering Batman that I learned about the upcoming “death” event. I distinctly remember eavesdropping on the shop owner and an older customer talking about what was in store for Superman, and the customer predicted that DC would, “finally kill him off.”
After hearing that I started paying attention to the marketing for the event. Turns out that guy wasn’t predicting so much as parroting, but the idea none-the-less stuck with me. You see, to me, Superman was *too* powerful. Even at that age I recognized that there was nothing for me to identify with in the Superman story. He never compromised, he never failed, he could do anything.
Their marketing seemed targeted to me. I never saw tension in Superman’s story, and here DC was saying, “What could kill Superman!? Find out!” I never did buy anything with the “The Death of Superman” label, but I did work extra hard to make sure I read each release until he died. That’s the timeframe this trade covers, up until Superman’s death in Superman #75.
And *that’s* when I *did* end up buying most titles in the Superman line. Anything labeled “A Funeral For a Friend.” I even stopped buying Silver Surfer to accommodate. (Turns out, I wasn’t missing much.) The rest of the comics world cried foul when Superman returned less than a year later, but I somehow avoided that opinion. In the world without Superman I was suddenly interested in how all these second tier heroes managed, and while it still took years, it was that spotlight that set the stage for me to really appreciate why Superman is an interesting character.