Superman is one of the first characters that we think of when discussing comic books and superheroes. After all, Superman is the character that launched an entire genre and had extensive powers with a lot of integrity to go with them. Throughout the years, there have been hundreds of comic book issues with Superman as the lead character, while also having plenty of ensemble appearances. It’s hard to narrow down the best, but let’s take a look at five of the most memorable moments in Superman’s comic book history.
The Wedding Album
Almost since the very beginning of the Superman series, the Man of Steel has been linked with Lois Lane. The two work together at the Daily Planet and there have been countless storylines where they have been a couple. However, the two were never officially married in these storylines until the mid-1990s. Thanks to the series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”, the hero finally got a storyline tie-in where he married Lois in the comics.
The one-shot series was titled “The Wedding Album” and released in late 1996. What made this comic so great wasn’t just the fact that Clark and Lois were getting married, but also because it was a compilation of those who made the characters possible. Many of the great artists throughout the series came back for “The Wedding Album” while the priest that married the two was made to resemble creator Jerry Siegel.
One Last Hope
If you want to read a Superman series that’s also an emotional gut punch, then “All-Star Superman” is the series for you. In the series, Superman finds out that he’s dying due to overexposure to the sun (where he gets his powers), and has a sort of ‘bucket list’ that he’s trying to finish. During this time, Superman performs acts of kindness wherever he can, and saves the life of one young girl who was about to leap off of a building.
In one of the pages, you can see the young girl (Regan) dropping her phone from the ledge of the tall building. All of a sudden, Superman appears behind her. He says “Your doctor really did get held up, Regan. It’s never as bad as it seems. You’re much stronger than you think you are. Trust me.” Regan then turns around, hugging Superman tightly as she has a change of heart.
Creating the Genre
Of course, you can’t mention Superman and his iconic moments without mentioning where it all began. On April 18, 1938, Action Comics #1 was released to the public by DC Comics, and the 64 pages highlighted several different characters. The first 13 pages, though, were dedicated to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s character who would end up being the first true superhero in history.
Not many knew that Superman would become such a staple of pop culture at the time, which is why so many issues were sort of discarded or lost over the months that followed (which happens with most comics). However, those who were able to hold onto Action Comics #1 and keep it in great condition were able to sell them for literally millions of dollars. In fact, one copy sold for more than $3.2 million.
The Death of Superman
Many people wish they had the foresight to keep their copy of Action Comics #1 because of how valuable it would be, so nobody missed their opportunity for another monumental issue. This time around, it was the death of Superman, which was a massive crossover between the Superman series and five other publications. In this storyline that lasted for nearly a year, Superman took on the newly-created villain Doomsday.
While Superman was successful in his efforts of stopping Doomsday, it cost him his own life. The issue of Superman, vol 2. #75 featuring a tattered Superman flag hanging from a pole was the iconic image of the series and the one that everyone had in a plastic cover for safekeeping. Almost every DC hero makes an appearance, and even then-President Bill Clinton attended the funeral in the comics. Of course, Superman would return, but the fact that he could die changed things for DC.
Respect With Batman
As the two flagpole DC characters, there have been plenty of times when Batman and Superman have either worked together or against one another. In Batman Vol. 3 #36, we got a taste of the mutual respect that they have for each other when they’re both traveling to the same building.
Batman notes that Superman “Grew up in the dirt, finding out slowly how different he was. A stranger discovering every day how strange he was. He has the power to tear the world apart, and he could with a pinkie…and yet, he took that pain and became the symbol of hope.”