Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Man Of Steel 25th Birthday Celebration Week - The Rocket!

We interrupt our regular Sunday versus feature to bring you this special report. So don't go straining your eyes looking for Superman punching out a dinosaur in today's panel, as it ain't there.

What we do have in it's place, is a very special anniversary to celebrate. So special, in fact, that we're turning it into this month's theme week.

It was on this day, July 10th, back in 1986 that The Man Of Steel #1 was released!

It's hard to believe that it's been 25 years since John Byrne was brought in to work his magic with Superman! His story has been revised once or twice in the intervening years, but Byrne's story set the pace for the Superman that we're reading today. And aside from some of the fashions, it still holds up quite nicely to today's standards.

Now I never read this series until years later, as I didn't became a regular Superman reader until the year before they killed him off. Even so, there's images from this series that stuck with me. Byrne's artwork has been the standard image that my brain goes back to when someone mentions Krypton, or Clark, or Lois, or Smallville, etc...

With that in mind, let's spend the week reminiscing about those images and relive the story one more time.

One of the more iconic and lasting images from this series was the birthing matrix. So as we begin the week, we might as well start at the very beginning with the rocket's escape from an exploding Krypton.

So make sure you come back all week, as we'll be taking one last look at the Superman of the last 25 years before things get restarted in September. Which brings me to a quick sidebar, if you have a few minutes to spare.

There's been a fair amount of criticism about DC trashing a particular generations version of Superman. I personally think these people are being a bit reactionary and, dare I say it, a bit selfish too. Let's look at some quick numbers.

From Superman's first appearance to the birth of the Silver Age was 18 years.

From the Silver Age to the beginning of the Bronze Age was 15 years.

From the Bronze Age to the beginning of Byrne's reboot was 15 years.

And from Byrne's reboot to the September relaunch? 25 years!

So to everyone ready to burn DC at the stake because they're rejiggering "your" Superman, you guys have had the longest run. I say enjoy the books in your longbox, and take a deep breath, and come back in September to read the actual books. You never know, you might actually find something you like.

All right, I'm off of my soapbox now. I promise to enjoy the rest of this week with John Byrne's Superman and no more op/eds.

Script by John Byrne
Pencils by John Byrne
Inks by Dick Giordano
Colors by Tom Ziuko
Letters by John Costanza

The Man Of Steel #1
Prologue: From Out Of The Green Dawn...
July 1986
Copyright (c) DC Comics

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