You Saw Man of Steel, Now What?

Posted by David Goodman

I’m sure many of you went to see Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel and likely walked away pretty impressed, especially if you are not a regular reader of Superman comics. That’s because it is one of those rare comic book movies made for those of you who maybe haven’t read or even held a comic in more than a few years.

And now that you’ve seen Man of Steel, you are probably thinking you should check out some of those Superman comics you saw at the book store. Maybe see if they are as good as the movie.

But you get one look at the shelf and don’t even know where to start. You don’t want to come into the middle of a storyline and you want to make sure you know what’s going on from page one. Plus you want something that will remind you of what made Man of Steel so much fun and a blast to see in the first place.

Thankfully, Superman has a number of collections and graphic novels that are perfect for a new or lapsed fan like yourself. Each one listed below is not only an enjoyable page turner, but they are also all easy jumping on points that don’t require any previous Superman knowledge to enjoy.

All-Star Superman

By Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

One of the best Superman tales to come out in the last decade, All-Star Superman tells the story of the Man of Steel’s last days as he comes to terms with his own mortality. Featuring a stellar script by Morrison and some of the best work of Quitely’s career, it pays homage to Superman’s Golden Age roots while telling a thoroughly modern age tale. This one should be at the top of your reading list.

Superman: Birthright

By Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu

Once you finish seeing Superman’s omega, you can go back and read his alpha in the first of not one, but three distinct versions of his origin. The first, Birthright, takes the original version by John Byrne and tweaks and updates it for a more modern age. Considered by many to be one of the finest Superman stories ever, Birthright has a very distinct look and feel thanks to Waid’s ear for dialogue and Yu’s individualistic art style, which will make it unlike any other Superman book you will ever read.

Superman: Earth One volume 1

By J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis

A New York Times bestseller, Earth One takes the origin of Superman and sets it firmly in the real world outside our window. Straczynski and Davis take Superman and wonder what would happen if someone like this showed up in today’s world, how he would act and what he would do. It’s a modern take on the Man of Steel that you won’t believe until you sit down and read it.

Superman: Secret Origin

By Geoff Johns and Gary Frank

Finally, we have Secret Origin, my personal favorite Superman story on this list. Taking it’s inspiration from the original Richard Donner Superman movie, it is pure unadulterated superhero comics at it’s best. The book is loaded cover to cover with all the classic scenes and characters you would want and expect from a Superman comic, but with enough new twists to keep even older fans guessing. Johns is one of the best writers currently working at DC Comics and when teamed with frequent collaborator Frank, something special seems to happen. Secret Origin is a perfect example of that magical chemistry in action.

Superman: Last Son of Krypton

BY Geoff Johns, Richard Donner and Adam Kubert

If you came out of Man of Steel really wanting more General Zod, Last Son of Krypton is the book you want to read. Co-written by Superman: The Movie’s Richard Donner, it shows what happens to Superman’s world when he meets a child from Krypton and what he would do to protect him from the evil Zod. It’s wall to wall action as the Son of Jor-el and Zod throw down.

Superman: The Death of Superman

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this Superman classic and would probably have my geek card revoked. The Death of Superman was one of those moments where a comic went from being just a comic book and became a pop culture sensation. Even people who have never read comics know about the Death of Superman, and if you are looking for a classic to read, this is about as good as it gets.

And there you have it; a huge stack of Superman books that will give you hours upon hours of reading and enjoyment. It should take care of your Superman craving until the Man of Steel sequel flies into theaters and just might make a comic book lover out of you, if you’re lucky.