Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics
The Superman StoryCover date: 1979
"The Life Story of Superman"
Writer: Martin Pasko
Penciller: Curt Swan
Inker: Frank Chiaramonte
Editor: Julie Schwartz
Reviewed by: Justin Adams
The story opens with a montage of Superman's abilities. A gun is fired and text beneath it is written "Faster than a speeding bullet"
As a group of people stand in front of a magnificent statue of Superman, an unseen individual welcomes everyone to the opening of the Superman Pavilion. The man is soon revealed to be none other than Mayor Harkness, who introduces the man who will be giving the first tour of the Pavilion - Superman himself! As the crowd cheers, Superman explains that, in exchange for his helping prepare the exhibitions in the Pavilion; the man who runs it will donate one million dollars to Superman's favorite charity. The Mayor soon introduces the man in question to Superman, the famous entrepreneur J. Robert Arngrim.
As Superman shakes hands with Arngrim, he is slightly embarrasses by all the attention being paid to him in the form of all the cameras. He is nonetheless honored. Many of Superman's friend and co-workers are here as well: Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Steve Lombard, and Lana Lang. Lois Lane mentions to Lana Lang that their friend and co-worker Clark Kent (Superman's alter ego) picked the wrong time to take a vacation. Lana responds by saying that she's sure he'll show up sooner or later. As the crowd watches in amazement, Superman cuts a "ribbon" of steel six inches thick with his heat vision, signifying the opening of the Pavilion. As Superman and the gathered people enter, Superman asks where Mr. Arngrim is. Arngrim soon reappears and mentions that he had some last minute preparations to attend to.
The first stop on the tour is the Krypton exhibit. Superman explains that Krypton is his birth planet, as the stunned crowd gazes at the exhibits (including a mock rocket ship). A boy soon questions Superman about his home planet, wanting to know what it was like on the planet, saying, "I heard you got a super-memory... y'know, total recall. So what was it like... Krypton and all?" Superman explains that while he does possess 'total recall,' his early life on Krypton is almost a total blank to him - due to constant exposure to Kryptonite. Arngrim chimes in, saying, "But you do have this... your mind-prober ray." Superman says that he invented the device as a boy to retrieve long buried memories from his subconscious. Arngrim wonders if Superman would be willing to give a demonstration of the device. Although initially nervous about it, Superman concedes when he sees how much everyone wants to see him use the machine on himself.
Meanwhile, a mysterious man in an unknown laboratory is plotting against the Man of Steel. We return to the Pavilion as Superman is bombarded with rays from the mind-prober. He sees his home planet, Krypton, as clearly as if he were there. Superman explains that Krypton was home to the most scientifically advanced race in the galaxy. The planet was located in another solar system and revolved around a giant red sun. Superman finds himself in Kryptonopolis, the city of his birth. We next come to Jor-El's (Superman's birth father) house and see Lara (Superman's birth mother) holding the infant Kal-El. Superman mentions that he can't be older than two years of age. Lara seems very worried, however, and Superman recalls that back then, he couldn't comprehend what was upsetting her, but now he knows all too clearly. Lara laments that if Jor-El is unsuccessful in convincing the Council to trust him, there is little hope. Lara hasn't given up hope, though, and she says, "Still - a man like Jor-El does not give into despair. Though I fear he is condemned to naught but ridicule I know he will never abandon hope--"
Suddenly, there is a great shaking in Jor-El's house. Superman recalls that the groundquakes would greatly disturb him as a child on Krypton. As Kal-El sobs in his mother's arm, Lara tries her best to comfort her child. Fearing what will happen to her people, Lara goes on a tirade about what it will take for the council to listen to her husband. As if on cue, Jor-El enters his home, clearly upset. Jor-El explains how the Council will not listen to him, no matter how hard he tries to explain things to them. Superman recalls how he tried to understand while his father - a man so big in his eyes - explained how he'd been ridiculed for trying to save his people. This was the fourth and final time that Jor-El would appeal to the Council.
We flash back to Jor-El's encounter with the Council. Jor-El explains that the core of the planet is unstable, and that it will soon explode. He explains of his plan to construct a space-fleet with which the people of Krypton can escape their world and repopulate on another one. The Council only believes in their instruments and despite Jor-El's position on the Council and his achievements (discovery of the Phantom Zone and pioneering the abandoned space-program), believe him to be delusional.
Superman removes the device from his head and addresses the crowd. Superman mentions that in the months that followed, his father worked feverishly to construct a space-fleet. Superman places the device back on his head and once again sees the past. He goes back to a time not long before Krypton exploded. Superman relives an experience he had a child, when his father used his pet puppy, Krypto, for his rocket test. Jor-El promises his son that his puppy will return, but it's not to be, as Krypto's rocket is knocked off course by a meteorite. Jor-El regretfully tells his son that he cannot bring back his son's pet.
Meanwhile, a child who looks exactly like an infant version of Superman relives the experience of losing Krypto at the same time Superman does. The child is located in the mysterious laboratory we saw earlier. The mysterious man thinks about how all of Superman's memories as a child are being fed into the mind of the child.
Superman's memories move forward several months later - to the time of Krypton's destruction. As buildings crumble and people are killed, Jor-El and Lara rush to enact their plan. Jor-El only has one rocket, enough to save his wife and child. He cannot, however, predict how the weight of a child will affect the trajectory on the ship. Lara makes the difficult decision to remain on Krypton with her husband so that her son will have a chance to survive. Jor-El tries to convince his wife to leave, but her mind is made up. Wrapping their son in several blankets, they place him in the ship and strap him in. We see Superman shedding tears, begging his parents not to leave him. As the ship is launched into the ocean of space, the ceiling collapses on Kal-El's parents. The final image Superman sees are his birth parents holding each other, hoping that their son will be safe. Superman can no longer take this, and he exclaims, "I... I can't see them anymore... And... And... I'll never see them... Again--! They're... they're... d... d... No!"
Superman breaks free of the mind-prober's restraints; tears streaming down his face. Lois is concerned about Superman, but he soon regains his composure. Superman and the crowd next head to the Superboy room. Arngrim mentions that there are fewer exhibits in the Superboy room and that it is considerably smaller. Superman apologizes for this and says that more information about his younger years might compromise his secret identity. Superman says that the rocket that carried him to Earth was more successful than Krypto's. He mentions the ship's warp drive as an important factor in the ship reaching a different solar system. He tells the crowd that an earth couple that taught him to use his powers for good raised him. In the Pavilion are the newspapers that reported on Superboy's debut.
Superman recalls his journey to Earth in Jor-El's ship, while at the same time, in the underground lab, the mysterious child experiences not only the memories of coming to Earth, but also physically inside a prop-rocket. Superman recalls that the rocket crashed on Earth, but he was unharmed, due to everything from the planet becoming invulnerable under a yellow sun. It was only because the rocket fuel had become "super" that the ship exploded into fragments. An older couple, The Kents, discover baby Kal-El crawling beside the rocket. At first, Martha thinks that the child was put into the rocket by the government, but Jonathan dismisses that due to the child having no injuries. The two formulate a plan to adopt the child, the first step of which is to leave the child at the orphanage in Smallville. The couple waits a few days before returning to adopt the alien child, whom they name Clark Kent.
Almost immediate after taking the child home with them, he starts to display a range of incredible powers (which the Kents make a note of). Later on, Clark has problems keeping his clothes from burning up while playing at super-speed. After discovering the blankets Clark arrived in are also invulnerable, Martha decides to make a playsuit for her son. While the blankets can't be cut, they can be unraveled. Clark uses his heat vision to sever the suit from the rest of the yarn. As the years pass, the Kents sell their farm, move to Smallville, and open a General Store that Clark works in to earn his spending money. And, when he's old enough, he decides to start using his powers openly, as he and his parents had talked about. Clark unravels his baby suit and Martha sews him a new outfit, but there are still some things missing from it. Clark finds what he needs in the remains of his rocket. From the seatbelt of the craft, he fashions a belt, and he pulls out the upholstery and makes boots (using a piece of metal from the ship to sew them). Finally, Jonathan Kent creates an insignia - a stylized "S" to stand for Clark's professional name - Superboy. As Superman remembers the first day he wore his Superboy costume, a teenager wearing a strange device on his head experiences them as well. We see the youth walk around a "set" of Smallville in the underground lab.
Superman recalls mastering flight before debuting to the world as a defender of justice. To keep criminals from striking against his loved ones, Clark decides to disguise himself when he's not Superboy. To do this he wears a pair of glasses, combs his hair back, and compresses his spine to appear shorter than he actually is. Jonathan knows that this alone isn't enough, and he tells Clark that he'll have to act differently as well, saying, "As Clark, you'll have to play a part - as if you were an actor! Make Clark everything Superboy ain't... weak timid. In fact, you should even disguise your voice when you're Clark - making it higher than Superboy's!" Thus, the Clark Kent "act" was born. Clark does encounter an unexpected problem in regards to his glasses - the lenses melt whenever he uses his heat vision! To counteract this, Clark creates specialized frames and uses fairly round pieces of the glass from his rocket for lenses. The frames nicely cover up the uneven edges. To further help his secret identity, he creates a tunnel underneath the Kents' house leading far away and robot doubles of Superboy/Clark.
A young boy asks Superman about a display, and Superman explains that the display contains Kryptonite, one of the few substances that can hurt and even kill Superman. Superman briefly recalls his first experience with the substance. He explains that shortly after encountering the mineral, he deduced that it was an exploded fragment of his home planet - now radioactive to Kryptonians, but harmless to humans. One intelligent young man questions why so much Kryptonite ended up on Earth, rather than getting dispersed throughout the universe. Superman responds that for years he wondered the same thing, but eventually discovered that a space-warp caused by his father's imperfect warp-drive caused fragments of the planet and Kryptonian artifacts to come to Earth's solar system. Because many of the artifacts had been shot into space prior to Krypton's destruction, they were not turned into Kryptonite. Some of the items Superman has encountered include a cache of Kryptonian weapons and Phantom Zone Projector.
Superman explains that the Phantom Zone is a dimension discovered by his father, a place where criminals were sent to spend their sentences as formless wraiths, able to see and hear things in the physical world, but unable to affect them. By studying the Phantom Zone Projector and other Kryptonian artifacts, Superman gained knowledge of Kryptonian technology that allowed him to construct devices like the mind-prober ray. Using the mind-prober, Superman was able to gain a clearer picture of his birthplace. In turn, this allowed him to formulate a theory about the origin of his super-powers. With the help of a slide (which shows the difference in size between Earth and Krypton), Superman explains that his muscles are different from Earth people, just like every other native of Krypton. He informs the crowd that this is due to his species' evolution on a planet with gravity much greater than that of Earth. Due to the lesser gravity of Earth, the energy of the yellow sun, and other environmental factors, Superman possesses a number of powers (including super-strength, invulnerability, flight, heat-vision, ect).
Because of his powers, Superman says, he realized he was very unique. That is until the rocket containing his former pet Krypto crashed on Earth. Krypto, being a native of Krypton, developed powers as well. Superman explains his relationship with the Dog of Steel, and how he could share things with his pet that he couldn't with "average" humans. Lana is skeptical about Superman having so much affection for a dog, while Lois is much more sympathetic toward him.
She tells Lana that Superman has told her his happiest days were in Smallville, as Superboy. Lois has long suspected that something very bad happened to Superman while he was younger, but he has never told her about it. Superman hears this, of course, and thinks back to his final days in Smallville. Superman reminisces about his adoptive parents having their youth restored due to an alien serum in a lake (which soon wore off). A month after the serum wore off, the Kents fell ill with a mysterious sickness after a trip to the Caribbean. The cause of the illness is unknown, and no medicine seems to work on it. Superboy searches across the universe for a cure, but ultimately he fails in his quest for a cure. Despite all his powers, Superboy could not save the two people he cared about the most. But before Jonathan Kent passes away, he gives Clark some fatherly advice, telling him that he's Superman now and he can do even greater things for the world. The passing of his foster parents greatly grieved Clark Kent, but instead of dwelling in self-pity after losing his parents for the second time, he chooses to go on, doing good in their memory. Superboy leaves the next night: publicly as Superboy and privately as Clark Kent.
Arngrim brings the group into the Superman Room, which features Superman's career from his debut in Metropolis to the present. The room contains many large statues, including ones of Superman and Supergirl. Superman tells the group that shortly after he turned eighteen he came to the biggest city near Smallville - which was Metropolis. As Superman remembers saving a plane from a collision with Metropolis, we see that people are now starting to refer to him as Superman rather than Superboy. Superman thinks back to his four years at Metropolis University, where he further developed his Clark Kent person by acting clumsy. After graduating, Clark Kent applies for a job at the Daily Planet, but editor Perry White is skeptical because of Clark's apparent timid demeanor. Clark offers Perry a deal: If Clark brings him the biggest scoop he's had in weeks, he'll hire. If he doesn't, he'll never hear from him (Clark) again. Perry agrees, but thinks Clark is crazy. Reporter Lois Lane believes his behavior is all an act, though. Clark does bring in the scoop, out scooping Lois. True to his word, Perry hires Clark.
Superman shows more slides and explains that the staffs of the Daily Planet - including Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Clark Kent, and Lois Lane - are among his closest friends today. Superman silently reflects on how Clark Kent's apartment was too small to hold much of his equipment. Superman brings the group to a model of his Fortress, and then shows them cut-away view of the rooms in it. Superman next talks about how he had to make the Fortress bigger once his cousin Supergirl - Kara Zor-El - arrived on Earth. He explains that Supergirl was his secret helper for a few years before officially debuting to the world and becoming a hero in her own right. A few women are surprised that Supergirl is actually Superman's cousin - they always assumed she was his girlfriend. One of them asks if Superman ever has had a girlfriend.
Superman talks about three women he's greatly cared for during his life - Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris, and Lois Lane. He adds that he's had to devote more time to his hates than his loves - or to be accurate, those who hate him. Superman goes over his many enemies (who each have their own statues) including the Toyman, the Parasite, Lex Luthor, and Brainiac. Superman explains that it was Brainiac who shrunk the Kryptonian city of Kandor prior to Krypton's destruction. Superman also tells how, after years of searching for a way to enlarge Kandor, finally succeeded. But by a cruel twist of fate, the enlarging ray only worked on organic, living material - not buildings or machinery. The Kandorians were initially resentful toward Superman, but due to Van-Zee's intervention, they forgave him. As Superman left the planet Kandor had chosen to be enlarged upon, he noticed that it was in another dimension and soon disappeared. Superman tells the group that the planet only appears in our dimension at regular intervals that not even he can predict.
Superman now moves on to an exhibit where the many different isotopes are contained. He talks about the basic Green K, which can hurt and eventually kill a Kryptonian, Red K, which has unpredictable mutating effects on Kryptonians, and Gold K, which can permanently remove a Kryptonian's super-powers (though it should be noted that Superman ALL of the different types of Kryptonite). Superman explains that, for a while, all Kryptonite on Earth was changed into harmless iron (unless you're a Daxamite) in a freak nuclear accident. Superman thinks about how his personal life has changed in recent years as well. He remembers Morgan Edge buying the Daily Planet and hiring his alter ego, Clark Kent, to be the anchorman on Galaxy Communications' flagship show - WGBS. It was there that he encountered Sports-Caster Steve Lombard and director Josh Coyle. He was even paired with a co-anchor his childhood friend Lana Lang.
As Superman and the group leave the room, Arngrim flatters Superman with kind words. But while Superman and the crowd are separated for a moment, Arngrim touches an innocent looking button, which bombards Superman with a Kryptonite Ray. While Superman is weakened, a trap door opens up beneath him and another Superman is put in his place. Superman finds himself in an underground lab, and comes face to face with the man who's behind al this - Lex Luthor. Superman shouts at Luthor, wanting to know if everything has all been in a fake in a plot to destroy him. Luthor quickly responds, saying, "Not quite! The Pavilion is legitimate, the tour is not!" As Superman facetious states that Luthor isn't going to receive the Nobel Prize for killing him, Luthor is all business, putting on his power gloves and stalking his foe. Luthor claims that although his past attempts to kill Superman were done so that he could go down in history as Superman's murderer, this time his plan is different. As Luthor begins to attack Superman in his weakened condition, he boosts that only "the three of us" will know what really happened to Superman.
Superman questions Luthor about this, who claims that Superman made a mistake in supplying genuine Kryptonian artifacts for the Pavilion. Luthor claims that he exposed one such artifact to an artificial red sun, removing its invulnerability and allowing him to remove a shard of metal from it. When removed from under the artificial red sun, however, the object once again became indestructible. As Superman punches Luthor, he explains that only a piece of Kryptonian metal would puncture Superman's skin. Luthor tells Superman that Arngrim wore a device similar to a joy-buzzer on his hand, with a piece of Kryptonian metal on it, when he shook Superman's hand. Using the device, Arngrim was able to remove a small skin sample from Superman, which he gave to Luthor. To a normal person, a skin scrape barely feels like a tickle. But since Superman's invulnerability makes him unable to notice certain tactile sensations, he didn't feel it at all. Superman correctly guesses that Luthor bred a clone of him with the skin sample, but Luthor explains that the clone couldn't just look like Superman and possess his powers, it must also THINK like Superman. To accomplish this, Luthor had Superman's memories recorded at several different points during the tour, imprinting them on the brain of the clone. As Luthor continues to brutalize Superman, he explains that the clone grew to adulthood - Superman's exact age now - in only a short period of time. When Superman asks how Luthor got Arngrim to work for him, Luthor informs the Metropolis Marvel that the Arngrim he met is a clone. Luthor has imprisoned the real Arngrim.
As Luthor kicks Superman into a cell, Superman questions how Luthor is stronger than him, noting that not even his power-gloves could do that. Luthor tells Superman that he's been feeling the effects of the artificial red sun in the cell. Once Superman is imprisoned, Luthor explains that two things will happen once the crowd leaves the Pavilion; the first thing that will happen is that they will set off a laser that will kill Superman in his weaken condition, and the second thing that will happen is a ton of plastique explosions will be ignited, killing everyone inside - including Superman's closest friends. Luthor plans to then have his clone replace Superman, even down to having him assume Superman's secret identity. The real Arngrim will be blamed for the tragedy while Luthor and the clone are long gone. Luthor brags about how he will never be accused of killing Superman, and even if someone suspects, NO ONE will be able to tell that the clone isn't really Superman. Superman questions if Luthor knows his secret identity now, and Luthor says that he doesn't. He could've learned about it by tapping into Superman's memory, but he can only do that once (or else he might upset the accuracy of the transfer) and had to save the moment for when he could change Superman's feeling toward Luthor.
Above, the clone of Superman talks about Lex Luthor, glorifying him by putting down "himself." Superman's friends instantly notice that something is wrong with their friend. While Luthor monitors the clone, Superman formulates a plan to escape. Since Luthor doesn't know Superman is Clark, he doesn't know Clark's secrets (such as the fact that Superman keeps his Clark Kent clothes in a pouch located in his cape). As the clone encounters more suspicion from Superman's friends above, Luthor coaches the clone below with a telepathic intercom. This distraction allows Superman to tie his belt to his tie and form a "lasso." Superman snags the key ring with this "lasso" and escapes the cage. Having escaped, Superman turns off the artificial red sun and knocks out Luthor with a slight tap. Superman breaks through the lab and stops Lois from leaving the Pavilion. After explaining that he's the real Superman, he knocks the imposter literally through the roof with a punch.
As Superman battles his clone outside the Pavilion, we are told what really makes Superman "super": "Any man of a dozen, a hundred, a million - but for a trick of fate - could have been placed in a rocket bound for Earth. Any man born on Krypton can gain that power beneath the yellow sun. Nor is it wisdom that makes him Superman. Any man can be wise - if he lives long enough - and keeps his eyes and ears open while he lives. No it is something else that special virtue that is his and his alone: The ability to use all that God-given power and that long-nurtured wisdom in the name of kindness ethics morality - the thing men call "good" to wield that power in the pursuit of justice and, in that pursuit to vanquish evil!" As this finishes, Superman surprises his clone by melting a hole in the roof under the clone with his heat vision. The clone falls onto the Kryptonite display and his powers are instantly removed due to the Gold K. As Superman blows the Kryptonite away so that it can't affect him, he thinks that since the clone was just as powerful as him, he could only hope for a stalemate. Therefore, he had to surprise it.
Superman intercepts the Arngrim clone and takes out two birds with one stone by throwing him into his de-powered clone, knocking both of them out. As Lois and Lana check on their friend, they comment that Superman used both his keen understanding of his enemies and his powers to defeat them. Superman responds that this has happened so much; it's almost the story of his life.
Story - 5: When reviewing a book, it's important to consider several factors. (1) Did the book accomplish what it set out to do? (2) Was the book entertaining? (3) Did the book fully live up to its potential? With The Superman Story, the answer to all three of these questions is yes. This book is intended to give anyone - especially those who know next to nothing about Superman or comics in general - an idea of who Superman is. In fact, it goes above and beyond in this pursuit. You could hand this book to someone and safely say, "This is Superman." Things like Krypton, Smallville, Metropolis, Krypto, Supergirl, the Fortress, and a horde of other ideas are perfectly condensed into this one, pocket-sized volume. This book is a great way to learn about the pre-Crisis Superman's history and just why so many fans still love the character.
This book is also very entertaining. We're treated to flashbacks throughout the story, and are given a plot that happens in Superman's present as well. While Luthor is obvious as the villain in this story, he's a perfect choice. I'm a little surprised that Luthor's origin was only slightly hinted at, though. The accident that cost Luthor his hair and destroyed his protoplasm organism is a huge part of the Silver/Bronze Age Superman's history. Luthor is much more evil and ruthless than many of his appearances during this time period, but I don't see that as a bad thing. While this version of Luthor had a noble side to him, he was also a villain, plain and simple. Superman is not the kind of person to give up on someone like Luthor, despite Luthor's hatred of him.
I would say that this book lived up to its full potential, with maybe a few exceptions. I would've liked to know what happened to the de-powered Superman clone in the story itself. (The fate of the clone was later revealed in Action Comics #524 (October 1981) "If I Can't Be Clark Kent, Nobody Can!" But that's another story). Despite that, the story seemed to capitalize on everything. I'd recommend this book to any Superman fan (except for maybe the more cynical ones), especially to those who want to learn more about the pre-Crisis Superman by hearing about it from someone else or by collecting back issues.
Another good reason to read this book is to learn about the various classic concepts of Superman's history. Since their elimination in 1986, these ideas have only recently begun to be inserted back into current continuity (Krypto, different varieties of Kryptonite, a Kryptonian Supergirl, Clark Kent being partially an act, etc). Many of these ideas are great, so it's good to have them back. It strikes me that since Superman's post-Crisis history has been confused as of late, a book similar to this one might help clear up any confusion. Think about it, a book where the post-Crisis Superman recalls the history of his life, even down to the smallest detail. Make it happen DC.
Art - 5: As far as I'm concerned, no one has yet equaled Curt Swan in terms of drawing Superman (though many have come close). While the art is reprinted in black and white, it doesn't take away anything from the story. Being a manga fan, I even prefer it this way. Frank Chiaramonte also does some good work in the book, perfectly complimenting Swan's work.
Cover Art - 4: The cover here is good, it's very inspiring and all, but I really wish something more mythical were used. Despite that, Superman almost jumps out of the cover here, which is always a good thing.
Pre-Crisis Superman Comic Book Reviews
- Action Comics #1 (June 1938)
- Action Comics #2 (July 1938)
- Action Comics #3 (August 1938)
- Action Comics #4 (September 1938)
- Action Comics #5 (October 1938)
- Action Comics #6 (November 1938)
- Action Comics #7 (December 1938)
- Superman Archives: Volume 1 (1939)
- Superman #1 (Summer 1939)
- Action Comics #8 (January 1939)
- Action Comics #9 (February 1939)
- Action Comics #10 (March 1939)
- Superman #13 (November/December 1941) - The Archer
- Superman #19 (November/December 1942) - Case of the Funny Paper Crimes
- Action Comics #60 (May 1943) - Lois Lane - Superwoman
- Superman #30 (September/October 1944) - The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk
- Action Comics #80 (January 1945) - Mr. Mxyztplk Returns
- Superman #38 (January/February 1946) - The Battle of the Atoms
- Superman #42 (September/October 1946) - The Death of Clark Kent
- Superman #45 (March/April 1947) - Lois Lane, Superwoman
- Superman #53 (July 1948) - The Origin of Superman
- Action Comics #124 (September 1948) - A Superman of Doom
- Superman #60 (December 1949/January 1950) - The Two Identities of Superman & Superman Fights the Super-Brain
- Superman #76 (May/June 1952) - The Mightiest Team in the World
- Superman #80 (January/February 1953) - Superman's Lost Brother
- Superman 3D (1953) - The Man Who Stole the Sun, Origin of Superman and The Man Who Bossed Superman
- Superman #87 (February 1954) - The Prankster's Greatest Role
- Superman #88 (March 1954) - The Terrible Trio
- Superman #89 (May 1954) - Captain Kent the Terrible, Superman of Skid Row, and One Hour to Doom!
- Superman #91 (August 1954) - The Superman Stamp and Great Caesar's Ghost
- World's Finest #88 (May/June 1957) - Superman and Batman's Greatest Foes
- Superman #115 (August 1957) - The Midget Superman!
- Superboy #65 (May/June 1958) - The Amazing Adventures of Krypto Mouse
- Action Comics #242 (July 1958) - The Super-Duel in Space
- Superman #123 (August 1958) - The Girl of Steel
- Superman #127 (February 1959) - Titano the Super Ape
- Action Comics #252 (May 1959) - The Menace of Metallo and The Supergirl From Krypton
- Superman #129 (May 1959) - The Girl in Superman's Past
- Superman #130 (July 1959) - The Curse of Kryptonite!, The Super-Servant of Crime!, and The Town that Hated Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #40 (October 1959) - Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl's Pal
- Superman #134 (January 1960) - The Super-Menace of Metropolis
- Jimmy Olsen #42 (January 1960) - The Big Superman Movie!, Perry White, Cub Reporter!, and Jimmy the Genie!
- Jimmy Olsen #44 (April 1960) - The Wolf-Man of Metropolis
- Adventure Comics #271 (April 1960) - How Luthor Met Superboy
- Jimmy Olsen #46 (July 1960) - Jimmy Olsen, Orphan
- Superman #141 (November 1960) - Superman's Return To Krypton
- Superboy #85 (December 1960) - The Impossible Mission
- Jimmy Olsen #51 (March 1961) - The Girl with Green Hair
- Jimmy Olsen #52 (April 1961) - Jimmy Olsen, Wolf-Man
- Superboy #89 (June 1961) - Superboy's Big Brother!
- Action Comics #279 (August 1961) - The Super-Rivals
- Superman #147 (August 1961) - The Legion of Super Villains
- Superman #149 (November 1961) - The Death of Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #57 (December 1961) - Jimmy Olsen Marries Supergirl
- Superman #155 (August 1962) - Superman Under the Green Sun and The Downfall of Superman
- Justice League of America #13 (August 1962) - Riddle of the Robot Justice League
- World's Finest #129 (November 1962) - Joker-Luthor, Incorporated
- Superman #158 (January 1963) - Superman in Kandor
- Superman #160 (April 1963) - The Mortal Superman
- Superman #161 (May 1963) - The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent
- Superman #162 (July 1963) - The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue
- Superman #163 (August 1963) - Wonder-Man, the New Hero of Metropolis and The Goofy Superman
- Justice League of America #21 & #22 (August/September 1963) - Crisis on Earth-One! and Crisis on Earth-Two!
- Superman #164 (October 1963) - The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman
- Superman #165 (November 1963) - The Sweetheart Superman Forgot
- Superman #166 (January 1964) - The Fantastic Story of Superman's Sons
- Superman #167 (February 1964) - The Team of Luthor and Brainiac
- Superman #168 (April 1964) - Luthor - Super Hero and Lex Luthor, Daily Planet Editor
- Superman #169 (May 1964) - The Man Who Stole Superman's Secret Life
- Action Comics #314 (July 1964) - The Day Superman Became The Flash
- Justice League of America #29 & #30 (August/September 1964) - Crisis on Earth-Three! and The Most Dangerous Earth of All!
- Superman #173 (November 1964) - The Triumph of Luthor and Brainiac
- Action Comics #318 (November 1964) - The Death of Luthor
- Action Comics #319 (December 1964) - The Condemned Superman
- Superman #175 (February 1965) - Clark Kent's Brother
- Superman #181 (November 1965) - The Superman of 2965
- The Legion of Super-Heroes - Archives Volume 4 (1965)
- Superman #184 (February 1966) - The Demon Under the Red Sun
- Action Comics #338 (June 1966) - Muto - Monarch of Menace
- Action Comics #339 (July 1966) - Muto versus The Man of Tomorrow
- Superman #189 (August 1966) - Krypton Lives Again
- Action Comics #346 (February 1967) - The Man Who Sold Insurance to Superman and The Case of the Superman Imposter
- Superman #194 (February 1967) - The Death of Lois Lane
- Superman #196 (May 1967) - The Star of Steel
- Superman #199 (January 1967) - Superman's Race With The Flash
- Superman #200 (October 1967) - Super-Brother Against Super-Brother
- The Flash #175 (December 1967) - Race to the End of the Universe
- Justice League of America #63 (June 1968) - Time Signs a Death Warrant for the Justice League
- Superman #211 (November 1968) - The Name of the Game is Superman!
- Superman #215 (April 1969) - Lois LaneŠ DeadŠ Yet Alive
- Superman #224 (February 1970) - Beware the Super-Genius Baby
- Action Comics #393 (October 1970) - Superman Meets Super-Houdini! and The Day Superboy Became Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #133 (October 1970) - The Newsboy Legion
- Action Comics #394 (November 1970) - Midas of Metropolis and Requiem for a Hot Rod!
- World's Finest #198 (November 1970) - Race to Save the Universe!
- Action Comics #395 (December 1970) - The Secrets of Superman's Fortress and The Credit Card of Catastrophe
- Jimmy Olsen #134 (December 1970) - The Mountain of Judgement!
- World's Finest #199 (December 1970) - A Race to Save Time!
- Superman #233 (January 1971) - Superman Breaks Loose!
- Jimmy Olsen #135 (January 1971) - The Evil Factory!
- Superman #234 (February 1971) - How to Tame a Wild Volcano
- Jimmy Olsen #136 (February 1971) - The Saga of the D.N.Aliens
- Superman #235 (March 1971) - The Sinister Scream of the Devil's Harp
- Superman #236 (April 1971) - Planet of the Angels and The Doomsayer
- Jimmy Olsen #137 (April 1971) - The Four-Armed Terror!
- Superman #237 (May 1971) - The Enemy of Earth
- Superman #238 (June 1971) - Menace at 1000 Degrees
- Jimmy Olsen #138 (June 1971) - The Big Boom!!
- Superman #240 (July 1971) - To Save a Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #139 (July 1971) - The Guardian Fights Again!!!
- Superman #241 (August 1971) - The Shape of Fear
- Superman #242 (September 1971) - The Ultimate Battle
- Jimmy Olsen #141 (September 1971) - Will the Real Don Rickles Panic?!?
- Jimmy Olsen #142 (October 1971) - The Man from Transilvane!
- Jimmy Olsen #143 (November 1971) - Genocide Spray
- Jimmy Olsen #144 (December 1971) - A Big Thing in a Deep Scottish Lake!
- Superman #247 (January 1972) - Must There Be A Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #145 (January 1972) - Brigadoom!
- Jimmy Olsen #146 (February 1972) - Homo-Disastrous!
- Jimmy Olsen #147 (March 1972) - A Superman in Super-Town!
- Jimmy Olsen #148 (April 1972) - Monarch of All He Subdues!
- Superman #292 (October 1975) - The Luthor Nobody Knows!
- Action Comics #458 (April 1976) - Make Me a Super-Hero! and Masquerade of the Nutty Kid!
- Superman vs. Muhammad Ali (Spring 1978)
- Action Comics #484 (June 1978) - Superman Takes a Wife!
- Superman #328 (October 1978) - Attack of the Kryptonoid
- Action Comics #489 (November 1978) - Krypton Dies Again and Where There's a Will... There's a Fray
- Superman #329 (November 1978) - I Have Met The Enemy... And He Is Me! and The Secret of the Talking Car
- Superman #330 (December 1978) - The Master Mesmerizer of Metropolis!
- Action Comics #490 (December 1978) - No Tomorrow For Superman
- Action Comics #491 (January 1979) - A Matter of Light and Death
- Superman #331 (January 1979) - Lockup at 20,000 Feet
- Action Comics #492 (February 1979) - Superman's Secret Afterlife
- Superman #332 (February 1979) - The Eternity Cage
- Action Comics #493 (March 1979) - The Metropolis UFO Connection
- Action Comics #494 (April 1979) - The Secret of the Super S
- Action Comics #495 (May 1979) - Attack of the Ultimate Warrior
- DC Comics Presents #14 (October 1979) - Judge, Jury... and No Justice!
- The Superman Story (1979) - The Life Story of Superman
- DC Comics Presents #57 (May 1983) - Days of Future Past
- DC Comics Presents #67 (March 1984) - 'Twas the Fright Before Christmas
- DC Comics Presents Annual #3 (1984) - With One Magic Word
- Superman: The Secret Years #1 (February 1985) - Dreams and Schemes and Feeling Proud!
- Superman: The Secret Years #2 (March 1985) - Reach Out and Touch
- Superman: The Secret Years #3 (April 1985) - Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #80 (April 1985) - A World Full of Supermen!
- Superman: The Secret Years #4 (May 1985) - Beyond Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #85 (September 1985) - The Jungle Line
- Superman Annual #11 (1985) - For The Man Who Has Everything
- World's Finest #323 (January 1986) - Afraid of the Dark
- DC Comics Presents #97 (September 1986) - Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter
- Superman #423 & Action Comics #583 (September 1986) - Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow?
- Showcase Presents: Superman Family - Volume 1 (October 2005)
- Superman/Batman: Saga of the Super Sons (December 2007)
- Not Brand ECHH #7 (April 1967) - The Origin of Stuporman
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