The 75 Greatest Superman Stories of All-Time! Nominees #41-50


The 75 Greatest Superman Stories of All-Time! Nominees #41-50

In celebration of Superman’s 75th anniversary on April 18th (Action Comics #1 came out on April 18, 1938), you’ll be voting for the Top 75 Superman Stories of All-Time. With such a big list, we can’t expect everyone to know all the best Superman stories over the years offhand, so we’ll be providing you a list of 100 nominees over ten days (ten a day) that you’ll be choosing from on April 15th (basically, you’ll get 100 choices and then you’ll be putting them into order from #75-1). This is not the final list, these are just the stories that you’ll be voting on later on.

Here is the next batch of ten nominees (they are not in any particular order)!

41. “For the Man Who has Everything?” (Superman Annual #11)

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons celebrate Superman’s birthday in style by having the villainous Mongul showing the Man of Steel a reality where Krypton DIDN’T explode and Kal-El is a middling bureaucrat. Can Superman’s visiting friends Batman, Wonder Woman and Robin help save him? And how will he react when he wakes from this fantasy (hint: he will be none too pleased with Mongul)?

42. “Funeral for a Friend” (Justice League America #70, Adventures of Superman #498-499, Superman #76-77, Superman: Man of Steel #20-21, Action Comics #685-686)

This touching send-off to the world’s greatest superhero was done over a couple of months in all of the Superman titles, by the same creative team as the Death of Superman (Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Roger Stern and Louise Simonson on story, Jurgens, Tom Grummett, Jackson Guice and Jon Bogdanove on pencils and Rick Burchett, Brett Breeding, Doug Hazelwood, Denis Rodier and Dennis Janke on inks).

43. “Our Worlds at War” (Superman vol. 2, #171-173; Adventures of Superman #593-595; Superman: The Man of Steel #115-117; Action Comics #780-782; Supergirl JLA: Our Worlds at War Wonder Woman #172-173; Young Justice Impulse Superboy World’s Finest: Our Worlds at War #1)

Superman had been preparing for the invasion of the villainous Imperiex for some time but he was not prepared for just how devastating the attack would be on Earth. It crossed over into every DC Universe title and left Wonder Woman’s mother and Aquaman dead. Things were so bad that the good guys enlisted the help of both Darkseid AND Doomsday!!! Jeph Loeb was the main driving force behind this storyline, along with the other main Superman writers (Joe Kelly, Joe Casey and Mark Schultz) and a host of artists.

44. “The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman!” Superman Volume 1 #164

Likely the first notable example of the “humanize Luthor” trope that we have seen a number of great examples of over the years. Here, Edmond Hamilton, Curt Swan and George Klein bring us a battle between Luthor and Superman on a planet where Superman’s powers do not work. Surprisingly, Luthor ends up becoming a hero to the people on this planet, allowing us to see another side to the mad genius and, for the first time, get the repeated idea of “If there was no Superman around for him to attack, would Luthor actually be a good guy?”

45. The Krypton Chronicles #1-3

One of the very first DC mini-series, this three-book affair by E. Nelson Bridwell, Curt Swan and Frank Chiaramonte has Superman and Supergirl learn the history of Krypton.

46. “The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk!” Superman Volume 1 #30

Jerry Siegel and Ira Yarbrough introduce one of the most memorable Superman villains of all-time

47. “The Secret of the Phantom Quarterback!” Superman Volume 1 #264

In this memorable story (with a brilliant Nick Cardy cover) by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson, Steve Lombard, destined to be a longtime thorn in Clark Kent’s side, makes his first appearance.

48. “The Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite” Superman Volume 2 #49-50, Adventures of Superman #472 and Action Comics #659

Mr. Mxyzptlk gives Lex Luthor red Kryptonite, which Lex uses to cause havoc with Superman’s life. The biggest development in this story, though, is that Clark proposes to Lois! Jerry Ordway, Dan Jurgens and Roger Stern wrote it, with art by Ordway, Jurgens, Art Thibert, Bob McLeod, Brett Breeding and Dennis Janke.

49. Superman: Secret Origin #1-6

Geoff Johns, Gary Frank and Jon Sibal gave their particular take on the origin of Superman, most notably they folded in the Superboy aspect of Superman’s life for the first time since Crisis.

50. “Supergirl From Krypton” Superman/Batman #8-12

Jeph Loeb and Michael Turner introduced Kara Zor-El into the DC Universe for the first time Post-Crisis in this epic five-parter that sees young Kara arrive on Earth along with a whole boatload of Kryptonite. Batman doesn’t trust her and Wonder Woman trains her with the Amazons. Darkseid becomes interested in her and attempts to sway her to the, you know, dark side. Ultimately, she breaks free of his control and embraces the lifestyle of her older cousin and decides to become a new hero known as Supergirl.



April 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm

How many ‘origin of Superman” stories are going to be on this list?
So far, there are four on this list #49 Secret Origin; 36 Earth One; 25 Origin of Superman; 27 Birthright;

Plus two questionables: 12 Secret Identity – it’s not really Superman ; 7 Coming of Superman – not really an origin story

Brian Cronin

April 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm

How many ‘origin of Superman” stories are going to be on this list?

Off the top of my head, six. But maybe more!

Mike Blake

April 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Some trivia on those stories:

I’ve always thought “For the Man Who Has Everything” was the crowning moment of Jason Todd’s career as Robin. He’s instrumental in defeating Mongul in a clever way I won’t spoil.

That Superman/Batman sequence, if I remember correctly, was also where Harbinger from CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS was killed off, defending Kara from Darkseid’s forces.

The Crazed Spruce

April 11, 2013 at 9:23 pm

How many ‘origin of Superman” stories are going to be on this list?

I can think of two just off the top of my head. (Including one which I intend to vote for.)


April 12, 2013 at 1:36 am

Excellent selection in this section. In particular 49 and 50 are supremely underrated.

Never read the Phantom Quarterback storyline. Is it good or so bat-**** crazy it’s good?

Brian Cronin

April 12, 2013 at 1:46 am

Hmmm…I think it is good, but yeah, there’s some crazy stuff in it.


April 12, 2013 at 5:03 am

silver age superboy is really good too, from what ive read.

there is one very melodramatic ish where pa kent starts crying because he tought Superboy sacrificed himself to some aliens….alas i cant recall the #.


April 12, 2013 at 8:12 am

I thought the best part of Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite was the revelation that Mr. Mxyzptlk and the Impossible Man are the same person (although the later Superman/Silver Surfer one shot undid that with hilarity).

Turd Burglar

April 12, 2013 at 8:37 am

Mr. Mxyzptlk and the Impossible Man are the same person

How in the…


April 12, 2013 at 10:07 am


It was a gag. Superman #50 showed Mxy in “another dimension” disguised as a purple Poppuppian and fighting three people in blue suits, plus a fourth large character. We never saw the blue-suited people from above the knees, and the large character was covered in purple goop. (In his words, “I bin glopped!”) One of them could turn into fire. Mxy called them his “fantastic” friends. Plus, John Byrne drew those pages.

Not an uncommon trope. If you haven’t seen it, there was an occasion where Erik Larsen had Spider-Man and Wolverine team up to save a thinly-disguised adult Billy Batson.


April 13, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Those are some poor choices to be in the top 50 of the best Superman stories EVER TOLD.

Secret Origin was so bad I couldn’t bring myself to read the whole thing and, Our Worlds at War?!? Really?!? And it looks like you’ve included ever single tie in. Impulse #77 is one of Superman’s BEST stories?… yeah, ok.

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