The man who killed Superman is now giving the character new life.
Dan Jurgens was the writer and artist for what is most likely the best-selling Superman comic in history, “Superman” #75, from 1992 (cover dated Jan. 1993), in which the hero died facing the monster called Doomsday.
Like many comic heroes, he got better, in the best-selling “Reign of the Supermen” that followed.
Superman’s been through a lot in the intervening years, getting married, having a kid and having reality alter itself around him.
In the most recent “Superman” comics, the older, married, father Superman from the comics from the 1990s and 2000s has replaced the Superman that first appeared in DC’s “New 52” comics in 2011.
When the “New 52” character died in
“Superman” #52 earlier this year, the older Kal-El was inspired to again take up the mantle of Superman.
So far, the concept is resonating with fans. And Jurgens is back as the writer on “Action
Comics,” restored to its original numbering.
“I think it verifies the type of character that Superman really is,”
“As much as anything, it verifies the importance of Lois Lane in Superman’s world. Everyone knows that Superman made his debut in ‘Action
Comics’ #1 back in 1938. But it’s also important to note that Lois Lane made her debut as well.”
Lois will continue to play a key role, Jurgens said.
“I have always believed those two characters are intertwined in ways that go beyond what we
generally see on the surface,” Jurgens said. “Superman might be from another world, but Lois helps to humanize him. Just as importantly, the fact Lois has no powers yet is tremendously accomplished in her own right, gives us a great deal of insight to Superman.”
“Action Comics” has returned to its original numbering after a 52-issue run in the “New 52” era.
Jurgens returned as writer for issue #957.
Issue #959 went on sale this week.
“Action Comics” is shipping twice-monthly under DC Comics’ “Rebirth” banner.
In the current series, Superman again faces off against Doomsday.
“I have always felt that the title of ‘Action Comics’ implies a certain type of story,” Jurgens said in an interview with The Oklahoman.
“I knew, right from the start, that we’d want to hit the ground running with a high-octane story that would have a great deal of action between the covers. What better vehicle for that than a villain like Doomsday?”
Jurgens said the idea with bringing back Doomsday is “to say something different with regards to Superman … that will be coming in the next couple of issues.”
So far, Jurgens’ take on the character is taking hold.
“Superman numbers have doubled here. (‘Action Comics’) is one of our better selling titles again. Dan Jurgens is knocking it out of the park,” said Brian “Buck” Berlin, of Oklahoma City’s New World Comics, 6219 N Meridian Ave.
“He’s going back to the basics and making
Superman hopeful again. It feels like characters we should care about.”
Another local retailer agreed.
“Our sales have gone up so far,” said Justin Allen, of Second Chance Books and Comics, 3909 N MacArthur Blvd. in Warr Acres.
Jurgens said fans may be more hungry for
Superman’s core values than they were in the 1990s.
“I actually think fans are a bit more enthused about Superman and his legacy today than they were in the 1990s,” Jurgens said.
“Back then, I think there was more of a desire for dark characters, stories and comics. To a certain extent, I think people were looking for a Superman that really drifted into that territory.”
However, Jurgens thinks that trend may have abated.
“We’ve had 25 years of those stories now, not necessarily with
Superman, but certainly with a lot of other
characters. We’ve worked away from some of that and now appreciate the best that Superman has to offer.”