GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN

Written by Dan Jurgens, when I first read this graphic novel, it broke my heart that one of the most beloved superheroes was being critically injured during the fight of his life.  Still, there were numerous cases where Superman was portrayed as all but invincible.  With that in mind, it was satisfactory to see Superman being pushed to his limits as he battles the monster Doomsday.  That way, Superman would have a more human side to him when engaged in extreme combat.  I believe that every superhero has their own ultimate villain that pushes them to their limits.  With Batman, his ultimate villain is Bane while Superman’s is Doomsday.

10 thoughts on “GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN”

  1. I totally agree. I think a lot of people brush off Superman because he’s been TOO invincible, too perfect in too many ways. Which is one reason I was surprised there was such a backlash at the “Man of Steel” movie. His actions on his journey in that movie were the most sensibly human, understandable thing about him I’d seen yet – but these same people who complain of him being “too good” and “too strong” were then complaining about him being “emo”. I haven’t read this yet but, you’ve piqued my interest 🙂

  2. That’s actually one of the main reasons I prefer the super heroes like…the X-Men. They are surprisingly human, all of them, with flaws and everything. I never could see any flaws to super man other than his obvious weakness to Kryptonite. But maybe I should read this one and give it a try. As for CoffeePlusBacon’s reply, I totally get what you’re saying. I haven’t seen the new movie yet, but I highly doubt I’d think of him too emo. Just a better protagonist.

    Also, if you like superheroes and graphic novels and the like, I’d check out carnagerules.wordpress.com

    1. I remember when it came out too, and the excitement that it did kick up. I wasn’t reading comics regularly at that time, and I didn’t actually start again for this, but it was a good reason to visit the old haunt again.

  3. This was the first comic I ever read. The story behind it all made me dive deeper into the DC Universe. I think the Superman story from that point on makes valuable mentions to the humanity and flaws within every character.

  4. I think the key to a good superhero — or really, any character — is a balance between abilities and weaknesses. Sometimes, the weaknesses can be used to advance the plot more effectively than the abilities.

  5. While I agree, that watching Superman be pushed to his limits can make for a good story. I don’t really like how the writers or should I say the artists did it in this story. This entire story was just a big brawl and to me I wish there would have been more of an intellectual element to it.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree with this statement! The only reason we knew that Superman was being pushed to his limits was because he kept saying “Ow! Doomsday’s punches hurt even more than other times I’ve been punched!” Otherwise, it felt kind of like a mediocre silver-age crossover story but with the twist that supes fights to a stalemate. The only part that was remotely interesting was the scene when Supes was going to let some kid die in a fire because he was so certain that at least one Justice League member hadn’t been KO’d.

      I really think that DC learned from the Supes Death and put the lessons into practice when they had Bane beat Batman; Batman’s decline was progressive, highly orchestrated, and believable. We saw Bats become worn down and broken long before Bane delivered the coup de grace in person.

      1. That’s an interesting point about Batman. But I’ve read that the two stories were written without the knowledge of the other. So really I think that says a lot about the writers of Batman compared to Superman

      2. Even if Knightfall was planned independently, it was written two years after the Death of Superman, and even at one point references it. Knightfall also had the advantage of being a significantly longer crossover, spanning more titles, and had been the culmination of two separate short-series (Venom and Azrael). Plus, during that period, some of the Bat books had the best writing any supers comics have ever had, especially Shadow of the Bat.

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