The Top 20 Superman Stories, Part 2
- by Steve Garcia, 6 November 2013
Being that it’s Superman’s 75th Anniversary year, it would be some sort of crime if I did not write up a single piece that commemorates my favorite fictional character of all time before the year is over. Trash Muties—this is my top 20 Superman stories of all time! Part 2 of 2 - the top 10! If you missed the first installment of this list, don't fret and make sure to read part one right here.
10. THE MAN OF STEEL
9. LEX LUTHOR: MAN OF STEEL
8. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MAN OF TOMORROW?
7. SUPERMAN: RED SON
6. WHAT'S SO FUNNY ABOUT TRUTH, JUSTICE & THE AMERICAN WAY?
But when it boils down to it, this story’s ending proves that there’s nothing funny about truth, justice, and the American way. This story also excels at showing that Superman is a natural born leader, which is a concept I feel that is rarely addressed. So the next time someone gives you grief about liking Superman, or you yourself feel that Superman is outdated, I strongly suggest you give this story a read, as I’m positive that this can change perspectives.
5. FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING
As Superman’s allies in the real world defeated Mongul and began to free Superman of his trance, the illusion ends with Kal-El having to tell his own imaginary son, that he isn’t real—the single most tragic thing ever done with the character. What makes this story even more compelling is that Moore managed to tell this story and provoke so much thought in a single issue, rather than a long story arc.
4. KINGDOM COME
What differentiates this tale from all the others is that Superman, notorious for being a static character that always does good for goodness sake, actually emerged from this story a changed hero that rediscovered himself in a way that had never presented before.
3. SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY
The best thing about this story, excluding its total uniqueness and breathtaking artwork, is that it emphasized that it isn’t the tights and cape that makes Superman, but it’s the actions he takes and his morals that make the character who he is. While this story may be ranked at number three, I’m going to cheat and say that this, number two, and number one can all be interchangeable as far as I’m concerned. It’s that good.
2. SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT
The reader is also introduced to the idea, much similar to that of the Smallville TV series, that Clark and Lex Luthor have a history outside of the usual hero vs. villain routine. Finally, and the most important idea to come out of this story, is that the “S” on Superman’s chest is the Kryptonian symbol for hope, which says so much more about who the character is and what he stands for, rather than it just being a giant “S.” Despite the other incredible origin retellings that made this list, I can safely say that Superman: Birthright is my absolute favorite, and regardless of the reboots, this is the one I go by.
1. ALL-STAR SUPERMAN
But that’s not even what makes this story so compelling. It’s the fact that this story takes the very idea of Superman himself, as ridiculous as it may or may not be, and truly present the character as the icon he always was, giving us a true ending to his story. It’s the ultimate representation of who Superman is, what he stands for, why he does the things he does, expands and dissects his relationship with his closest associates all the way from Lex Luthor to Jimmy Olsen, and everything in between. All-Star Superman isn’t just the story of the hero we all know and love, it’s the heartwarming, rollercoaster of emotions, celebration and acceptance of the pop-culture icon and what he means to us.
This concludes The Top 20 Superman Stories! If you just found this article and didn't read the first part of it, you can do so right here.
What did you think of the list? What stories would you include? What's your favorite Superman story? Leave us a comment!