Review by Win Wiacek
With Volume Six this excellent series chronologically reprinting John Byrne’s rebooted 1980s Superman reaches the landmark first anniversary of that brave renovation.
Featuring the creative efforts of John Byrne, Ron Frenz, Jim Starlin, Dan Jurgens and Art Adams, the book includes all three 1987 Annuals along with a necessary bonus issue of Booster Gold, concluding a crossover between the rival champions of Metropolis.
The magic kicks off with ‘Skeeter’, a vampire shocker guest-starring Batman written by Byrne and illustrated by Art Adams. Next is a poignant updating of a 1960s classic. ‘Tears for Titano’ by Byrne and Frenz puts a modern spin on the tale of the giant ape that menaced Metropolis. Byrne has no involvement in the third tale originatiing in an Annual, as Starlin and Jurgens present ‘The Union’. Superman is asked by Ronald Reagan and super-Fed Sarge Steel to find out what happened in the instant ghost-town of Trudeau, South Dakota. This edgy sci-fi shocker shows that the new Man of Steel isn’t the guaranteed winner he used to be, and sets the scene for a momentous future confrontation with the monstrous Hfuhruhurr the Word-bringer.
Byrne’s ‘All that Glisters’ is the big battle team-up with Booster Gold, with Jurgens presenting the conclusion solo in ‘Blind Obsession’. That’s followed by the magical retelling of another classic Wayne Boring Superman tale. ‘Lost Love’ by Byrne recounts the tragic tale of Clark Kent’s brief affair with the mysterious Lori Lemaris, a unique girl he twice – that’s right – loved and lost. The volume concludes with ‘The Ghost of Superman’ feauturing the eerie Silver Banshee in a mystery team-up that we won’t spoil for you.
These are magically gripping and memorable comic gems that can be enjoyed over and over again. So the sooner you get these books the sooner you can start the thrill ride. Alternatively, buy it in the newer hardback Superman: The Man of Steel Vol. 3 combined with the previous paperback. More joy awaits in the paperback Volume Seven.