I collected most Superman and Batman titles throughout the 90s. I hardly read any of them since there just wasn't time during that phase in my life. So for the last two years I've been catching up on reading the Superman titles from that era. I got the first few issues of the second Superman series when it began in 1987, but then dropped it until Superman died in issue # 75. From that issue, dated January 1993, I collected the title until Spring of 1999. I've been able to fill most missing issues from bargain bins at comic shops.
Throughout most of the 90s fans could get weekly installments of Superman's adventures with cross-continuity across four regular titles including:
- Adventures of Superman
- Action Comics
- Superman: The Man of Steel
Right now I'm up to 1995 in my reading. Having gone from 1993 to 1995 with these four Superman titles, I've been through the Funeral For a Friend, Reign of the Supermen, Resurrection, and Dead Again story arcs. I've just finished Superman # 100 which began the "Death of Clark Kent" storyline. The Superman titles were characterized by the following features at this time:
- The engagement of Clark and Lois
- Perry & Alice White's adoption of an African-American youth
- Metropolis P.D. officers Maggy Sawyer and Dan Turpin
- Superman's mullet phase
- Comics Code approved
The creative teams included Dan Jurgens who did both story and pencils for Superman until after issue # 100 when the pencils were handed to others. Brett Breeding's inks were a nice compliment to Jurgen's pencils making them one of my favorite 90s Superman teams. This was during Superman's long-hair (or mullet) phase which lasted until about 1997. Jurgens and Breeding didn't overdo the long flowing mane thing like some others did, which in retrospect looks so ridiculous and dated.
By the mid-90s Adventures of Superman was written by Karl Kesel who did a decent job, but I was not overly impressed by the art of Immomen and Marzan. They were quite good with human anatomy, female facial features, and city scapes. But the way they drew Superman just didn't do it for me. The hair was too long and the face too weak (if that makes any sense). In the team-up issue 522, Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman are done quite well.
Action Comics had the team of Michelinie, Guice, and Rodier. The writing was okay, but the art team for this title was some of the best for this era in Superman's history. Superman's hair was a bit wild though.
Louise Simonson did the writing for Superman: The Man of Steel. The art team was Bogdanove and Janke. This title includes some of my favorite writing and least favorite art from this era.
DC will soon be paying homage to the Superman of the 90s with the series of DC Retroactive one-shots in September. One of the titles will be Superman-the 90s which reunites Simonson and Bogdanove.
I'll write more about Superman in the 90s as I continue to read through it. I'll eventually get around to the Batman titles.