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Author Topic: Any good story in the Jurgens era?  (Read 5069 times)
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Superman Forever
Superman Family
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« on: March 04, 2006, 02:57:41 PM »

Obviously, this site is a celebration of the Pre-Crisis version of Superman, with enphasis in the Bronze Age and the return of classic elements and ideals by Waid, Morrison, Jeph Loeb and Mark Millar (I would include Joe Kelly, but he is not included in STTA pages). However, that doesn't mean we can't enjoy stories from the Byrne or Jurgens era. Even Busiek said he likes some of them. Even if it was not a real Superman, there was stuff to be apreciated in that years.

John Byrne used the Fleischer cartoons and George Reeves series as inspiration, but got the concept all wrong. Man of Steel, is an aberration, I agree with that, but works as a Marvel super-hero origin and still have the capacity to grab new readers. For this purpose, his origin is as eficient as Birthright or Superman For All Seasons. His later stories were all villain of the week, and the supermurderer storyline in the Pocket Universe is an insult. The later (good) writers, Jurgens, Stern, Ordway and Kesel. can't be blamed for using the Byrne origins, since it was editorial mandate. In my opinion, while apreciating the material, they did a better job and tried to restore something of what was lost.

Some good stories for me:

Homeless for the Holidays

The best Christman story by Roger Stern and Dan Jurgens. It's as inspiring as any Pre-Crisis tale, we have the Erradication storyline going on, that's the low point, but the human drama is poignant. It's good actions inspiring goog actions, with good interaction of the Dialy Planet supporting cast and a nice editorial by Perry White.

Krisis of Krimson Kryptonite

Okay, Superman without powers was nothing new, but I think they did it one right. Jurgens got his best moment with Superman stoping the Fatal Five villain, and there was the marriage proposal by Jerry Ordway. They were advancing the characters relationships, and their feelings seemed very real at the time. Sadly, the marriage was just a crap story.

Metropolis Mailbag

Probably the best of Dan Jurgens stories. It remind me of The Birthday Letter episode of the George Reeves series, and the Christmans 'Round The World story from Superman in the Fourties. With people asking for personal favors, expectind Superman when he is not needed, it also remind me of Maggin. Superman realizes that, and also that he can't solve everything, but still persevere, and we have beautiful moments. The Metropolis Mailbag 2 was also good, because it showed a victim of the Dommsday attacks, who later bacame a super-hero in the Supermen of America.


Kesel work in general, and his Superboy creation and two runs on the magazine, were very fun to read. He antecipated Joe kelly in making the books with good sense of humor. He didn't make a boring marriage of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, he made it smart and passionate. It was all that Chuck Austen wanted but would never be able to do. Superboy was the best thing from the Dead and Return storylines, a very cool character, maybe dated to some now, but still more funny than John's version. The series had a nice supporting cast, lots of Kirby homages, and he really seemed a reckless teenager with superpowers. My sister is not a comic book reader, and I think she was 13 at the time, I showed her the Superboy stories by Kesel and she readed and enjoyed them. A good sign.
Genis Vell
Last Son of Krypton
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2006, 01:24:11 PM »

Good stories? Yes, I have read some of them.
In January, 1, I started to re-read the complete post-Crisis era, so I'm reading again all those stories which you mentioned.

2 premises...

1) I'm a big fan of John Byrne's run.
2) I'm a big fan of Byrne's followers (Stern, Kesel, Jurgens...) in most of their works, but with Superman things weren't so good.

There was a huge problem in those years (1988/1999): good writers and artists (not always), but a bad way to tell the stories. Do you remember how Superman was published in those years? The long, infinite crossover among the 3 (later 4) titles. When there was a good idea, it lasted for months over months. Certain sublopts where infinite. Do you remember Cerberus? First mentioned in MOS #13, defeated in MOS #13. This means that the subplot lasted for an year, 50 issues. Ouch.

But now, let's see the good stories:

- "Homeless for the holydays": one of my favorite Christmas tales. Very moving.

- "The Brainiac trilogy": one of the 2 best Brainiac stories in the post-Crisis era. Superman Vs. Brainiac's mind, Brainiac's new look... Not bad.

- "Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite": one of the best crossovers. Superman powerless, Mxyzptlk, the engagement... Good one.

- "Panic in the sky": Brainiac's other best appearance. Yes, it's a sort of videogame, but it's not bad: Supergirl returns, heroes everywhere, Superman Vs. Brainiac skull starship!

- "Crisis at hand": this is in my post-Crisis top ten. Superman Vs. domestic violence it's a good idea to me.

- "Funeral for a friend" and "Reign of the Supermen!": they're too long, but they're good stories. Part 1 of the funeral is in my top ten.

- "Swan's song": AC #700. I consider it a sort of grand finale to the first part of the post-Crisis era. Sadly, after this issue, quality will be lower than ever.

- The HUNTER/PREY miniseries: a spectaular confrontation among Superman and his killer. Better than the first one.

- The Superman Blue storyline: well, sue me. That was a good idea, but of course DC made it endure for an year. Sigh. It could be good for 7 or 8 stories... Oh, and I like "Millennium Giants", too. At least, it was funny.

Captain Marvel - Italian Earth-Prime Superman'll be a job for Superman!
Superman Emergency Squad
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2006, 06:02:19 PM »

I think a LOT of REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN was good.  Jurgens wasn't the only one, or necessarily even the primary one---but I loved the introduction of Karl Kesel's Superboy, Louise Simonson's Steel, even liked the Eradicator/Superman to a certain extent. I thought the initial Doomsday fight was pretty bad (although the follow-up, the three issue mini-series, was better)  but I really liked the way they used four viewpoints and four comics to explore how Metropolis was reacting in the wake of Superman's "death".

Al Schroeder III, former letterhack (met his wife through Julie Schwartz' lettercolumns) of MINDMISTRESS the superhero genre is mined out? Think there are no new superhero ideas?

Think again.
Defender of Kandor
Council of Wisdom
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Semper Vigilans

« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2006, 06:45:30 PM »

You know, I always felt a bit guilty for liking "Reign of the Supermen" but Al's post has suddenly revealed to me why I liked Superman!

The new Superboy, in these early days, was a fun character, as was John Henry Irons.  The other two were at least interesting.  I enjoyed watching the story play out, I now realize, because Superman was absent...and Superman is the one character the writers just never seem to get right.  With him gone, they did some fun stuff.

Once Supes did make his return, I quickly lost interest and stopped buying the books within about 3 months.

So yes, there were good stories in the Post-Crisis era: the ones without Superman!

(Well, okay, I liked Krimson Kryptonite, too...though the Mxyzptlk reveal kind of ruined it).

This looks like a job for...
Action Ace
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2006, 08:40:24 AM »

OK, "Guilty Pleasures Confession Time" here...

I actually liked the Dan Jurgens / Kevin Nowlan "Superman vs. Aliens" crossover.   :oops:

It was probably the best of these DC / Dark Horse collaborations (the second SvA story involving the New Gods is forgettable), but what I found most interesting was Jurgen's introduction of a Post-Crisis Argo City and "Kara".  The Last Daughter of Argo City (Odiline) caught my attention, and though we never learned whether this Kara would have developed superpowers when exposed to a yellow sun, she definitely proved herself as Superman's loyal "kid sister".

It's tantalizing what Jurgens might have done with this character.  He tried to tie "Superman vs. Aliens" into standard DC continuity by mentioning this incident (and including the Lexcorp space platform) in a "Superman" story shortly after "The Final Night" crossover.  Kara was supposed to be part of Jurgen's "Teen Titans" series (the team that included Argent, Risk, Joto, Prizm and a de-aged Atom), and actually appeared on a DC trading card with them.  But this idea was vetoed before Jurgen's "Teen Titans" debuted.

More intriguing are rumors that Kara was supposed to be the "new" Post-Crisis Supergirl, with a more "classic" background than Matrix.  (This seems somewhat akin to the animated Kara In-Ze's origin on Krypton's sister planet Argo.)  But instead, Peter David's proposal to merge Matrix with Linda Danvers was approved, the new "Supergirl" series was launched, and Jurgen's Kara was left aimlessly wandering in her escape pod.

Now that we have a new Kara Zor-El, chances of seeing SvA Kara again are nil.  But one can always wonder what could have been...

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