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  1. #1
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    Default When Words Collide - Apr 22, 2013

    In this week's installment of WHEN WORDS COLLIDE, Timothy Callahan looks at Mike Mignola, Roger Stern and P. Craig Russell's "Superman" #23, the issue following the end of John Byrne's run on the Man of Steel.


    Full article here.

  2. #2

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    I was a huge fan of Byrne at the time and have a similar story, in that Byrne's Superman is what solidified my love of the character, after Donner and Reeve did the initial wooing. I remember when Mike Mignola did fill-in art on number 18 of Byrne's "Superman" run (the "Return To Krypton" issue co-starring Hawkman and Hawkwoman). I was disappointed that Byrne wasn't doing the art and this weird guy with funky shapes and faces was suddenly drawing my comic book. Then when Mignola drew the first post-Byrne issue, I was afraid that we'd see more of his art. Luckily, Kerry Gammill came onboard shortly thereafter and eased my narrow mind (no slight against Gammill, who I thought was excellent and still do).

    Funny thing is, when I go back and look at this run, while I still enjoy Byrne's issues, my favorites are number 18 and this issue, as well as the "World of Krypton" mini-series, which Mignola also drew. They really are fantastic-looking comics and, along with "Cosmic Odyssey", solidified my love for Mignola. In fact, I even prefer his art back then to the (still incredible) super minimalist work he does now.

    Looking back, it actually makes me a little sad now that we didn't get a good, long run of Superman comics drawn my Mike Mignola.

  3. #3
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    Gotta agree with everything Matt said.

    Just want to add that the post-Byrne issues did more to justify that horrid ending to his run than anything Byrne attempted to do in the actual comic. At the time (I was a young teenager) I was furious when I read the comic. It seemed to be saying that Superman had to kill someone in order to form a code against killing, an idea which I found to be preposterous. I had to keep in mind that DC approved the publication of that story because it seemed to me like Byrne did the whole thing out of spite.

    But as I said, the post-Byrne issues of Superman and Adventures of Superman (Action was "weakly" at the time IIRC) saved the whole story. Instead of ignoring it (although they seemed to be doing so at the time), the incident became fodder for the eventual "Exile" storyline that's still one of my favorite extended Superman storylines.

    I'm glad DC is finally back to publishing this era of Superman again in TPB as the "Man of Steel" series. I know they have plans for an 8th volume that will finally reprint the criminally overlooked and underrated Action Comics #600 by Byrne and Perez. I really hope they complete the entire Byrne run of Superman after that... so they can get to the REALLY GOOD stuff.

  4. #4
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    And I'm with Matt and Mike - I love to look back at the Mignola stuff, and enjoyed hugely the post-Byrne years; I could not accept that Superman would simply execute the (admittedly vile and deadly) Kryptonians - he'd find another way to take them off the table.
    Comic bletherings by me at: http://dangermart.blogspot.com/

  5. #5

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    And here I come from the wrong side of the tracks. I disagree with much of the article and, while I did not read the Superman "murder" issues at the time, I actually agree with what I recall about the story. Superman was the only other living being and so he was justified in being judge, jury, and executioner to those responsible for that state.

    As for the Mignola art, blech. That stuff is hideous.
    Please pardon any aggressive auto-correct feature typos.

  6. #6

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    To each his own, west3man. That's why I love comics. There are so many different art styles out there that there's something for everyone's taste.

    I also loved the exploration of the aftermath of Superman's execution of the criminals. That it caused such a huge schism in his psyche showed very strongly why he cannot do that. His mind rejected the very idea of it. Heady stuff and extremely well done.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Halteman View Post
    To each his own, west3man. That's why I love comics. There are so many different art styles out there that there's something for everyone's taste.

    I also loved the exploration of the aftermath of Superman's execution of the criminals. That it caused such a huge schism in his psyche showed very strongly why he cannot do that. His mind rejected the very idea of it. Heady stuff and extremely well done.
    I think that only shows that that's what the writer wanted to happen. If it made sense and seemed natural I buy it more. So as someone more familiar with the story than I am, and let me ask you: did he ever say what he should've done instead?

    Because of all he said was the ever popular "there's always another way," that's a cop-out.
    Please pardon any aggressive auto-correct feature typos.

  8. #8

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    I believe I do remember reading that Byrne intended to follow up on the effects of his actions, but he left in a huff before he could do so. He and Roger Stern were and still remain friends, so many of the elements that made it into those subsequent stories originated with Byrne, I think.

    That was such a great time to be a Superman fan, with Kerry Gammill, Jerry Ordway, George Perez and Dan Jurgens on art. I even liked Jon Bogdanove's stuff, though I know he was polarizing. It all got a little out-of-hand once the "Death of Superman" story came into play, but that was a fun few years, for sure.

    I sure wish DC knew what the hell to do with Superman these days. I have hopes that "Superman Unchained" and "Batman Superman" (a title which irks me - Superman should be first!) can get things back on track.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by west3man View Post
    I think that only shows that that's what the writer wanted to happen. If it made sense and seemed natural I buy it more. So as someone more familiar with the story than I am, and let me ask you: did he ever say what he should've done instead?

    Because of all he said was the ever popular "there's always another way," that's a cop-out.
    Interesting question. It's been too long since I've read them, so I don't recall, but you've given me a reason to dig them out and find an answer to your question, for which I thank you!

    But I don't know, it seemed natural to me. His mind created a separate and distinct persona in order to compartmentalize his guilt at what he had done. That seems like it has a basis in psychology, from what I understand.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Halteman View Post
    Interesting question. It's been too long since I've read them, so I don't recall, but you've given me a reason to dig them out and find an answer to your question, for which I thank you!
    Ha! Awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Halteman View Post
    But I don't know, it seemed natural to me. His mind created a separate and distinct persona in order to compartmentalize his guilt at what he had done. That seems like it has a basis in psychology, from what I understand.
    I'm sure. But a man like Superman doing what had to be done should not respond to that with what amounts to a mental breakdown. For all the people who complain that Superman has cried too many times over the years, it seems to me that this is much worse.
    Please pardon any aggressive auto-correct feature typos.

  11. #11

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    I can see that. But I also saw it as a necessary journey for him to take, culminating in the excellent "Action Comics" annual in which he stated, definitively, to Mongul that he does not kill. I actually think that having his moral code override practicality said more about his character than anything else.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike H. View Post
    I'm glad DC is finally back to publishing this era of Superman again in TPB as the "Man of Steel" series. I know they have plans for an 8th volume that will finally reprint the criminally overlooked and underrated Action Comics #600 by Byrne and Perez. I really hope they complete the entire Byrne run of Superman after that... so they can get to the REALLY GOOD stuff.
    While I am glad this line is continuing, don't forget Action 600 appeared in George Perez's Wonder Woman: Beauty and the Beasts :)

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