COLLECTED EDITIONS – SUPERMAN/DOOMSDAY: THE COLLECTED EDITION (2006)

Superman/Doomsday: The Collected Edition (2006)

Release Date: June 7, 2006
Page Count: 416
Reprints: Superman/Doomsday Hunter/Prey #1-3, Doomsday Annual #1, Superman: The Doomsday Wars #1-3, Adventures of Superman #594, Superman #175

There is a black cicle on the cover of this book with copy that reads, “The sequel to the best-selling DC Comics story of all time…The Death of Superman!” And that’s mostly true. This book does reprint Superman/Doomsday Hunter/Prey, which was a sequel to The Death of Superman. But, it reprints a whole lot more and at the time it came out was a fantastic value with a selling price of $19.99

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COLLECTED EDITIONS – SUPERMAN/DOOMSDAY HUNTER/PREY (1995)

Superman/Doomsday Hunter/Prey

Release Date: August 10, 1995
Page Count: 160
Reprints: Superman/Doomsday Hunter/Prey Issues 1-3

Here’s where I do my obligatory “things were different in the nineties and collected editions weren’t as common and the fact that this series got a collected edition was a big deal” spiel because I love sounding old.

(Did I mention that I used to wear an onion on my belt?)

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SUPERMAN/DOOMSDAY HUNTER/PREY WEEK DAY THREE – ACTION FIGURES

In 1995 Kenner toys began releasing a series of action figures and vehicles under the name Superman: The Man of Steel. It was an amazing line of figures that was both surprising and not surprising. Suprising in that Superman got a line of figures based on the comics and not an animated series. Not surprising because the Superman books were incredibly popular at the time.

It also had a great television commericial.

I’m not being ironic when I say, “Don’t mess with the S!” is a great catch phrase for a ninties era action figure line.

The line featured both single figures and two-packs, and one of those two-packs contained the very first Doomsday action figure paired with a Superman figure in the Hunter/Prey suit.

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SUPERMAN/DOOMSDAY HUNTER/PREY WEEK DAY 2 – THE MERCHANDISE

In the last post I went on and on about how big of a deal Superman/Doomsday Hunter/Prey was in 1994. Now, I will fully cop to the fact that I am extremely biased when it comes to the story, but I can make an actual case for how big of a deal it was based on the merchandise that was released based on the mini-series.

To quote Spaceballs, “Merchandise. Where the real money from the movie is made!”

One piece of that merchandise was the Superman/Doomsday Hunter/Prey poster featuring art by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding.

The image above is a screenshot from the 2016 Superman: The Return of Superman trade paperback. The text calls it a Return of Superman poster, but as the solictation I posted yesterday shows it was tied to Hunter/Prey. I bought this poster back in 1995 but it got lost in my move from Pennsylvania to Georgia. Thankfully eBay is a thing and I managed to get one for a reasonable price a few years ago.

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SUPERMAN/DOOMSDAY HUNTER/PREY WEEK DAY ONE – PREVIEWS

1994 was a big comic book year for Superman. A new iteration of Bizarro made his first and last appearance. Action Comics hit issue 700, which was part of a storyline that started out as The Battle for Metropolis and ended as The Fall of Metropolis. He was also part of a crossover with Milestone Media called Worlds Collide that also included Steel and Superboy. HE was also part of the Zero Hour event the zero month issues that followed featured a new villain named Conduit and that was followed by the Dead Again storyline.

As big as all of those stories were I would argue the biggest event for Superman in 1994 was the three issue, prestige format mini-series Superman/Doomsday Hunter/Prey.

Doomsday is a complicated character. Not in terms of intellect or motivation. Those are pretty straight forward. It’s his position in the history of comics in general and Superman comics in particular that make him kind of tricky. Ask five Superman fans what they think of Doomsday and chances are you’ll get give different answers. Some readers think that he served a singular purpose (kill Superman) and didn’t see the need for him to ever make another appearance. Some readers think that he got overexposed. Some think that he, along with characters like Bane and Venom, is an example of the excesses of nineties comic book culture. Some readers just dig him.

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HOUSE AD – SUPERMAN/DOOMSDAY HUNTER/PREY

Like most things from 30 years ago I can’t really describe how excited I was for this series.

Superman/Doomsday Hunter/Prey was a big deal. This was the rematch. Supermana and Doomsday killed each other and now they are facing off again. On top of that, this was going to be a prestige format series, which was the Cadillac of comic books at the time. Towards the end of the nineties that format kind of got out of control and it became more common, but in 1994 if the series had that thick cover that was square bound that could, if you wanted to, be placed on a bookshelf you knew you were dealing with something that was special.

(For those of you that are buying these books now, DO NOT put them on your bookshelf. Bagging and boarding is recommended. I had my prestige format books on the bookshelf for decades and something weird has happened to the covers. I don’t know if having them on the bookshelf was the cause, but the covers have a strange texture now. It could be that would just happen anyway, but I’m kind of leaning towards the idea that keeping them exposed to the air had something to do with that.)

Starting on Monday I am going to be posting all of the Hunter/Prey solicitations and ads that I have scanned, which will be a lot of fun. Revisting how DC marketed this event will just remind me of how much I was looking forward to it back in 1994.

Oh…fun fact about the ad posted above. DC released a large promo poster of it to comic shops. It was double sided. The other side was the promo for Action Comics #700.

So I had to find two.

There was also a window cling for comic shops.

DC was hardcore about this series.

More to follow…

REIGN OF TOMORROW – STEEL

When I started putting this post together my original plan was to begin by writing, “Next to Gangbuster, Steel is my favorite Superman Supporting Hero,” but I ditched that early because it’s wrong on a number of levels.

The reason for the self-editing was the term “supporting hero” should only apply to those characters that ran around in the Superman books but never got their own titles. I love Gangbuster to death, but for whatever reason he never broke out on his own, which is a shame. He deserved it, but it just didn’t happen. So, while I hold both Gangbuster and Steel in high esteem, Steel is on a whole other level.

During the Superboy entry of this series I proposed that there are certain characters that belong to the era they were created during and that trying to update them or bring them into a more modern era doesn’t work. I cited the Conner Kent version of Superboy and The Eradicator as examples of this. Pull them out of the late eighties and nineties era of Superman and they don’t work as well. You can make the square pegs fit into a round hole, but it takes some doing.

Steel is the opposite of this. While it is true that his original origin stems from the Death and Return of Superman the underlying idea of why he became a hero is universal.

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REIGN OF TOMORROW – SUPERBOY

Superboy is a prime example of a comic book character that only works in the era and contintuity where they were created.

I’m not talking about adaptations, like the Young Justice animated series. I’m talking this version of Superboy specifically because he was brought back into the mainstream DC continuity a few years ago and I’m not sure that works.

Full disclosure…I loved this Superboy from the moment I “met” him in the pages of Adventures of Superman #501. (I am aware his first appearance was in Adventures of Superman #500, but it was a very brief first appearance, so the next issue is where I officially met the character.) Yes, his costume was and is very nineties and I thought that back in the nineties when things were suppoed to be very nineties. He had that teenaged attitude that was so popular at the time. He had interesting and colorful villains. He had a great supporting cast. Yeah, his relationship with Tana was always problematic but that was more socially acceptable at the time so it didn’t seem like a big deal.

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REIGN OF TOMORROW – SUPERGIRL

I’ve come to realize that my feelings about Supergirl in the Reign of Tomorrow era are complicated.

On one hand, I think it’s unfair that both Steel and Superboy got their own ongoing series when Supergirl only got a four issue mini-series. It feels unfair, especially when you consider that she pre-dated both of those characters. Surely she deserved an ongoing too.

On the other hand, I’m not sure that the character had that “hook” to justify an ongoing. I don’t blame the character. At all, but both Steel and Superboy had concepts that lent themselves to an extended series. Supergirl wasn’t there yet, at least as she stood after Reign of the Supermen, so a mini-series probably seemed like a better move for her at that time.

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