Best Superman Comics

Best Superman Comics

 

Superman is one of the most iconic comic book characters of all time. He's been around for over 80 years and has appeared in countless comics. But which ones are the best?

Whether you're looking for an origin story, a classic tale, or something more modern, we've got you covered in our picks for the best Superman comics of all time. 

So settle in and get ready to fly high with the Man of Steel!

 

Superman #53

Key Comic Facts

Issue #53 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “The Origin of Superman”. It has a cover date of July-August 1948. 

Superman's birth father makes his first appearance here as "Jor-El". However, the Golden Age version of the character was later retconned to be named "Jor-L", in keeping with Superman's original name, Kal-L.

Who created it?

It was written by Bill Finger; pencils by Wayne Boring, ink by Stan Kaye. It was edited by Whitney Ellsworth.

What happens inside the pages?

"The Origin of Superman"

After a prologue which demonstrates Superman's amazing abilities, his origin is recounted. On the scientifically advanced planet of Krypton, Jor-El fails to convince the Council of Five that Krypton is doomed. As Krypton explodes, Jor-El and Lara send their son to Earth, where he is found and adopted by the elderly Kents. As Clark grows to maturity he manifests abilities far beyond that of mortal men. On his deathbed, his father urges Clark to become a powerful force for good as Superman

"The Oracle From Metropolis"

Professor Grog accidentally sends Superman and mechanic Mike Mooney back to ancient Egypt. The cynical Mooney tries to come up with ways to make money off of the Delphic Oracle, but Superman teaches him not to scoff at things he doesn't understand.

"A Job For Superhombre"

A nuclear device intended to explode in outer space has fallen into the ocean, and Aquaman has only three hours to get it to Pierce Island for disarming before it explodes and destroys all sea life with radioactive contamination. Using his finny friends to get past the obstacles, Aquaman conveys the device to its destination just under the deadline.

What’s it worth?

The top quality book for Superman #53 is a 9.4 issue, sold for $1,554 in May 2009, after increasing its $995 price from 2005. A 6.0 copy had a price of $800 as of January 2016; and a 2.0 book was valued at $200 in April 2004. These last two copies have only been sold once at auction.

 

Superman #654


Key Comic Facts

Issue #654 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “On Our Special Day”. It has a cover date of September 2006. 

This is the earliest chronological appearance of the Science Police. Presumably this hi-tech unit of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit is a precursor to the science based law-enforcement personnel that are active in the 31st century.

Who created it?

It was written by Kurt Busiek; pencils by Carlos Pacheco, ink by Jesús Merino, and colour by Dave Stewart. It was edited by Nachie Castro and Matt Idelson.

What happens inside the pages?

"On Our Special Day"

Superman and the Technology Squad defeat Neutron, who is planting energy globes. At the Daily Planet, Perry assigns Clark two important stories and many crappy ones. Clark tries to cover them, plus lunch with Lois, but is interrupted by more teams planting globes. He writes up notes and misses lunch. Realizing the globes are duplicating Mannheim's pulse, he finds a huge Mannheim. He takes his catastrosphere but Mannheim teleports away. Clark finally goes home, too late to file stories, but Lois finished them based on his notes. They celebrate the 12th anniversary since their first flight.

What’s it worth?

There aren’t any recorded auction sales for an issue of Superman #654.

 

Action Comics #1

Key Comic Facts

Issue #1 of Action Comics Vol. 1 is called “Superman, Champion of the Oppressed”. It has a cover date of June 1938. 

The first "Superman" character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster was not a hero, but a villain. Their short story "The Reign of the Superman" concerned a bald-headed villain bent on dominating the world. The story did not sell, forcing the two to preposition their character on the right side of the law. In 1935, their Superman story was again rejected by newspaper syndicates wanting to avoid lawsuits, who recognized the character as being similar to a lead character from Philip Wylie's 1930 novel. DC decided to take a chance with Superman, figuring if any lawsuits were filed, they would just drop the feature.

That revised Superman is the one that made the cut for Action Comics #1.

Who created it?

It was written, pencilled and inked by Joe Shuster, Homer Fleming, Fred Guardineer, Russell Cole, Sven Elven and Will Ely. It was edited by Vincent Sullivan.

What happens inside the pages?

Superman: "The Coming of Superman"

Superman delivers a witness to the governor to stop an execution, then stops a wife-beater. Later Superman, as Clark Kent goes out with Lois, but she earns the wrath of Butch Matson and Superman must save her. Finally, Clark is assigned a story on the South American republic of San Monte. He heads to Washington DC to find out who is behind Senator Barrows pushing legislation which will embroil the United States in a war in Europe by grabbing lobbyist Alex Greer and scaring the truth out of him.

Chuck Dawson: "The A-G Gang"

Church begins a vendetta aginst the crooked ranch owners who have, by fraud, acquired the range lands he inherited after his father's death.

Zatara Master Magician: "The Mystery of the Freight Train Robberies"

Zatara and Tong investigate the murders of several railroad detectives and the theft of over $200,000 in loot.

Pep Morgan: "The Light Heavyweight Championship"

When the Boxing Commission runs a dirty fight trainer out of town, he swears his revenge....against Pep.

Scoop Scanlon, Five Star Reporter: "The International Jewel Thief"

An international jewel thief arrives in America as a prisoner, but Scoop and Rusty are on hand to witness his escape with the help of his gang lying in wait.

Tex Thomson story "Murder in England"

Ken is framed for the murder of a man, and, with the help of Betty and Bobby, sets out to prove his innocence.

What’s it worth?

Action Comics #1 is considered a classic, legendary comic book, and is highly sought by collectors. The highest graded copy is a 9.0 book which sold in June 2021 for a whopping $452,000. A 5.0 book sold that same month cost even more, being valued at $528,000. Even a 1.5 copy had a price of $63,000 as of May 2011.

 

Superman #149

Key Comic Facts

Issue #149 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “The Death of Superman!”. It has a cover date of November 1961. 

“The Death of Superman!” was originally published as an imaginary story, a story outside of regular continuity. In Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Compendium, it was retconned as having happened on another Earth, (Earth-149).

Who created it?

It was written by Jerry Siegel, with pencils by Curt Swan and ink by George Klein. It was edited by Mort Weisinger.

What happens inside the pages?

"The Death of Superman!"

Lex Luthor discovers a cure for cancer and with the help of Superman he is paroled from prison, but then reveals that he was only pretending to be good and kills Superman. After he succeeds, Superman is buried and Supergirl brings Lex Luthor to justice.

What’s it worth?

Only a 3.5 copy of Superman #149 has been sold at auction. The sale was in May 2020, and it was valued at $43.

 

Superman #4

Key Comic Facts

Issue #4 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “Superman versus Luthor”. It has a cover date of February 1940. 

This issue features the first time Clark Kent works for the Daily Planet rather than the Daily Star; this discrepancy with Earth-Two history would be used to suggest the existence of an Earth-Two-A.

Who created it?

It was written by Jerry Siegel, with pencils and ink by Paul Cassidy and Joe Shuster. It was edited by Whitney Ellsworth.

What happens inside the pages?

"Superman versus Luthor"

When Clark Kent begins to investigate a new weapon being tested by the Army that artificially causes earthquakes,he doesn’t know that Lex Luthor is hot on the trail of securing the plans for that invention, one way or the other.

"Luthor's Undersea City"

Superman faces off once again with Luthor, who first has tapped oil from oil wells all over the world for his purposes, then inundating the western coast of the U.S. when he raises a glass-enclosed city of ancient weird design from the depths.

"The Economic Enemy"

The suicide of the author of a manuscript, which states that sinister forces seek to retard this nation's return to prosperity, prods Superman to dart from place to place, averting the disasters that have been planned by these forces to disrupt vital aspects of national industries.

"Terror In the Trucker's Union"

Superman pretends to join a group of racketeers who want to control the city's truck drivers' union so that they can paralyse food distribution and demand a ransom.

What’s it worth?

The top price for Superman #4 is $2,550 for an 8.0 copy sold in September 2003. A 5.0 copy had a price of $626 as of September 2008, increasing its 2002 price of $472; and a 1.0 copy was valued at $1,100 in June 2021, slightly decreasing its $1,250 value from just a few months before.

 

Superman #15

Key Comic Facts

Issue #15 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “The Cop Who Was Ruined”. It has a cover date of April 1942. 

In Earth-Two's version of the months leading up to WWII, the Axis Powers included: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Dukalia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Napkan, Nural, Oxnalia (stand-in for Germany), Romania, Toran, Syronia, Twerpany, and others.

Neutral nations of that same era included: Boravia, Kurtavia, Numark, Portugal, San Monte, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and others. After 1941-12, many of these countries dropped from the scene.

Who created it?

It was written by Jerry Siegel, with pencils and ink by Leo Nowak and John Sikela. It was edited by Whitney Ellsworth.

What happens inside the pages?

"The Cop Who Was Ruined”

Lois and Clark stand by and seek to assist Sgt. Branigan, who was blinded during a tussel with mobsters as well as being dismissed from the Police force for accidently killing a woman while supposedly mis-using his powers as a Police officer. To make things worse, Branigan is approached by the very mobsters he fought earlier and they are demanding protection money from him for his new business.

"The Napkanese Saboteurs"

Superman discovers that Battleship Y-92 had been sabotaged by agents of the war-like nation of Napkan upon launching. He later discovers that pro-Napkan parties have been established in South America, and the enemy wishes to have more formed in Central American nations that will turn anti-American, thus allowing Napkan to openly invade the United States without opposition.

"The Oxnalian Revolution"

Superman heads to Europe to assist the democratic nation of Numark against the war-like attacks being made on it by Oxnalia, saving Numark's young Prince as well as bringing about peace between the two nations.

"The Evolution King"

Superman must battle the Evolution King, a man who has developed a way to advance or revert the ages of prominent athletes, forcing them to pay him blackmail, else he keeps them in an old and decrepit condition.

What’s it worth?

Only a handful of copies of Superman #15 have been sold at auction, with the highest rating one being a 6.0 book, sold in January 2021 for $800. The lowest quality book is a 1.5 copy, sold for $180 in November 2017.

 

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1-2

Key Comic Facts

Issue #1 and #2 of Final Crisis: Superman Beyond are called “Superman Beyond” and “To Be Continued”. They were released in October 2008 and March 2009, respectively.

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond was a limited series, only featuring two issues. This issue came with cardboard 3-D glasses, which purport to be made from fragments of Superman's cosmic armour.

Who created it?

It was written by Grant Morrison, with pencils and ink by Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Rodney Ramos, Tom Nguyen and Walden Wong. It was edited by Eddie Berganza and Adam Schlagman

What happens inside the pages?

"Final Crisis: Superman Beyond”

To save the woman he loves, Superman becomes the pawn of ultra-dimensional forces when a wounded emissary from a world of doomed super gods comes to Earth on the eve of the Final Crisis. His mission: To recruit Superman's help against an epic, reality-spanning menace that originated in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Superman joins forces with Overman (of Earth-10), Captain Marvel (of Earth-5) and Captain Adam (of Earth-4) for an interdimensional fight, so Lois Lane can be saved.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded auction sales for issue #1 or #2 of Final Crisis: Superman Beyond.


Superman Adventures #41

Key Comic Facts

Issue #41 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “22 Stories in a Single Bound”. It has a cover date of March 2000. 

This issue consists of 22 one-page stories.

Who created it?

It was written by Mark Millar, with pencils and ink by Ty Templeton, Rick Burchett, Philip Bond, Joe Staton, Craig Rousseau, Aluir Amancio, Neil Vokes, Bret Blevins, Cameron Stewart, Mike Manley, Darwyn Cooke, and more. It was edited by Jenette Kahn.

What happens inside the pages?

“Page One”

Short introduction to the life of Superman.

“Power Trip”

Darkseid has given Intergang a solar disruptor that boosts the sun's powers. It also boosts Superman's hearing, driving him mad. He eventually located Intergang's base because its members were lippy.

“What would you do if you were Superman”

Angela Chen interviews several people "on the street" about what they would do if they had Superman's powers, ending with Clark Kent, who'd love to take a shot at flying.

“A Week in the Life of Lois Lane”

A review of Lois' week: getting saved by Superman, getting saved by Superman, getting saved by Superman, getting saved by Superman, getting saved by Superman, getting saved by Superman, and when finding him not around, dealing with a would-be robber herself.

“The Pest From the Fifth Dimension”

Mxy interrupts Clark Kent's interview with Professor Hamilton to pester his favourite subject. Clark gets rid of him by playing back his recorder, thus causing Mxy to say his name backwards.

“Business as Usual”

Mercy takes Lex through his schedule for the day. He finishes it in a minute, and takes the rest of the day to make up a plan to get revenge on Superman.

“All in a Day's Work”

Captain Sawyer oversees the arrest of Metallo, earning her the gratitude of Superman.

“Sign Here”

A wrong comment about Superman causes Lobo to bust up an alien bar.

“Mr. Action”

Jimmy finds himself cornered in an alley, and decides to take his attackers on. They spot Superman overseeing the scene, and all take a dive.

“Ninety Days Later”

Mxy returns, but feels quite intimidated by the Dark Knight.

“Supergirl's Secret Emergency Weapon”

Kara has to clean up her room, but feels little like it. She decides to fly around as Supergirl, and aids a farmer whose truck was stuck. upon returning, she finds Superman has already cleaned her room.

“Life According to Darkseid”

Darkseid oversees his realm, but is not pleased as long as Superman still lives.

“The Toyman's Christmas List”

In prison, Toyman writes his wish list to Santa, and makes up plans for revenge along the way.

“Weird Science”

Hamilton is busy all day working on an invention. His assistants wonder what it is, but are less than thrilled with the big reveal: it's mint flavoring for the office coffee machine.

“Another Ninety Days Later”

Mxy returns, hurling Kryptonite at the Man of Steel. Superman dodges all the rocks, and manages to spell out Mxy's name backwards in the ground.

“Blackout”

Parasite has absorbed electric powers, and is ready to take on Superman. However, a downpour short-circuits him.

“Bibbo versus Brainiac”

Brainiac seemingly destroys Metropolis, kills Lois and also Superman - but it turns out it's an arcade game played by Bibbo - who's…

Game Over.

“Scoop of the Century”

At the Planet, Jimmy thinks of scoops that could make his career as a reporter. He dismisses them all, including his craziest - discovering Superman's identity. He tosses away a paper, yet among the blurbs on the picture, were also glasses drawn on Superman's face.

“Metallo's Rampage”

Superman stops Metallo - before they are attacked by lions. However, they are merely actors in a movie, and are saved by the real Superman.

“Yet Another Ninety Days Later”

Rather than travelling to Metropolis, Mxy transports Superman to the Fifth dimension, thinking to have finally outsmarted him. However, Superman simply says his own name backwards twice and poofs back to the real world.

“Hero of Bizarro's World”

Bizarro witnesses a volcanic eruption on his planet. He picks up his pet Krypto, and does nothing else. Flying over the rubble, he remarks that everything looks okay to him.

“While You Were Sleeping”

All Metropolis' citizens are asleep, and have their dreams: Lois dreams of becoming Superwoman, Jimmy of being editor-in-chief of the Planet, Bibbo turns out te be quite happy with what he already has, Luthor dreams of defeating Superman, and Clark Kent... is gone. Superman doesn't sleep.

What’s it worth?

Not a single issue of Superman Adventures #41 has been sold at auction.


Superman #247

Key Comic Facts

Issue #247 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “Must There Be a Superman?”. It has a cover date of January 1972. 

The Guardians of the Universe show Superman a playback of his speech to the people of the planet Kalyarna, as originally depicted in Justice League of America #86.

Who created it?

It was written by Elliot S. Maggin, with pencils by Curt Swan and ink by Murphy Anderson. It was edited by Julius Schwartz.

What happens inside the pages?

Superman: “Must There Be a Superman?”

The Guardians of the Universe tell Superman that his actions may be impeding the progress of the human race. While Superman considers what they said, he gets involved in the problems in a migrant camp.

The Private Life of Clark Kent: “When on Earth”

Clark Kent learns that a WGBS receptionist's kid brother is running with a teenage gang. He confronts the youths without changing into Superman, to give young Bick a chance to change his course, and succeeds.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded auction sales for issue #247 of Superman.

 

Forever People #1

Key Comic Facts

Issue #1 of Forever People Vol. 1 is called “In Search of a Dream!”. It has a cover date of December 1970. 

The events from this issue take place prior to the introduction of Jack Kirby's Fourth World mythos in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #133.

Who created it?

It was written and edited by Jack Kirby, with pencils by Jack Kirby and Al Plastino, ink by Vince Colletta and lettering by John Costanza. 

What happens inside the pages?

Forever People: “In Search of a Dream!”

Superman learns of the existence of the Forever People and their quest to free Beautiful Dreamer from Darkseid, who’s holding her hostage. After the fight, Superman asks to join them in Supertown, but he finally decides to stay on Earth to defend it against Darkseid.

What’s it worth?

Only two copies of Forever People #1 have been sold at auction, both being 9.4 rated books, with prices of $56 and $120 in their July 2005 and February 2013 sales, respectively.

 

Superman #164

Key Comic Facts

Issue #164 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman!”. It has a cover date of October 1963. 

Who created it?

It was written by Edmond Hamilton, with pencils by Curt Swan and Al Plastino, and ink by George Klein and Al Plastino. It was edited by Mort Weisinger.

What happens inside the pages?

Superman: “The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman”

When Luthor escapes from jail, he challenges Superman to meet him in a fair fight without his super powers. The two head to a desert-like world where they brawl until Superman knocks out the villain. Luthor retaliates by using secret weapons hidden in his shirt pocket. While Superman struggles to survive, Luthor meets the few remaining inhabitants of the planet and becomes their hero when he reactivates their scientific machines and temporarily solves their water shortage problem. But Superman finds Luthor, defeats him in combat, and returns him to prison on Earth, after providing the people of the planet with sufficient water on which to survive.

Superman: "The Fugitive From the Phantom Zone!"

Superman is called to stop the accidental detonation of a nuclear missile. He diverts it into space where Ras-Krom, a Phantom Zone villain, is freed by the force of the blast. Ras-Krom set out to cause a larger nuclear war to blast free the rest of the Phantom Zone criminals; but is deterred by Superman. 

What’s it worth?

There’s only one price for issue #164 of Superman. It belongs to a 7.0 copy, sold once in June 2003 for only $30.

 

The Man of Steel #1

Key Comic Facts

Issue #1 of The Man of Steel Vol. 1 is called “From Out the Green Dawn”. It has a cover date of October 1986. 

The Man of Steel was a six-issue limited series published on a bi-weekly basis from October until December of 1986. The series reimagined the origin of Superman and provided a snapshot of the events that first inspired him to become the Man of Steel. This series represents the first official appearance of the Post-Crisis Superman and ignores the continuity presented in previous works.

Who created it?

It was written and pencilled by John Byrne, with ink by Dick Giordano and colour by Al Tom Ziuko. It was edited by Andrew Helfer.

What happens inside the pages?

“Prologue: From Out the Green Dawn...”

Lara and Jor-El discuss their unborn son, and how Jor-El intends to protect him. As Krypton begins its final eruptions, Jor-El sends Kal-El to Earth.

“Chapter One: The Secret”

Clark Kent is now a star football player, helped by additional strength. But his foster father reveals that he is adopted and is an alien from another planet.

“Chapter Two: The Exposure”

After helping out secretly for years, Clark Kent is forced into doing his first public super-deed, saving the space-plane Constitution. In doing so, he has his first meeting with Lois Lane.

“Epilogue: The Super-Hero”

The Kents design and make a costume for Clark, and come up with a way for him to look different in both identities as he adopts his Superman identity.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded auction sales of issue #1 of The Man of Steel.


Superman: Speeding Bullets

Key Comic Facts

Superman: Speeding Bullets is a one-shot that was released with a cover date of November 1993.

This was the first of two similarly themed Elseworlds books where a DC hero supplants himself into the role of another hero. The other book being Batman: In Darkest Knight.

Who created it?

It was written by J.M. DeMatteis, with pencils and ink by Eduardo Barreto. It was edited by Mike Carlin.

What happens inside the pages?

“Superman: Speeding Bullets”

In this Elseworlds tale, Thomas and Martha Wayne find Baby Kal-El's rocket and raise the boy as their own until they are brutally murdered. Bruce goes on to become a super-powered Batman.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded auction sales for Superman:Speeding Bullets.


Action Comics #800

Key Comic Facts

Issue #800 of Action Comics Vol. 1 is called “A Hero's Journey”. It has a cover date of April 2003. 

This story is reprinted in Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman: The Deluxe Edition.

Who created it?

It was written by Joe Kelly, pencilled by Pascal Ferry, Duncan Rouleau, Alex Ross, Tony Harris, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave Bullock, Ed McGuinness, J.H. Williams III, Dan Jurgens, Klaus Janson, Kilian Plunkett, Jim Lee, Tim Sale and Lee Bermejo; inked by Cam Smith, Marlo Alquiza, Scott Hanna and Duncan Rouleau; and edited by Tom Palmer Jr. and Eddie Berganza.

What happens inside the pages?

"A Hero’s Journey"

In a mix of different flashback sequences, we see who inspired Superman to be a hero, and what an inspiration Superman is for other people.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded auction sales for Action Comics #800.

 

Superman #199

Key Comic Facts

Issue #199 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “Superman's Race With the Flash!”. It has a cover date of August 1967. 

The race is said to take place on Saturday, June 10th, making it 1967.

Who created it?

It was written by Jim Shooter, with pencils by Curt Swan, and ink by George Klein. It was edited by Mort Weisinger.

What happens inside the pages?

Superman: “Superman's Race With the Flash!”

The UN Secretary asks the Flash and Superman to race to raise funds. This, however, starts a large amount of betting, even between continents. The race finishes with a tie, as planned by Superman and Flash to prevent any of the gangs winning their bets.

What’s it worth?

The top price for Superman #199 is $189, the value of an 8.5 copy sold in July 2007. A 5.5 book had a February 2018 price of $68; and a 3.0 book was sold in June 2020 for $52.

 

Superman: Secret Origin #1

Key Comic Facts

Issue #1 of Superman: Secret Origin Vol. 1 is called “The Boy of Steel”. It has a cover date of November 2009. 

The crises faced by Krypton, according to the rocket, were Brainiac's skull ship, General Zod and his two assistants, and Doomsday.

Who created it?

It was written by Geoff Johns; with pencils by Gary Frank, and ink by Jon Sibal. It was edited by Matt Idelson and Wil Moss.

What happens inside the pages?

"The Boy of Steel"

Young Clark plays a pick-up game of football with his young friends. Pete tackles him, but breaks his arm in the process. Clark blames himself, but later in school Pete thinks it's no big deal. Clark's x-ray vision kicks in for the first time, and he freaks out. Lana tracks him down to comfort him; she's known he's got special abilities since he stopped a thresher that almost hurt her. She gives him a kiss, which causes his heat vision to kick in for the first time, igniting a banner, and setting off the sprinklers.

At home, Clark discusses with his parents what's wrong with him, and they finally take him out to the barn, and for the first time show him the rocket they found him in. When he touches it, it activates, and holograms of his real parents appear, and explain some about who he is. He tries to deny it, striking out with his fists and heat vision, finally running off, wanting to be just Clark. Lex Luthor runs off from his home, and finds a green, glowing rock in a field. Clark gets glasses made from his rocket, as that should prevent any more heat vision problems.

Later he and Lana attend the county fair, where Clark meets Lex, who has a booth selling books. Lex shows Clark the green rock, but Clark collapses, causing Lex to drop it, breaking the container and cutting Lex. But then a tornado kicks up, and Lana is dragged into it. Clark runs after her, and for the first time flies after her, although uncontrollably. After they crash in a river, Lana thanks him again with a kiss. After telling his folks what happened, Ma tires of fixing his clothes, and decides to use the blankets he was found in to make a tough uniform, one that honors his other-worldly heritage. When she finishes, Clark tries it on, revealed as Superboy.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded sales for Superman: Secret Origin #1.

 

Superman #76

Key Comic Facts

Issue #76 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “The Mightiest Team in the World”. It has a cover date of March 1952. 

Because the Earth-Two versions of Superman, Batman, and Robin knew each other from their membership in the Justice Society of America, "The Mightiest Team in the World" is regarded as the first appearance of the Earth-One versions of Batman and Robin, because they are portrayed here as meeting Superman for the first time.

Who created it?

It was written by Edmond Hamilton; with pencils by Curt Swan, and ink by Stan Kaye and John Fischetti. It was edited by Mort Weisinger.

What happens inside the pages?

"The Mightiest Team in the World!"

Superman and Batman learn each other's secret i.d.'s when they meet on a cruise while trying to find a diamond thief.

"The Misfit Manhunter!"

Young Joe Harris always wanted to be a G-Man, but his physical defects prevent him from being one...until Superman unwittingly gives Joe a chance to hold several non G-Man positions. Unfortunately, Frosty Harris and his gang plan to use Joe's physical liabilities against him in order to commit crimes.

"Mrs. Superman!"

Lois gets the bright idea of arranging an engagement for Clark Kent to a girl friend of hers, all in hopes of then being able to marry Superman. But the Man of Steel learns of the plan and arranges a scheme to de-rail that attempt.

What’s it worth?

The highest rated book of Superman #76 is an 8.5 copy, sold for $900 as of April 2016. A 6.0 copy had a price of $375 as of April 2007; and a 3.0 was sold for $435 in December 2017.


Superman Annual #11

Key Comic Facts

Issue #11 of Superman Annual Vol. 1 is called “For the Man Who Has Everything...”. It has a cover date of June 1985. 

Already well-received upon release, this issue became particularly renowned among Superman stories as Alan Moore himself grew to prominence

Who created it?

It was written by Alan Moore; with pencils and ink by Dave Gibbons and colour by Tom Ziuko. It was edited by Julius Schwartz and E. Nelson Bridwell.

What happens inside the pages?

"For the Man Who Has Everything..."

Wonder Woman, Batman, and Robin arrive at the Fortress of Solitude to celebrate Superman's birthday, but find him under the thrall of a flower called the Black Mercy, a gift from Mongul. Under its control, Superman experiences his greatest desire, life on an unexploded Krypton. While Wonder Woman fights with Mongul, Batman and Robin remove the flower from Superman, and after it briefly attaches to Batman, Robin puts it on Mongul, trapping him in dreams of his own greatest desire.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded sales for Superman Annual #11.


The Legacy of Superman #1

Key Comic Facts

The one-shot The Legacy of Superman Vol. 1 is called “The Guardians of Metropolis!”. It has a cover date of February 1993. 

This one-shot issue is an unofficial Funeral for a Friend tie-in.

"The Guardians of Metropolis!" and "Funeral Pyres!" were reprinted in the World Without a Superman trade paperback. The complete issue is reprinted in the Superman: Funeral for a Friend trade paperback.

Who created it?

It was written by Karl Kesel; with pencils and ink by Walt Simonson and colour by Glenn Whitmore. It was edited by Mike Carlin and Jennifer Frank.

What happens inside the pages?

“The Guardians of Metropolis!"

The scientists have finally translated the DNA of Superman into human terms. Westfield immediately demands the data, but the scientists are reluctant to give him the info right away. If Westfield is so eager to "protect" Metropolis, Guardian proposes the simple solution of cloning him. Westfield takes Guardian to see Carl Packard's latest creation, Auron.

Auron is the second clone of Jim Harper, who has super-strength, indestructible alloy metallic skin, and is solar powered with a jetpack that is cybernetically linked with his mind. Westfield orders Auron to get the DNA data disk, but the Newsboy Legion, spying upon the whole scene, makes off with the disk with Auron in hot pursuit. Dubbilex gives Auron a psychic blast that slows him down a little, but he catches up to the boys. The boys convince Auron that a part of him is Jim Harper.

Auron retrieves the disk and downloads its data within his memory. Westfield demands the disk back, but Auron destroys it, claiming that vital information like that should not be in careless hands. Auron flies off into space, angering Westfield and proving that clones of Jim Harper could get the job done.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded sales for The Legacy of Superman.

 

Action Comics #775

Key Comic Facts

Issue #775 of Action Comics Vol. 1 is called “What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, & the American Way?”. It has a cover date of March 2001. 

DC's 14th animated feature film "Superman vs. The Elite" released in June 2012 is based on this issue.

Who created it?

It was written by Joe Kelly, pencilled by Doug Mahnke and Lee Bermejo; inked by José Marzan Jr., Wade Von Grawbadger, Wayne Faucher; with colour by Rob Schwager and edited by Tom Palmer Jr. and Eddie Berganza.

What happens inside the pages?

"What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, & the American Way?"

A new group of superhumans appears in the scene, with more violent solutions for the problems. Now Superman must demonstrate which is the correct way to stop the villains.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded auction sales for Action Comics #775.


Superman #423

Key Comic Facts

Issue #423 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”. It has a cover date of September 1986. 

This is the final issue of the series under its original print run. The numbering sequence continues as Adventures of Superman (Volume 1). In 2006, the series reverted back to its original title beginning with issue #650.

Who created it?

It was written by Alan Moore, with pencils by Curt Swan and ink by George Perez. It was edited by Julius Schwartz.

What happens inside the pages?

“Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”

Tim Crane interviews Lois Elliot -- the former Lois Lane -- about the final days of Superman on the tenth anniversary of his disappearance. Lois relates how Bizarro suddenly became murderous before taking his own life with blue kryptonite, then the Toyman and the Prankster attacked Superman revealing his secret identity as Clark Kent, and finally a group of Metallos attacked the Daily Planet.

In response, Superman took his closest friends to the Fortress of Solitude for protection. Meanwhile, Brainiac took over Luthor's body and recruited the Kryptonite Man, while the Legion of Super-Heroes - accompanied by Supergirl - visited Superman and presented him with a statuette.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded auction sales for issue #423 of Superman.


Action Comics #554

Key Comic Facts

Issue #554 of Action Comics Vol. 1 is called "If Superman Didn't Exist...". It has a cover date of April 1984. 

This story is reprinted in Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman: The Deluxe Edition.

Who created it?

It was written by Marv Wolfman, pencilled and inked by Gil Kane; with colour by Anthony Tollin. It was edited by Julius Schwartz and E. Nelson Bridwell

What happens inside the pages?

"If Superman Didn't Exist..."

Superman's destruction of the ancient temple, created by aliens in prehistoric times, creates an alternate timeline in which humans have no violent tendencies and are easily conquered by the aliens. In response, two children imagine Superman coming into existence to defend them--and he does.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded auction sales for Action Comics #554.

 

Action Comics #484

Key Comic Facts

Issue #484 of Action Comics Vol. 1 is called "Superman Takes a Wife!". It has a cover date of March 1978. 

The Mechanical Marauders appearing in this issue are very similar to the robots in "The Mechanical Monsters", an episode from Superman's 1940 cartoons.

Who created it?

It was written by Cary Bates, pencilled by Curt Swan, inked by Joe Giella; with colour by Tatjana Wood. It was edited by Julius Schwartz.

What happens inside the pages?

"Superman Takes a Wife"

On Earth-2 in the 1950's, Colonel Future teams with The Wizard to make Superman cease to exist. Clark Kent, with no memory of his career as Superman, continues the fight against crime as a crusading reporter. His new-found boldness attracts the attention of Lois, and they marry. But it also attracts the attention of Captain Future's gang, and they try to eliminate him.

When Clark doesn't even realise an attempt has been made on his life, Lois begins to suspect again that he is Superman. She seeks out the Wizard, who though now living as a bum, had previously claimed to be responsible for Superman's disappearance. The Wizard restores Superman, who sends The Wizard's wand into space, resumes his career as Superman, and re-affirms his marriage vows with Lois in a Kryptonian ceremony at his secret citadel in the mountains near Metropolis.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded auction sales for Action Comics #484.

 

Adventures of Superman Annual #1

Key Comic Facts

Issue #1 of Adventures of Superman Annual Vol. 1 is called “The Union”. It has a cover date of September 1987. 

This issue was reprinted in Superman: The Man of Steel Vol. 6.

Superman battles the Word-Bringer again in Adventures of Superman #452.

Who created it?

It was written by Jim Starlin, pencilled by Dan Jurgens and inked by Steve Montano, with colour by Tom Ziuko. It was edited by Mike Carlin.

What happens inside the pages?

“The Union”

Superman is sent to Trudeau, South Dakota by the President to investigate the mysterious disappearance of all its citizens. Superman is unable to detect even the smallest forms of life in the town until a giant gelatinous blob emerges from the sewers and attempts to subdue him. Easily defeated, the blob quickly retreats to the sewers as Superman attempts to follow.

While in the sewers Superman is attacked by the sewer pipes and allows himself to be captured in order to discover who is behind all these strange occurrences in this town. Dragged far below the surface by the sewer pipes, Superman is brought before the alien Word-Bringer. The Word-Bringer admits to killing all the inhabitants of Trudeau in order to release them from their "doomed sacks of flesh" and granting them union, creating a hive mind and granting himself great telekinetic powers.

Unimpressed, Superman battles the Word-Bringer, but the alien manages to escape when he realises he cannot defeat an angered Superman.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded auction sales for issue #1 of Adventures of Superman Annual.


Adventures of Superman #2

Key Comic Facts

Issue #2 of Adventures of Superman Vol. 1 is called “Going the Gauntlet”. It has a cover date of February 1987. 

This issue is actually issue #425. The Adventures of Superman series continued the numbering sequence from the cancelled title Superman (Volume 1) with issue #424 in January of 1987. The series ran on a monthly schedule until April of 2006. With issue #650, the series resumed its original title, Superman.

Who created it?

It was written by Marv Wolfman, pencilled and inked by Jerry Ordway, with colour by Glenn Whitmore. It was edited by Andrew Hefner.

What happens inside the pages?

“Going the Gauntlet”

Professor Hamilton uses his invention on Superman to prove that it works, but threatens innocent people in the process.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded auction sales for issue #2 (#425) of Adventures of Superman.


Action Comics #8

Key Comic Facts

Issue #8 of Action Comics Vol. 1 is called “Superman in the Slums”. It has a cover date of January 1939. 

This early issue of Action Comics has a rare non-Superman front cover. At this point, only two out of eight covers have actually featured Superman.

Who created it?

It was written by Jerry Siegel, and pencilled and inked by Joe Shuster and Paul Lauretta. It was edited by Vincent Sullivan.

What happens inside the pages?

Superman: "Gimpy the Fence"

Superman decides to get involved in a case involving wayward boys being used by a petty criminal, who uses the boys to steal items from wealthy people that he can sell for quick cash....all at their expense.

Chuck Dawson: "The 4-G Gang (Part 8 of 14)"

Chuck recovers from being abandoned in a ditch.

Pep Morgan: "The Inter-Ski Tournament"

Pep and Dick prepare for the ski tournament.

Marco Polo: "The Adventures of Marco Polo (Part VIII of XVII)"

Marco fights bandits that have taken the inn.

Tex Thomson: "Dr. Kichung's Apes (Part 1 of 2)"

Tex fights some ape-men.

Scoop Scanlon: "The Marijuana Farmers"

Scoop and Rusty discover some farmers planting some illegal cultives.

What’s it worth?

The highest price for a copy of Action Comics #8 is $6,400 for a 7.5 copy, sold in December 2016. A 3.0 book sold in September 2020 for $1,920; and a 0.5 copy had a $3,585 price as of August 2015.

 

Superman #18

Key Comic Facts

Issue #18 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “The Conquest of a City”. It has a cover date of October 1942. 

On Earth-Two Clark Kent worked at the Daily Star under George Taylor while Perry White remained a reporter and Superman fought a red haired Luthor. However, there was a close hypertime reality (Earth-Two-A) which regularly interacted with Earth-Two resulting in distortions such as (but not limited to) Clark Kent working for the Daily Planet under editor Perry White and/or Superman fighting a bald Luthor.

Who created it?

It was written by Jerry Siegel, with pencils and ink by Leo Nowak, Ed Dobrotka and John Sikela. It was edited by Whitney Ellsworth.

What happens inside the pages?

"The Conquest of a City"

Carl Bland, attorney, pitches the idea of a mock invasion to the municipal officials of Metropolis, and persuades the Daily Planet to cover the story. It turns out to be a real invasion, with Nazi soldiers and live ammunition. Superman intervenes. Afterward, the public is more alert.

"The Heat Horror"

When an astronomer discovers the existence of a strange meteorite, Superman correctly guesses that it has something to do with the terrible heat wave engulfing Metropolis.

"The Man With the Cane"

When editor White decides to take his first vacation in years, he appoints Lois to take his place, and her first order is to assign Clark to the love-lorn column. This assignment, however, leads the Man of Tomorrow into a case of intrigue and murder, as a mysterious man with a cane attempts to wrest secret plans for a tank-plane away from a young inventor.

"The Snake"

When a miner dies of a mysterious snake bite, Superman disguises himself as a miner and secures work at the mine in hopes of uncovering the person responsible.

What’s it worth?

The highest price for a copy of Superman #18 belongs to a 9.0 book, valued at $1,554 as of August 2016. In August 2012, a 5.5 copy was sold for $360; and a 2.0 copy had a price of $202 as of May 2009.


New Adventures of Superboy #38

Key Comic Facts

Issue #38 of New Adventures of Superboy Vol. 2 is called “The Day That Lasted Forever!". It has a cover date of November 1982. 

The history crosses over with Superman #380 and continues in Superman #381.

Who created it?

It was written by Paul Kupperberg, with pencils and ink by Kurt Schaffenberger, with colour by Jerry Serpe. It was edited by Julius Schwartz and E. Nelson Bridwell.

What happens inside the pages?

“The Day That Lasted Forever!”

Superboy has an encounter with Lex Luthor in Smallville, after which he conceives a way to get his mind back into his adult body..

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded auction sales for issue #38 of New Adventures of Superboy.

 

Superman #156

Key Comic Facts

Issue #156 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “The Last Days of Superman!”. It has a cover date of October 1962. 

The Last Days of Superman! is the Earth-One re-telling of an identically titled Earth-Two story from Superman #66. Both stories have a shard of Kryptonite in Jimmy's camera; both stories give Superman one month to live; both stories have a rogue planet that is smashed into another; both stories begin with an image of Superman writing his last will and testament (as he also does Action Comics #364) and both stories have the exact same epitaph carved in the moon, which disclosed Superman's secret identity.

Who created it?

It was written by Edmond Hamilton, with pencils by Curt Swan and ink by George Klein. It was edited by Mort Weisinger.

What happens inside the pages?

“The Last Days of Superman”

A Kryptonian artefact containing samples of Virus X crashes on Earth, and though Superman drives it deep underground with a huge boulder, he appears to have been exposed to the virus, which kills Kryptonians in 30 days. As Superman lies near death, Supergirl recruits Superman's allies to help perform all the great tasks Superman planned to do before he died to secure the safe future of Earth.

After Superman says his final good-byes, Supergirl discovers that Superman was not exposed to Virus X, and Mon-El is finally able to make contact from the Phantom Zone to reveal the real cause of Superman's distress.

What’s it worth?

There are only two prices for issue #156 of Superman. They’re for 5.0 and 4.0 rated books, sold at $14 and $11 in September 2015 and October 2006, respectively.


Superman #400

Key Comic Facts

Issue #400 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “The Living Legends of Superman: Chapter One”. It has a cover date of October 1984. 

The Exile at the Edge of Eternity is reprinted in The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told; and The Living Legends of Superman: Chapter Three was reprinted in Superman: A Celebration of 75 Years.

Who created it?

It was written by Elliot Maggin, with pencils and ink by Joe Orlando, Al Williamson,, Frank Miller,, Marshall Rogers, Terry Austin, Wendy Pini, Michael W. Kaluta, Kelly Alder, Klaus Janson, Jim Steranko. It was edited by Julius Schwartz.

What happens inside the pages?

“Part One”

Superman, flying through space in memory of perished Krypton, battles a blob of energy that flings him into the 60th Century, in which Superman is almost a myth and a place is symbolically left for him at dinner tables on Miracle Monday.

“Part Two”

In the far future, Doc Homer tells a story of being rescued when he was a young astronaut by a very old Superman.

“Part Three”

In the future, Dr. Noah Mandell finds a copy of the Earth-Prime Superman TV show and discovers what Superman's secret identity was.

“Part Four”

In the year 2491, Konrad Glumm finds Superman's old costume and sparks the Christmas Rebellion of 2491 that leads to the return of democracy to Earth.

“Part Five”

Two college professors in the far future debate if Superman even existed.

“Part Six”

In the far future, Aron and Josif play an advanced virtual reality video game that allows them to be Superman and Jimmy Olsen.

“Part Seven”

In the 60th century, Superman has become almost a religion. After an accident in the present, Superman is thrown into the future to witness what his legacy will be.

“The Exile At the Edge of Eternity”

The history of the Human race, and the children of Superman, as they spread out among the stars.

What’s it worth?

There are no recorded auction sales for issue #400 of Superman.

 

Superman #2

Key Comic Facts

Issue #2 of Superman Vol. 1 is called “The Redemption of Larry Trent”. It has a cover date of September 1939. 

This issue is reprinted in Superman Archives, Volume 1 and Superman Chronicles, Volume 2.

Who created it?

It was written by Jerry Siegel, with pencils and ink by Paul Cassidy and Joe Shuster. It was edited by Vincent Sullivan.

What happens inside the pages?

"The Redemption of Larry Trent"

Superman saves the former heavyweight boxing champion of the world from committing suicide. When Superman learns that Larry Trent was drugged by his former manager to lose the title bout, the Man of Tomorrow disguises himself as Trent and slugs his way back to the title match, in which Trent himself steps in and wins.

"Superman Champions Universal Peace"

Clark Kent is assigned to interview Professor Runyan, who claims to have invented a gas so powerful that it can penetrate any type of gas mask. A group of criminals successfully steal the formula, wishing to sell it to a munitions manufacturer so it can be used in the civil war in Boravia.

"Superman and the Skyscrapers"

After five construction workers mysteriously die while trying to erect the Atlas Building, Superman decides to investigate, and discovers that Nat Grayson wants to prevent Bruce Constructions, Inc. from completing the building in the time required in the contract, thus eliminating his rival competitor.

What’s it worth?

The highest rating copy of Superman #2 is an 8.5 book, sold for $2,550 in October 2003. However, the top price is for a 7.0 issue, sold for $8,700 in May 2020. The lowest quality book is a 0.5 copy, sold in July 2017 for $245.

 

There have been many great Superman comics over the years, but the list presented here is a good starting point for anyone looking to get into the world of the Man of Steel. 

These comics explore different aspects of Superman’s character and his world, giving readers a well-rounded view of one of the most popular superheroes ever created. 

Whether you’re just getting interested in Superman or you’ve been following him for years, these comics are definitely worth your time.