Suspended Animation

Michael Vance - Mark Allen
Michael Vance Books

The most-circulated and longest-running comics review column in America
perhaps the World!
Review Index 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - 1999 - 1998

Superman 01      Superman is an American icon.  In fact, there is probably no better-recognized fictional character in the world.  So, considering the fact that Krypton's favorite son has had at least one monthly comic published on a regular basis for about the last sixty-three years, it might be called ludicrous to attempt to pinpoint the finest Superman work EVER.

      Well, leave it to me, because I know what it is.  D.C. Comics' The Man of Steel reprints the six-issue mini-series in which writer/artist John Byrne redefined the super-powered Kryptonian for a new generation of comic-book readers. 

      Byrne took the burned-out (at least on the readers), demi-god, and turned him into a less powerful, but more three-dimensional character, with much more appealing and stimulating supporting characters and surroundings.  Gone was the near-divine "I'll move this planet off it's axis myself" power, that made every threat or villain appear a mere momentary bother, if not a joke altogether.  The new Superman, though stocked up in the brawn department, was much more of a thinking man's hero.  He had to be, as it was not unusual for Supes to have his head handed to him by a villain on the same power-level.

Superman 02      Byrne's art style was perhaps the most suitable ever for D.C.'s flagship character.  He seemed to be able to capture the strength and confidence of the character, while adding a certain fun, playful factor that Superman had not had since his inception.  The range of emotions/expressions of Byrne's characters also benefited the book, allowing quite a lot of different types of stories to be told.

      Most appealing about The Man of Steel, however, was the sense of "newness" it seemed to have.  Origin, powers, stories, cast, it all seemed very fresh.  No small task, considering the character's afore-mentioned history.

      The Man of Steel is available wherever comics are sold. Easier to store, more pleasurable to read, and cheaper in trade-paperback form.  For all ages.

      The Man of Steel, published by D.C. Comics, 152 pages, $7.50.

      Review by Mark Allen


Never miss an issue! Fill in your email address below and we will notify you every time there is a new review.

Your email address

Subscribe Unsubscribe

Worry not, we won't trade or abuse you with ads, we'll just notify you when a new column arrives.

Shudder at Michael Vance's "Light's End" audiotapes!

These exciting horror, SF, fantasy and suspense short stories narrated by legendary actor William Windom are a must for your library, and make a great gift as well.  Star of 18 Broadway plays, over a hundred TV shows (Murder She Wrote, Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Barney Miller...) and 50 movies, Windom's powerful voice will chill you to the bone! Called "Tulsa's Master of Suspense", Vance's prose will curdle your blood!

Surf to for more details and to order today!

 Questions? Comments? A comic you wish reviewed? 
Write: 1427 S. Delaware Ave., Tulsa, OK, 74104. Or email Michael Vance.