This was a fantastic read. The story itself held my interest greatly, but the author’s work on combining all the different parts of the story, from 4 or 5 different lines of comic books, was excellent. The Death and Life of Superman was first written in the early 90s and spanned across several comic book series, including Action Comics, Superman, and Superman: The Man of Steel. Roger Stern took all of these stories and put them together to form a complete tale that read like a novel from start to finish.
The only disappointing thing about this book, to me, was the use of all the exclamation points. Especially in the dialog. It seemed that every time one of the characters talked to someone, they had to end the sentence in an exclamation point. This bodes well in the comic book world, and I assume that is likely where it originated with this story, but I was hoping for more of an adult story. Don’t get the wrong, the story was quite interesting and held my attention, but all-in-all I want a true novel to read instead of a comic book or graphic novel. This is true of all of the comic mass market paperbacks that I will read and review on this blog.
On that subject, I wish that I could find more comic book novels of this sort. For a while, about 5-10 years ago, they were writing these quite frequently, from both the DC and Marvel Universes. Today, however, you can’t find anything like this in the local comic book shops or book stores. I can find some used at Half Priced Books, but nothing new in print, not even on Amazon. I’m disappointed in this, but it won’t keep me from purchasing and collecting all the DC and Marvel Novels that were written before now, and keeping them in my collection.
I especially liked the ‘Reign of the Supermen‘ part to this book. When the story first dropped in the early 90s, I watched the comic book releases and read just a little bit about them. I knew that after the death of Superman, 4 imposters appeared on the scene, claiming to be Superman who had come back. That isn’t a correct interpretation of what really happens, and this book tells the tale of Superman’s death, the 4 Supermen who came after him, and ultimately Superman’s resurrection. Hence why the author titled the book ‘The Death and Life‘ in that order.
If you are a Superman fan, I’d recommend this book. I believe it is even out of print now, according to Amazon, but there are plenty of used copies around. I only wish there were continuations to the story that I could purchase and read.