"The Greatest Stories Ever Told Vol. 2" - Mania.com

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  • Story and Art By: Various
  • Publisher: DC Comics

"The Greatest Stories Ever Told Vol. 2"

By Tim Janson     April 02, 2007

Superman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told - Volume 2
© N/A

The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told volume two is out, containing nine stories from throughout Superman's long and colorful history. Are these truly the greatest Superman stories? Probably not. The real goal of the DC editors seemed to be to select one story from each decade as opposed to honestly giving readers the best stories. It's more a decade-by-decade sampler of Superman. Good stories no doubt but you could find better I'd argue.  

The first story seems to be included more for its historical significance rather than its greatness. "The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk" was originally presented in Superman #30 from 1944 and features Superman's first encounter with the troublesome imp from the 5th dimension. Mxyztplk is presented as a cartoon-like character, content to play practical jokes and far removed from the most sinister personality of the modern day character.  

"Superman's Other Life" from Superman #132, 1959 presents an interesting "what if" story. Batman feeds all data about Superman into a super-computer called the Univac (which sounds more like Hoover's latest model...) and Superman can visually see how his life might have been if Krypton had not exploded and he was sent to Earth. It's actually an interesting story though hindered by Wayne Boring's art who I never much cared for due to his blocky character appearances.  

Superman #141 gives us "The Team of Luthor and Brainiac" a pedestrian title for sure but a solid story written by popular Sci-Fi author Edmond Hamilton. Includes early Curt Swan art.  

I'd say my favorite story in the book is "The Secret Revealed" from Superman #2 (2nd series) by John Byrne. Luthor is delving into Clark Kent's mysterious past and goes so far as to kidnap and torture Lana Lang. When all his data is processed by computer it reveals that Clark Kent is Superman. Luthor refuses to believe this as he thinks no person could hold such power without abusing it. A truly chilling look at Luthor's twisted personality.  

Jonathan Kent is the true star of "Life After Death" from Superman 500. As Jonathan fights for life in a hospital, his spirit travels far and wide to try and return his son to life after being killed in the battle with Doomsday.  

These aren't the greatest Superman stories ever but then again, ask a hundred people to give you their top Superman stories and you'd get a hundred different answers. Most of the stories are very good, a few are exceptional, and a few are ordinary. Great cover by Alex Ross!


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