Now, this is MINE favorite Superman list. My all-favorite top 20 Man of Steel stories. Do you agree? Do you disagree?
20.SUPERMAN #140 "The Son of Bizarro" by Otto Binder (text), Wayne Boring (pencils), Stan Kaye (inks)
Best and most funny Bizarro tale ever! Also featuring a Bizarro Supergirl, an hilarious glimpse on Bizarro World and much other!
19.ACTION COMICS #1 by Jerry Siegel (text) and Joe Shuster (drawings)
Not only because it all started here. ACTION COMICS #1 is ACTUALLY a good read, rich in perception of human feelings, a tipycal feature of Siegel's writing. Tell the truth, didn't you identify yourselves in the poor Clark dumped by cruel Lois....at least one time in your life?
18.SUPERMAN #53 "The Origin of Superman" by Bill Finger (text) Wayne Boring (pencils) Stan Kaye (inks)
The canonical tale about Supes' origins.
17.SUPERMAN ANNUAL #11 by Alan Moore (text) and Dave Gibbons (art)
I know, I know, it would have been better if I had put this story in the top 5. It's clearly a masterpiece. But its dark, almost decadent, tone it's not what I exactly expect from a Superman story (okay, in the New 52 DCU dark tones are predominating, influencing also the other media, see the problematic Superman of "Man of Steel" movie, but this doesn't mean I must like them!).
Anyway, an highly recommended story.
16.SUPERMAN ELSEWORLDS: "Red Son" by Mark Millar (text) Dave Johnson, Kilian Punkett (pencils) Andrew Robinson and Walden Wong (inks)
The best Superman imaginary tale (they call them "Elseworlds" today) of our times! What if Kal-El's rocket ship had landed in the URSS and NOT in Kansas? What if Superman had grown up as a staunch Communist??? A great, funny, and well-written tale to be read and re-read again.
15.SUPERMAN #126: "The Luthor & Brainiac Team" by Ed Hamilton (text), Curt Swan (pencils), Stan Kaye (inks)
The first team-up between Superman's ach-enemies. The outcome of the battle is debated: Superman escapes destruction but Luthor & Brainiac escape free. The last panel with Superman thanking the citizens of Kandor for their sacrifice is a favorite.
14.SUPERMAN #147: "The legion of Super-Villains" by Jerry Siegel (text), Curt Swan (pencils) Sheldon Moldoff (inks)
I love Lighting Lord. Period.
This is a great tale featuring Superman, Lex Luthor, the Legion of Super-Villains and the Legion of Super-Heroes!!! What do you want more?
13.ACTION COMICS #18 (vol.2): "Superman against the Demon of Dimension 5th" by Grant Morrison (text) and Rag Morales (art)
Masterpiece. Almost each panel has a Silver Age connection. A great tribute to the eternity of Superman's mythos.
12.SUPERMAN #164: "The Showdown between Luthor and Superman" by Ed Hamilton (text), Curt Swan (pencils) and George Klein (inks)
Superman and Luthor are fighting each other au pair. Stripped from his superpowers on a Red Sun planet Superman finds himself in deep shit, while Luthor uses his genius to make himself loved by the primitive inhabitants of the planet.
I think Hamilton offers a great clue here: maybe the evilness of Luthor is a result of Kal-El's super-presence on Earth?
I hope to see the planet Lexor, first appearing in this tale, in modern Superman issues too.
11.DC ONE MILLION SERIES by Grant Morrison (text) Val Semeiks (pencils) and Prentis Rollins (inks)
Another great Morrison's tribute to Superman, his world and his never-ending appeal.
10.SUPREME #52A "The Return of Darius Dax" by Alan Moore (text), J.Morrigan and Norm Rapmund (art)
Whaaaaat? A non-Superman story in the top ten of a Superman's best titles list?
Wake up! THIS IS a Superman story. One of the best Superman sagas ever told, indeed. And it is also a DECLARATION OF WAR. A declaration of war against the "Marvelization" of Superman, against Byrne's masked "great power with great responsibilities" cliché, against the "realism" in Superman's stories.
And it is also an ACT OF LOVE toward Superman, his world, his crazy fantastic approach to reality and a proof that Superman CAN BE WRITTEN today, too. The Silver Age had provided a whole universe to draw new ideas from; an universe than is far more funny than reality :)
9.ACTION COMICS #775 "What's so funny about Truth, Justice, and the American Way?" by Joe Kelly (text), Doug Mahnke and Lee Bermejo (art)
It's more about philosophy than action or adventure. It's the tale of Superman against the Elite, a super group symbolizing all the violent, pitiless and inhuman super-leagues of modern times (the Authority etc...).
Don't worry, Kal-El gives them a good old fashioned whoop-ass!
8.SUPERMAN #162 "The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue" by Leo Dorfman (text), Curt Swan (pencils), George Klein (inks)
Unforgettable and super-funny.
Plus, Superman (well, at least one of the two! :)) marries Lana and I'm a big Lana fan.
7.ACTION COMICS AND ACTION COMICS ANNUAL: "Superman: Last Son" by Geoff Johns & Richard Donner (text) and Adam Kubert (drawings)
Superman against general Zod....again! But this time Kal teams up with Luthor, and there is a son to deal with. Masterpiece.
6.SUPERMAN #137: "The two faces of Superman" by Jerry Siegel (text), Curt Swan (pencils) and John Forte (inks)
See the review below.
5.SUPERMAN #149 "The Death of Superman" by Jerry Siegel (text), Curt Swan (pencils) and Sheldon Moldoff (inks)
Best imaginary tale. And it crushes the '90s story-arc about the Death of Superman.
4.SUPERMAN #156: "The Last Days of Superman" by Ed Hamilton (text), Curt Swan (pencils), Stan Kaye (inks)
Not a hoax! Not a dream! But real!
3.ALL STAR SUMPERMAN by Grant Morrison (text) and Frank Quitely (art)
A moving, entertaining, inspiring textbook example of how Silver Age Superman never dies. And he's still the best.
2.SUPERMAN'S RETURN TO KRYPTON by Jerry Siegel (text) and Curt Swan (art)
When I bought this volume, I read Curt Swan's version of the classic "Superman's return to Krypton" first appearing in Superman #141. The daily strips version is much better, primarily because Swan depicted Superman's feelings with much more efficiency and pathos than Boring.
The story is terrific. The relation between Kal and Lyla Lerrol is so intense! And for the first time, Superman feels himself loved not as a "Super" but as a "Man"
1.SUPERMAN #423 AND ACTION COMICS #583: "Whatever happened to the Man of Tomorrow" by Alan Moore (text), Curt Swan (pencils), Pérez and Schaffenberg (inks)
The definiteve LAST Story of Silver Age's Superman. A great Alan Moore masterpiece.
Maybe somebody would be surprised by the absence of Byrne's "Man of Steel", or Loeb's "Superman for all seasons", and other celebrated stories.
Well, you've guessed it, I'm a fan of Silver Age Superman and I strongly believe with Moore and Morrison, than Superman belongs to the realm of fantasy and dreams, and that Silver Age-like tales can be still narrated today. "All Star Superman", and other titles offer a good proof of that.
What I don't like of Byrne and post-Crisis Superman in general is the attempt to put Superman in a context as much realistic as possible. This killed a lot of features of Superman's world (Supergirl, LITERALLY killed, then resurrected, the bottle city of Kandor, the most bizarre superpowers etc...) and in doing so greatly restrained the character's possibilities.
This is all, folks!