You all voted, now here, as part of our celebration of Superman and Lois Lane’s 80th Anniversary, are the results of what you chose as the 40 Greatest Superman Stories!
30. “The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman!” (Superman #164)
Likely the first notable example of the “humanize Luthor” trope that we have seen a number of great examples of over the years. Here, Edmond Hamilton, Curt Swan and George Klein bring us a battle between Luthor and Superman on a planet where Superman’s powers do not work. Surprisingly, Luthor ends up becoming a hero to the people on this planet, allowing us to see another side to the mad genius and, for the first time, get the repeated idea of “If there was no Superman around for him to attack, would Luthor actually be a good guy?”
They really did a heck of a job with Luthor around this time. And Curt Swan’s art is, of course, amazing.
29. “Superman Under the Red Sun!” (Action Comics #300)
Edmond Hamilton and Al Plastino delivered this stunning look at Superman trapped in the future when the Earth is now orbiting a red sun. He then has to find a way back home with very limited resources and no powers. He teams up with an android built to look like Perry White. They then travel through the world on their way to Superman’s last shot – his fortress of solitude! There are many obstacles along the way, however, and, again, Superman has no powers! He even grows a beard! It is amazing to see such a venerated science fiction writer like Hamilton adapt his craft to Superman so well. Man, the late 1950s/early 1960s was really a Golden Age for Superman stories.
28. “Brainiac” Action Comics #866-870 (2008)
Geoff Johns, Gary Frank and Jon Sibal re-introduced the villainous Brainiac by making him a greater threat than ever before. Check out how Superman reacts to the REAL Brainiac in this bit from Action Comics #868…
Superman takes on Brainiac but things are so tough that he is unable to prevent a tragedy that hits him very close to home. A powerful story that set up DC’s New Krypton storyline.
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