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The Comic Book That Defines Superman

Superman Adventures was a comic set within the universe of Superman: The Animated Series, similar to The Batman Adventures. Starting in 1996, Superman Adventures managed to tell stories for six years and sixty-six issues about Superman and the characters who surrounded him. There is one issue in particular, though, that defines Superman in a very unusual way.

Over its six-year run, Superman Adventures managed to get top quality writers and artists, beginning with Scott McCloud (later famous for writing Understanding Comics) and Paul Dini (who was one of the main writers for the DC Animated Universe). However, starting with issue #21, the comic was written by one Mark Millar, who later became famous for writing comics such as Wanted, Kick-Ass, and The Authority.


Yes, that Mark Millar, the Mark Millar who wrote cynical and extremely violent comics wrote the kid-friendly Superman Adventures for a time. And he also wrote the very best issue of the series, issue #41, “22 Stories in a Single Bound.” Each page was a different story, illustrated by a different artist. And they all looked at Superman and Superman’s world through different eyes, from perennial damsel-not-in-distress Lois Lane...

...to Captain of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit Maggie Sawyer...


...to persistence thorn in Superman’s side Mister Mxysptlk....


...to even the perfect imperfect duplicate of Superman, Bizarro.


Each is a snapshot of the characters that make up Superman’s world, each one contributing to the bigger picture of Superman himself, a symbol of hope and optimism. Something that has never been symbolized better than the very last page of the issue:


This is how I like to define Superman: not by who he is, but by what he does and how he inspires others. Even the villains in this issue are inspired by Superman, if only to try and, well, kill Superman. Each page a story itself, each a view into how a character sees not only Superman, but how they see themselves in relation to him, like planets, each revolving around a bright sun.

This is how you define Superman.

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