Is Superman 233 the definitive Bronze Age Superman Comic?
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The Golden Age had Action Comics 1 followed by Superman 1 drawn by the first Superman artist, Joe Shuster. Action 252 is arguably the greatest Silver Age Superman book drawn by the defining Superman artist of that era, Curt Swan. As for the Bronze Age, can anyone think of a book that better defines Superman for the 1970s more so than Neal Adams' Superman 233? 

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I'd agree with your choice. 

The storyline sets up 70s / Bronze Age Superman as being much less powerful and more vulnerable than he was in the 50s and 60s.

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Bronze Age Superman keys that have overall impact are tough IMO - it is not like the Silver Age where you get: Action 252, Action 242, Superboy 68, Adventure 247, Adventure 283 and Adventure 210.  The main competition for Superman 233 would likely be Jimmy Olsen 134 and Forever People 1 - as I think the introduction of Darkseid is pretty impactful on Superman (and the JLA) as a whole ...... but I wouldn't argue too hard against Superman 233 being THE Bronze Age book.

Edited by Chillax23
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On 2018-04-13 at 5:25 AM, Ken Aldred said:

I'd agree with your choice. 

The storyline sets up 70s / Bronze Age Superman as being much less powerful and more vulnerable than he was in the 50s and 60s.

+1

Having THE classic Adams Superman cover for the Bronze Age helps as well.

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10 hours ago, Chillax23 said:

Bronze Age Superman keys that have overall impact are tough IMO - it is not like the Silver Age where you get: Action 252, Action 242, Superboy 68, Adventure 247, Adventure 283 and Adventure 210.  The main competition for Superman 233 would likely be Jimmy Olsen 134 and Forever People 1 - as I think the introduction of Darkseid is pretty impactful on Superman (and the JLA) as a whole ...... but I wouldn't argue too hard against Superman 233 being THE Bronze Age book.

Thanks for your excellent points. One of the reasons for my starting this thread goes to your point about about Superman in the Bronze Age. Not an easy answer on its face for me. That said, I have thought to the Fourth World books and what role they played in Superman's world. My initial thought was how cool it would be for Kirby to have the major role in defining the Bronze Age Superman. Was it Jack's intent to focus on Superman? Kirby was beginning to work on his Fourth World magnum opus but the new mythology saw an unfinished end on account of Jack's vision being ahead of the times.  I'm still delighted to say that Jack's short lived world had a place for the Superman of the Bronze Age. Darkseid's legacy would grow over time and Kirby's creation would take his place among the most notorious villains in comic book history. However, the jury is still out on Olsen 134 concerning Darkseid. I'm of the opinion right now that there's a great deal of speculation surrounding Olsen 134. Forever People 1 is not an exclusive Superman book. Which took me back to the Superman titles and Neal Adams.

The corpus of Adams' early Bronze Age work is among the greatest ever achieved by a comic book artist during the 20th Century. But Neal's Superman work was never on a par with his Batman runs. With one exception for me, Superman 233. Adams did something with Superman 233 that few comic book artists had ever done. He captured the iconic essence of Superman. The imagery and power on the cover of Superman 233 was never matched by any other comic book artist during the Bronze Age. Moreover, in the current Slab-Age of the early 21st Century comic book, the focus on encapsulated covers where the term "classic" as an adjective almost always precedes the word cover (see eBay and some well known comic book dealers/auction houses) has drawn many collectors and of course, speculators, interested in acquiring the greatest covers of the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ages. For the Superman fan, especially those collecting Golden Age classic Superman covers, the Shuster, Boring, and Ray covers are the first that come to my mind. The Silver Age has it's share of classic Superman covers by Swan. 

The greatest Bronze Age classic Superman covers? Adams.

As for Superman's changing role, it's enough for me to point out what Ken mentioned about Superman 233 picking up on the DC realism that started with GL 76. Superman's powers were lessened, making Superman in one way, a more realistic hero, unlike the Superman of the preceding great comic book ages. 

Best,

john

Edited by bronze johnny
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On 4/13/2018 at 5:01 AM, bronze johnny said:

The Golden Age had Action Comics 1 followed by Superman 1 drawn by the first Superman artist, Joe Shuster. Action 252 is arguably the greatest Silver Age Superman book drawn by the defining Superman artist of that era, Curt Swan.

Fixed.

On 4/13/2018 at 5:01 AM, bronze johnny said:

As for the Bronze Age, can anyone think of a book that better defines Superman for the 1970s more so than Neal Adams' Superman 233?

Neal Adams' Superman 233? Sure, it's a nice cover, but the book is easily the defining Superman issue of the Bronze Age without it. Supergod once again becomes Superman and Clark Kent changes jobs.

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On 4/14/2018 at 2:53 PM, Lazyboy said:

 

Neal Adams' Superman 233? Sure, it's a nice cover, but the book is easily the defining Superman issue of the Bronze Age without it. Supergod once again becomes Superman and Clark Kent changes jobs.

Absolutely, the cover is mere icing on the cake. The supporting WGBS backdrop that would define Supes into the early eighties was introduced in this issue. And I for one never liked Kirby’s work on Jimmy Olsen, as it clashes with the consistent Curt Swan depiction that I loved in the seventies and still love today.

Edited by Paul_Maul
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1 hour ago, Paul_Maul said:

Definitely. It was my holy grail book that I searched for a nice copy of for years, until I found this one...

 

 

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Beautiful copy!

I was looking at the non-variant' Action Comics 1000 covers and saw that the '70s cover was done by Steranko. Now I love Steranko and he represents the best of the late 60s Marvel SA but Adams should have drawn the cover for the 70s Action Comics 1000.

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Lovey love this book. I remember reading the reprint in "Superman: From The 30's To The 70's". Saw it in the color cover gallery, was enchanted by the cover then read the story. I was under the impression he wasn't made more vulnerable but more INvulnerable when Kryptonite went inert through some "chain reaction". "All in all a tasty little snack". Here's my copy:

 

supes233sig.jpg

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