Steve Mollmann wrote:
For a story that has mass appeal, The Death of Superman has tons of goofy, unexplained things from the 1990s continuity: Matrix Supergirl, the War Worlders, Jimmy Olsen dressed as a Turtle, Bloodwynd, Redhead Australian Luthor. I can't imagine what Theoretical Casual Buyer thought of it.
I was that buyer! The Death of Superman got me into comics in the first place when I was a kid. I had no idea what was going on, but I loved every minute of it. Of course, later on, I started to pick stuff up like why Lex Luther was generally liked by everybody and had red hair and a beard.
Hey, me too, sorta. The Death of Superman collection was--to the best of my memory--my first DC comic.
I liked it a lot.
They explain the Supergirl and Luthor things in the book, iirc (at the least, it was clear that Luthor was being viewed as Luthor's illegitimate son but legal heir). Bloodwynd was just kind of a weird mystery that had little impact (SPOILER: it's the Martian Manhunter.)
I think Doomsday's completely unexplained presence was what bothered me the most about it. They did eventually explain it, though, so be careful what you wish for, because that shit was ridiculous.
In any event, the big draw for Death of Superman was two titans punching each other till they both died. That wasn't too hard to get, and was very well-executed.
For what it's worth, I'll take the Matrix Supergirl over the Loeb/Turner/Benes/Churchill/Kelly abortion that came later. Kara Zor-El is a better concept, but I am convinced that is the worst run of comic books DC has ever published. I've never read Cry For Justice, Rise of Arsenal, or Countdown, but I honestly can't imagine them being more inept than the Batman/Superman arc and Supergirl Vol. 3. Heck, I might take the Matrix book over the current Supergirl series, but that jury's still out.
For fun, can anyone think of any comic book character more consistently given to utterly incompetent creatives than Kara Zor-El? Not even Cass Cain or X-family characters, I'd bet.
P.S.: This isn't directly related but Panic in the Sky: also fantastic. Best Brainiac story ever, with the worst rendition of Brainiac ever.