Hello Superfans! Welcome to another week of sensational Superman themed action and adventure, all wrapped up in a neat, nifty lil’ multimedia package.
This week sees our first foray into the Triangle Era of Superman lore. What’s the Triangle Era you ask? I’m happy to explain! It goes like this:
In the early 90’s, starting with Superman #51 (available on DCU), each of the core (or main) Superman titles began to be published with a number inside a small triangle on the cover of every issue that denoted the issue’s place in the current year’s narrative in the Superman line.
So, Superman #51’s triangle reads “1991: 1”, which clearly indicates that narratively speaking, it was 1991’s first Superman book amongst the core Superman titles. This continued in the other two core Superman books of the time, Action Comics and The Adventures of Superman.
In May of 1991, Superman: The Man of Steel debuted and became the fourth ongoing core Superman title, with a triangle number that read “1991: 19”, meaning it was the 19th book of 1991 in the ongoing, now weekly narrative that ran through the core Superman titles.
1995 would see the debut of a fifth ongoing core Superman title, Superman: The Man of Tomorrow. Published on a quarterly basis and with a “1995: 28” triangle, it was the 28th Superman starring single issue in the Superman line in 1995. This title existed to fill in for months that featured five weeks, so that there would never be a Skip Week (a week where no issue of an ongoing Superman starring title was released).
Superman: The Man of Tomorrow ended in 1999, while the Triangle Era ended in November of 2001 with Action Comics #785, cover dated January 2002 and featuring a “2002: 4” notation in the Superman S-shield, which replaced the triangle in 2000.
While the triangle/S-shield notation was no longer on the covers of the core Superman titles from 2002 forward, the four books (Action Comics, The Adventures of Superman , Superman and Superman: The Man of Steel) did still occasionally crossover with each other, before eventually maintaining their own seperate narratives on a constant basis.
It wasn’t necessary to read every issue of the core Superman titles during the Triangle Era, as the books didn’t always intermingle with each other.
You could read Action Comics on its own just fine, and while you would miss out on what happened in the other core Superbooks, you could still enjoy each issue of Action (or whichever Superbook was your choice) and what they offered just fine.
Superman material that usually was not (but on rare occassions could be) part of the Triangle Era included one-shots, Annuals, and mini-series and ongoing titles in the Superman line that starred characters other than Superman. For example, titles such as Guardians of Metropolis, Steel, Superboy, Superboy and the Ravers and Supergirl.
So…lengthy (but hopefully understandable) history lesson aside, let’s FINALLY get into this week’s offerings, which are as follows:
“Panic in the Sky!”, one of the first major storylines of the Triangle Era, which takes place in:
-Action Comics (1938-2011) #674 (prologue)
-Superman: The Man of Steel (1991-2003) #9 (part 1)
-Superman (1986-2006) #65 (part 2)
-The Adventures of Superman (1987-2006) #488 (part 3)
-Action Comics #675 (part 4)
-Superman: The Man of Steel #10 (part 5)
-Superman #66 (part 6)
-The Adventures of Superman #489 (epilogue)
-Justice League Unlimited, Season 1, Episode 24: Panic in the Sky
-JLU S1, E25: Divided We Fall (concludes the story from the previous episode)
Bonus Watch: Adventures of Superman, Season 2 Episode 12: Panic in the Sky
Is Panic in the Sky your first Triangle Era Superman story or have you read other material from this period (The Death and Return of Superman arguably being the most famous story of the Triangle Era)?
How do you compare the comic version of PITS to its pseudo-adaptation in Justice League Unlimited?
That’s it for this week. A really fun 8 issue story featuring Superman and a host of other characters (including Deathstroke and Mister Miracle!) taking a stand against Brainiac, paired with two superb episodes of Justice League Unlimited that also feature Superman and other characters teaming up against Brainiac.
The Bonus Watch episode of Adventures of Superman isn’t necessary, its just a freebie thrown in due to its title.
Take flight and enjoy fans! I hope you have fun with this week’s selections =)