So I’ve been switching between reading John Byrne’s Superman run from the late 80s and I’m also reading golden age Superman. Here’s what I’ve been going off of for the golden age for those interested: http://dcuguide.com/w/Superman_(Clark_Kent)_(Golden_Age)_Chronology
I’ve absolutely loved both of these. Obviously they are much different, but it’s interesting how the Byrne run has a lot of the spirit of the golden age run in it (despise it being a different Superman).
I think current Superman writers can learn a lot by reading these versions. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been getting Superman in floppies for the last 5 years or so straight and have mostly enjoyed it. The Bendis run has been the best of it all.
But for the last 10 to 20 years of Superman, it seems to be all Krypton all the time. Everything is epic, everything is about Superman finding his roots.
The stuff I’m reading on the DCU is not about that, and it’s just flat out better. In the current Byrne stuff I’m reading there was just a 4 issue arc in Adventures of Superman about Lex Luther’s involvement in a kid gang in Suicide Slum (Metropolis’ version of Crime Alley). It was fantastic to read! But it didn’t require Superman going up against god-like aliens from Krypton.
I highly recommend both of these eras. If you have a tough time with golden age material then do the Byrne run. If you like the golden age sensibilities, Action Comics is among the best golden age I’ve ever read.