John Byrne taught me something very important with his Man of Steel & Superverse run: Learn to Relax.
You see, I absolutely hated MoS when it was released, from the very first page (Clark Kent playing football? Sacrilege!). His parents were alive, creating a Superman who had never experienced the greatest loss of his life. I hated it. Batman and Superman as adversaries? Come on, they were the World’s Finest Friends! Lana knowing his secret identity? Ludicrous! And Lex Luthor, transformed from a mad scientist into a billionaire businessman? Appalling! (Okay, that was admittedly Marv Wolfman’s contribution. But I digress…)
I was outraged, way before the internet and outrage became a thing. It was my first full-on nerdrage.
But I kept reading. And as I did so, I found I didn’t hate things quite so much. Ma and Pa were priceless, some things were working … I wasn’t thrilled with his secret identity ‘explanation’ after Millennium, and the ‘Pocket Universe’ seemed like another multiverse waiting to happen, something Crisis had banished. But he was bringing back Supergirl, kind of…
…and then Byrne went and had Superman kill the Phantom Zone criminals. Nerdrage2: Kryptonian Boogaloo.
And then … AND THEN … John Byrne quit all of the Superman books and I was upset that he quit! Yeah, I was a bundle of emotions back in the 80s.
Eventually, I calmed down. Today, I can appreciate the Byrne run; a lot of the teamups he did in Action especially were a lot of fun. But I always carry with me the lesson I learned from his tenure: when things change in comics, give 'em a chance. Because if it doesn’t work, everything will be back to normal in a year or two.