Superman Confidential
Cover of Superman Confidential #1 (Nov. 2006), art by Tim Sale.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
Schedulemonthly
Publication dateJanuary 2007 - June 2008
No. of issues14 (as of April 2008)
Main character(s)Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White
Creative team
Written byDarwyn Cooke (#1-5, 11)
Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti (#6-7)
Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett (#8-10)
B. Clay Moore (#12-14)
Artist(s)Tim Sale (#1-5, 11)
Penciller(s)Koi Turnbull (#6-7)
Chris Batista (#8-10)
Phil Hester (#12-14)
Inker(s)Sandra Hope (#6-7)
Cam Smith (#8-10)
Prentice Rollins (#9-10)
Mike Norton (#11)
Ande Parks (#12-14)
Colorist(s)Richard Starkings (#1-5, 11)
Jonathan D. Smith (#6-7)
Jason Wright (#8-10)
Pete Pantazis (#12-14)

Superman Confidential was a monthly comic book series published by DC Comics. Launched on November 1, 2006, it ran for a total of 14 issues before being discontinued in April 2008. It served as a platform to explore the early years of Superman's career, shedding light on significant events and pivotal moments that shaped the character.

The primary focus of Superman Confidential was to delve into the formative experiences of the Man of Steel, showcasing his initial encounters, crucial decisions, alliances, confrontations, and the key turning points that contributed to his development as the beloved superhero he is known as today. The creative team behind the series rotated, allowing various writers and artists to bring their unique perspectives to the narrative.

One notable aspect of Superman Confidential was its placement within the newly established continuity of the character. As explained by former monthly Superman writer Kurt Busiek, these stories represented the earliest reference points in Superman's revised timeline, as the character's origin had not yet been firmly established. This gave writers the opportunity to explore different aspects of Superman's early adventures without being bound by pre-existing continuity.

While the series was ultimately canceled after 14 issues, one noteworthy unpublished story called "Man and Superman" had been completed before the cancellation. This story, which was eventually released as a 100-page comic book one-shot issue in 2019, was written by Marv Wolfman and illustrated by Claudio Castellini. It served as a retelling of Superman's origin story, offering a fresh take on the tale.

Superman Confidential provided readers with a unique window into the early years of Superman's journey, exploring untold stories and shedding light on the foundational moments that helped shape one of the most enduring superheroes in comic book history. Although the series had a relatively short run, its contributions to the Superman mythos continue to resonate with fans and enrich the overall narrative of the Man of Steel.

Plot summaries

Kryptonite

Main article: Kryptonite (story arc)

The first story arc by writer Darwyn Cooke and artist Tim Sale features Superman’s first encounter with kryptonite.[1] The story occurs in issues #1-5 and is concluded with issue #11.

The story begins in a flashback, showing Superman's rocket reaching the Earth, just as depicted in Man of Steel and Birthright, and as it does, a chunk of strange green rock breaks off. Flashing forward to the beginning of Superman's career, in Metropolis, Superman catches a tanker truck and fights the Royal Flush Gang. Seeing Superman struggle with the tanker, they attack him, severing the tank and causing an enormous explosion. Superman wonders about his own stamina and mortality, about how he is never sure if anything is going to hurt him and just what attack will kill him ultimately, landing on the android Royal Flush Gang member Ace in the form of a block of ice.

Later, in the Daily Planet building, Perry White meets with Lois Lane, Clark Kent, and Jimmy Olsen and gives them their next assignment: the new casino that gangster Tony Gallo has launched in Metropolis. They set up a sting, prepping the audio with Lois and readying their surveillance equipment. Distracted from his current job, Clark watches a volcano eruption on TV, anxious that he cannot do anything as Superman without giving away his identity.

Lois calls Gallo, who is about to hang up on her when he sees that she is a reporter and instead decides to talk to her. When Superman fails to show up for one of their dates, Lois instead calls Gallo, who promptly takes her for a night on the town.

Superman confronts Lois about Gallo, and she tells him that a relationship between the two of them could never work. Superman re-commits himself to Metropolis by crashing a party Lex Luthor throws for sick children and presents a massive cake. During an armored car robbery, Superman rushes to save the day. However, Gallo uses kryptonite radiation to blast Superman from afar and he falls, unconscious, to the ground.

Welcome to Mer-Tropolis

This is a two-issue story by writer Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and penciler Koi Turnbull that occurred over issues #6 and 7. It focused on the mermaid Lori Lemaris and Metropolis being brought underwater.

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2008)

The Edge of Forever/Supertown/Anti-Life

This is a three-issue arc by writer Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett and penciller Chris Batista that occurred during issues #8-10. It focused on Superman's first encounter with the gods of New Genesis and Darkseid.

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2008)

Signal to Noise

This is the final three-issue arc by writer B. Clay Moore and penciller Phil Hester that occurred during issues #12-14. It focused on Superman's first encounter with the Toyman and Jimmy Olsen's first Superman signal watch.

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2008)

Collected editions

This series has been collected in the following trade paperback:

Title Material collected ISBN
Superman: Kryptonite Superman: Confidential #1-5 and 11 Hardcover: ISBN 1-4012-1464-9

See also

References

  1. ^ Cowsill, Alan (2010). "2000s". In Dolan, Hannah (ed.). DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 328. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Writer Darwyn Cooke and artist Tim Sale began [the series] with 'Kryptonite', a six-part tale of Superman's first contact with the energy-sapping green element.