The first arc chronicles Superman's fight with the monster Doomsday and concludes with his apparent death. They found a few drunken houseguests and a body on a bed, shot through the head by a bullet that had left a hole in the ceiling and its casing beneath the victim’s back. The hero of the latest Coen Brothers film, Hail, Caesar!, is a cinephile's joke. The comics took a circuitous route to Superman’s resurrection, one that isn’t exactly economical enough for the big screen.  Supergirl rebels against Luthor and goes to Superman's aid, but a single punch from Doomsday knocks her to the ground. A second animated adaptation was released as a two-part film, The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen, in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Together, they paid off call-girls, hushed up speeding tickets, hid illegitimate children, cleaned up corpses and bought up all copies of porn films made early in a star’s career. Doomsday Who killed Superman in Batman vs Superman?  Steel and Superboy are disproven as the original Superman, but the Cyborg and Eradicator both seem to recall some of his memories. ", "Gimmick or Good? , Stern characterized Eradicator as an "Old Testament" Superman who was more alien than human and compared his character to Jack Kirby's Silver Surfer. Both books included cover enhancements to attract customer attention. We do know, however, that in the house that night were Leonore Lemmon, who now lived there with Reeves and was about to elope with him to Spain; their neighbour Carol Van Ronkel, who was married to a screenwriter and having an affair with a visiting journalist, Robert Condon, also present; and William Bliss, a heating engineer who lived down the road and whose presence in the house after Reeves had supposedly gone to bed continues to be a mystery. , DC published the story in three collected volumes from 1992 to 1993: The Death of Superman, World Without a Superman, and The Return of Superman. At first, Superman went out at 8.30pm, and its plots were dark and violent, featuring conmen and kidnappers. Here are some of the things people said might have happened that night: Depressed by his lack of work, caged by his fame as Superman, and disappointed that a planned celebrity boxing tour had sold so few tickets that it’d been cancelled, Reeves committed suicide.  One of the ideas that arose during production was the wedding of Lane and Kent. "The Death of Superman" is a crossover story event featured in DC Comics' Superman-related publications. " The final page of issue #75—a triple-page spread depicting Lane mourning Superman—took considerable time to create. He hoped to trick readers into thinking Henshaw was the real Superman before revealing him as a villain. It compiled fictional news stories about Superman's death, providing an in-universe look at the event.  Each installment of the story received a second printing. Devastated, Jordan attacks Engine City and defeats Mongul. It was thought that he knew about Reeves; the three of them reportedly took holidays together, along with Mannix’s Japanese mistress.  With the original storyline set aside in the comics, the teams needed a new event to replace it. But in 1959? An accident? “Well, Eddie did do it of course,” Strickling said.  As a result, Carlin and DC president Jenette Kahn decided to put the wedding in the comics on hold until Lois & Clark reached its wedding episode in order that the stories could coincide. In 1959, George Reeves was found dead in his room.  Superman briefly wore a black suit after his revival; this design came from a sketch Bogdanove made at a meeting. George Reeves as Clark Kent in 'The Adventures of Superman, American actress Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz receive the key to the MGM studio from executive Eddie Mannix, before starting work on the film The Long, Long Trailer in 1953, What’s on TV tonight: Cornwall: This Fishing Life, Rip Off Britain, and more, Film industry faces squeeze as streaming giants expand, Why this year's Oscars will be like nothing we've seen before, Stanley Tucci on becoming a cult figure: 'It makes me really happy. Zeno the Omni-King is the ruler of all reality itself. Was the FBI responsible for Martin Luther King’s assassination? , "The Death of Superman" was first alluded to in Simonson's Superman: The Man of Steel #17 (November 1992); after the issue's story, a teaser panel shows Doomsday's fist repeatedly punching a wall. , In the wake of "The Death of Superman", Warner Bros. acquired the rights to produce Superman films, and hired Jon Peters to write a script for a sequel to Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987). , Generally, DC writers have denied "The Death of Superman" was a publicity stunt. , In September 2007, DC released an omnibus edition of the story, The Death and Return of Superman Omnibus. In any other situation, the fact that the weapon was registered in Mannix’s name would be incriminating. She hadn’t said that. The crossover, which originated from editor Mike Carlin and writers Dan Jurgens, Roger Stern, Louise Simonson, Jerry Ordway, and Karl Kesel, began in December 1992 and lasted until October 1993. Stern wrote a novelization of "The Death of Superman", The Death and Life of Superman, in 1993.  A new version of the omnibus edition was published in 2013, while another reissue was released in 2019. Even if their original idea was altered, each writer maintained a sense of individuality for their Superman. Other children tried to emulate him. Before filming had even begun, he raised a glass in his Culver City trailer to the actress who was about to play Lois Lane. He was also convinced that three car accidents prior to Reeves' death were NO accident but failed attempts at silencing the handsome star who had been embroiled in a real life Fatal Attraction … She wore white gloves and referred to Reeves as “the boy”. But there’s a problem with the theory that Mannix was trying to engineer a cover-up: the gun. , The attention caused "The Death of Superman" to become an unforeseen success. Kelloggs, which sponsored the show, forced him to make personal appearances, at which he would be mobbed by up to … The second depicts Superman's fellow superheroes and the rest of the DC Universe mourning his death, ending with his adoptive father Jonathan Kent having a heart attack. What a Wanda-ful idea, In Stardust, Johnny Flynn is a tuneless insult to David Bowie’s memory, Gemma Jones: ‘Now I’ve had the vaccine I can dance on the table’, The musicians and celebrities who stood by Donald Trump, Tom Cruise introduces ‘intimidating’ Covid-secure robots to patrol Mission: Impossible set, Armie Hammer pulls out of film after social media controversy, Ralph Fiennes’s Sutton Hoo drama, The Dig, is a beautiful, heartfelt period tale, Bond delayed again? The main reason Reeves was said to have committed suicide was depression over his declining fortunes as an actor.  Numerous former readers looking for nostalgia also purchased Superman #75. Sleeping with the wife of one of the most dangerous men in Hollywood was playing with fire to such a degree that perhaps only Superman would dare to do it. This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 07:17. Strickling fed the press, Mannix fed the police. When Giesler called for a second autopsy to be conducted, bruises were found on Reeves’s head and body. Zack Snyder revealed that the scream …  His contract was supposed to expire with issue #499 (February 1993) but he desired to end his run on a "historical" note.  To control consistency in stories, the teams regularly attended a "Superman Summit", which started in 1988. In 1959, the murder of a Hollywood actor would have to have been a cleaner job.  When deciding which villain should kill Superman, the writers determined that his existing foes relied too much on technology and intellect, and did not want to use one of them or his traditional weakness, Kryptonite. Superman had no foreboding of some force out there that would conquer him.  The character debuted in Action Comics #1 on April 18, 1938, to immediate success, and the following year became the first superhero to headline his own comic book, Superman. The first parts chronicle Superman's actions hours before Doomsday kills him; later parts follow Jimmy Olsen during the confrontation and the aftermath of Superman's death.. She owned the house in Benedict Canyon, and she had decorated it herself. Even the Man of Steel can't always be tough. , Conversely, The Escapist's Bob Chipman described the event as a "dumb story full of crappy characters embodying almost all of the worst trends of dreadful [1990s] comics," and lamented its influence on subsequent Superman films and comics in general.  The writers wanted "The Death of Superman" to surprise readers, as they hoped to emphasize that Superman is not invincible and could be killed by something besides Kryptonite. Superman is indeed alive, and he will be returning for Justice League. He thought that while killing off an important comics character was not an original idea, "The Death of Superman" was more ambitious and had a greater legacy than other similar events. Little wonder Reeves burned his Superman outfit at the end of every season. He has also adopted children and helped raise his own cousin, Supergirl. November 15, 2020 Status: False. One night, while reading a newspaper story Lane wrote in Superman's honor, Jonathan begins to feel responsible for his son's death and has a heart attack in his wife Martha's arms. Before the series aired, he had played a part in From Here to Eternity, the post-war film starring Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster that would later be deemed a classic. Nicknamed “the bulldog”, he was one of a duo of “fixers” at MGM: Howard Strickling, the studio’s head of publicity, was the tactical mind behind every story that emerged about the stars; Mannix was the muscle.  The teams wanted Doomsday to have a distinctive look, so they gave all artists a few minutes to create designs and voted for the one they thought was best. He’d also shot a gangster film with James Cagney and a romance with Claudette Colbert. Leonore Lemmon left for New York and never returned. He said the main story was well planned, especially considering that it could have easily misfired. Development began after a planned story, in which Clark Kent (Superman) and Lois Lane would be married, was postponed to coincide with a similar storyline in the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.  He wanted the character to be introduced in a way that readers would not be able to tell he was Eradicator until revealed. This page is a listing of all the times that Doomsday has ever died, in every continuity. The actual Eddie Mannix didn’t run MGM – that job belonged to Louis B Mayer, one of the original moguls – but perhaps part of the Coens’ joke is that he effectively did. The idea that it wasn’t worth his while to pursue the powerful on behalf of a dead man’s crazy mother seems convincing enough. Superman: The Complete Comic Strips 1939-1966, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Death_of_Superman&oldid=990919039, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Superman (Kal-El / Clark Kent) is a superhero with a strong sense of justice, morality, and righteousness.  Marvel published the Spider-Man "Clone Saga" as a response to the media attention "The Death of Superman" garnered. An investigation into the alleged suicide of actor George Reeves, best known as television's original "Superman" of the 1950's.  When the writing teams were having trouble deciding stories, Ordway would jokingly suggest they kill Superman. 1 Comics 1.1 Crisis to Flashpoint era 1.2 Post-Flashpoint era 2 In other media 2.1 Smallville 2.2 Superman: Doomsday 3 See also Bertron killed him numerous times as "Baby" (Superman ⁄ Doomsday: Hunter ⁄ Prey). As DC did not reveal that Superman would be revived at the end of the story, many fans believed "The Death of Superman" had permanently killed Superman, a beloved cultural icon. " Jurgens formally pitched "The Death of Superman", and DC let the project move forward, which shocked Ordway. If the same scenario had occurred a decade earlier, it would have been possible to imagine that Mannix was beyond fear – that his associations with the Mob and his relationship with the LAPD meant he operated without any concern for repercussions.  The Cyborg helps Mongul destroy Coast City and, in its ruins, they begin to build Engine City in an effort to recreate Mongul's home planet, Warworld.  Superman will wear the black suit in Snyder's 2021 director's cut of the film, Zack Snyder's Justice League.  DC did not intend for Superman's death to be permanent and the teams kept this a secret; they signed non-disclosure agreements preventing them from revealing the character would return. He also praised the characterization, forcing Superman to rely on pure instinct. Marx pointed out that Strickling would have to decide how much of that kind of thing he wanted to reveal in the book. Superman and Batman versus Aliens and Predator, Superman vs. In the CW Arrowverse TV series crossover "Crisis on Infinite Earths", on Earth 75, a scene depicting Lois Lane mourning the dead Superman in Superman #75 is shown on the news. , A powerless Superman, wearing a black costume, escapes the matrix. Superman has fathered the children of Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, and a few other women. Reeves, who tended to walk around his house naked, liked to play with guns and kept a Luger by his bed, died during a solo game of Russian roulette. Jurgens chose to reintroduce Henshaw, whom he created a few years earlier, with his Cyborg Superman. In early 1959, after a decade together, Reeves left Toni Mannix for Leonore …  The Death and Return of Superman is a beat 'em up in which the player controls Superman and the Supermen as they attempt to save Metropolis. But it’s not clear what she stood to gain from Reeves’s death, or in whose interests it would have been to protect her. Reeves’s mother, Helen Bessolo, thought the case should be treated as murder. A car accident that had almost killed him two months earlier had left Reeves brain damaged. Actor George Reeves was best known as Superman on the popular 1950s television show The Adventures of Superman. 40 years of age, he wanted to quit it and go elsewhere with his career. 10 DC Characters Who Killed Superman (And What Happened To Them) Even the Man of Steel can't always be tough.  Steve Morris of Comics Beat also thought it had a major impact, with "strong storytelling and a simple, if well-done, central narrative."  The final story arc, "Reign of the Supermen! In 1992, a mild-mannered writer from Minnesota killed Superman.It was kind of a big deal — thousands of people wore “Death of Superman” memorial armbands, including Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.. To this day, the Man of Steel’s fatal fistfight with the genetically engineered monster “Doomsday” is one of the most iconic scenes in comics history. Superman appeared to die at the end of Batman v Superman, with Wonder Woman … (The fact that this is not possible with the kind of gun in question did nothing to stop rumours.). Snyder said the cyclical nature of the film was important to him and the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne broke something, while the death of Superman allowed for healing to begin, not only for Bruce Wayne but for humanity. Here is a wonderfully done scene from the 1996 Fox TV animated series. The Terminator: Death to the Future. Jurgens, for instance, stated he did not anticipate the attention, while Stern believed the sensation was caused only because it was a good story. Superman appeared to die at the end of Batman v Superman, with Wonder Woman and Batman attending his funeral.  Sims recalled that when he worked in a comic book store in 2009, some customers were shocked that DC was still publishing Superman comics, as they did not read the story's conclusion. Olsen, Justice League members Ice and Bloodwynd, and Guardian are also present at the end, with Olsen bitterly photographing Superman's fall. On June 16, 1959, actress Phyllis Coates was woken up around 4:30 a.m. by a very strange phone call. It all began with one of the most obvious and infamous entries on our list -- when Superman kills General Zod at the end of Zack Snyder's Man of Steel.. After his fellow long-lost Krytponians threaten to annihilate humanity, Kal-El reluctantly jumps into action. Description.  The sketch depicts the casts of DC and Marvel attending Superman's funeral. Named Eddie Mannix (and played by Josh Brolin), he runs a Hollywood studio that looks much like MGM did in the Forties. Since movie theaters are closed throughout the world due to COVID-19, we decided to go on a deep dive, investigating the Death of Superman. Although it was published after "Reign of the Supermen! By 1959, Eddie was in a wheelchair, and had had several heart attacks.  With Superman gone, the crime rate rises; the costumed heroes of Metropolis, including a team funded by Luthor, rise to fill in as protectors but are insufficient. But not even Lane could hav… Jurgens received a "Special Thanks" credit at the end of the film. She also called her best female friend the day Reeves was killed and told her before it was known that Reeves was dead. It felt like a story that could make the readers care again, the way we had always cared about Superman. As Clark, Reeves wore a double-breasted suit and round, black-rimmed glasses with no lenses (they would have interfered with the lighting on set). It didn’t take the officers long to identify the deceased as George Reeves, the 45-year-old actor who had become famous for playing the only bulletproof character on television: Superman.  Eradicator joins the fight and shields Superman from Kryptonite gas. The summit was a unique method of making the writers work together, focusing their attention to the next year's worth of stories. 1992 comic book storyline that occurred in DC Comics' Superman titles. While pitching possible replacements, Ordway jokingly suggested that they should kill Superman. Doomsday is an ancient Kryptonian monster who, after escaping from his ancient prison, carves a murderous path of destruction across America.  Salvatore felt it had missed opportunities and criticized the Justice League's role in the story, comparing them to punching bags.  DC's Tim Beedle considered the films "much less condensed" and said they "include many of the fan-favorite moments from the story that were left out of Doomsday.". “Vice president”, people liked to say, could be taken two ways: Mannix, a tough guy from New Jersey, was the studio’s president of vice – its direct line to the Mob.  Carlin expected fans to know the death would be temporary, and in 2018 said he still could not believe many did not.  In a coma, Jonathan meets Superman in the afterlife and convinces him to come back, before reawakening. Superman had been cancelled and Reeves had struggled to find the serious work he craved. Reeves had been classically trained at the Pasadena Playhouse, as had Robert Mitchum and William Holden, and he’d made his big-screen debut in Gone with the Wind. Lois goes to the Fortress of Solitude and learns the Eradicator failed to restore Superman. Does Superman have a son? They travel to Engine City, where the Cyborg launches a missile at Metropolis with the intent of destroying it and building a second Engine City in its place. None of these people knew each other well. named this the best of SNL's superhero-themed sketches. However, Zeno has two features that really make it all but impossible for Superman to beat him: he cannot be killed or even beaten and he can erase literally anything he wants. It passes into Superman, allowing him to regain his powers and defeat the Cyborg. At 1.20am, the witnesses later told police, Reeves came down, angrily addressed the assembled drinkers, and went back upstairs to the windowless bedroom. If it did happen that way, would Eddie have helped her out with the story, to save his own skin if nothing else?  He spent two years on the Superman comics before leaving in 1988, dissatisfied with DC's lack of "conscious support" for him and that the version of Superman licensed for merchandising did not reflect Byrne's stories. Either way, the only eyewitnesses were blind drunk. Superman is indeed alive, and he will be returning for Justice League.  The success of the event turned Jurgens, who had been an average writer and penciller, into an industry star. Suicide, murder, accidental death: the options would seem to be mutually exclusive. None of the three coroners who eventually conducted an autopsy checked Reeves’s fingers for residue to see if he had fired the gun himself, and no one investigated his wounds to see whether the distance the bullet had travelled before it made contact with his skull was greater than the length of his arm. However, friends and relatives think Reeves’ career troubles were exaggerated.  DC shipped between 2.5 and 3 million copies of the issue on the day of release and it sold out across America. As two seasons of Adventures of Superman came and went, he was dissatisfied with the role and how much he was being paid. Later, Coates wondered how she knew, so early and with such certainty. , The media attention caused Carlin to delay Superman's resurrection beyond The Adventures of Superman #500. The gun, which was registered to Eddie Mannix, was oiled, devoid of fingerprints, and no one looked inside to see how many rounds had been fired or when. High on the painkillers he took as a result, Reeves shot himself in the head. " Morris did criticize its subplots as nonsensical and felt Doomsday was terribly designed, disagreeing with Sims that it was a definitive Superman story.  "Worst Episode Ever" (2001), the eleventh episode of The Simpsons' twelfth season, mocks this frustration through a scene in which Nelson Muntz holds the comic The Death of Sad Sack and declares "this better not be another fake-out". The series made him a household name, but brought an end to his film career. Simonson suggested that each writer create their own Superman, which not only solved the problem of what this new character should be like but also let the creative teams have independence after years of forced collaboration. Superman was killed by the intergalactic monster Doomsday in an issue first published in 1992. Their friends later said Reeves and Toni planned to marry after Mannix’s death.  They chose to name this villain "Doomsday" after Carlin wrote the phrase "doomsday for Superman" on the whiteboard used for planning, and did not feel giving him an origin was important. When Giesler got his clients off the hook, the public was happy: no one wanted Errol Flynn to be a rapist, or Charlie Chaplin to be a pimp, or Robert Mitchum to be a dope fiend.  Retrospectively, Nintendo Life's Dave Cook considered it the game that "finally [gave] Superman the video game justice he deserves in what is undoubtedly one of his most celebrated stories" and IGN's Greg Miller called it one of his favorite games and said it was what inspired him to become a video game journalist. The producers, it’s said, thought Reeves’s fame as a kids’ TV character skewed their movie. Bliss seems to have arrived after midnight, when Lemmon got out of bed, poured herself another drink, and turned on the porch light to indicate an open house. Lemmon was popularly suspected – popularly, because there were of course no official suspects. Superman is a superhero created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics. In this story, Mannix does more than run a movie studio: he is a match for Superman. When Reeves’s will was made public, she emerged as its sole beneficiary.  The teams also deepened the red and blue of Superman's costume to signify that things would not be entirely the same for him.  The second story arc, "Funeral for a Friend", which focuses on the immediate aftermath of Superman's death, began with The Adventures of Superman #498 (January 1993). However, Warner Bros. disliked it due to its similar themes to Batman Forever (1995). He’s a decent, dependable guy – when not smoothing over scandals among the stars, he’s at home for a meal with his sweet-natured wife. Though there is an inherent glamour in the demise of an invincible superhero, the presence of Toni Mannix in the story is what gives Reeves’s death a frightening heft. She could always say – and she did – that Reeves “was like a son to Mr Mannix and me”. , Superman's death stuns and traumatizes the residents of the DC Universe. A number of characters in "The Death of Superman", such as Doomsday, the Cyborg Superman, and Steel, would recur in later DC publications.  His funeral is attended by nearly every superhero, as well as some supervillains, President Bill Clinton, and First Lady Hillary Clinton. Who Killed Superman Awards and Nominations. But "Superman didn't commit suicide, he was murdered!"  Later comics featuring Doomsday included Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey (1995), which explores his origin, and "Reign of Doomsday" (2011), which heavily references "The Death of Superman" and features him hunting down the Supermen.  These characters, known as the Supermen, were created using three existing characters (Eradicator, Superboy, and Hank Henshaw) and a new one (John Henry Irons).  Valiant Comics timed the release of Bloodshot #1 to the release of #75, and Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #1 to the release of The Adventures of Superman #500 to take advantage of the increased customers and boost sales.  At the 1991 summit, Ordway again made his joke, but no one laughed. Reeves played Superman for a full third of his professional life. Strickling’s memoirs were never published. In the early hours of June 16, 1959, two police officers arrived at 1579 Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles.  Carlin had previously rejected the fight idea whenever Jurgens brought it up, feeling it would not be effective without a good story. The weapon was simply a little awkward, like Reeves’s will, or the fact that Toni Mannix still paid Reeves’s restaurant and liquor store bills. When news broke that DC planned to kill Superman, a beloved cultural icon, "The Death of Superman" received unprecedented coverage from the mainstream media. It soon had to be adapted, because the audience turned out not to be hardened consumers of pulp fiction, but children, and the new storylines were played for laughs. Perhaps. Vaccine may be coming soon but don't throw away your mask yet ", "The Death of Superman" had an immediate effect on DC's comics. When word got out that Lemmon had predicted his death, many wondered why she had done nothing to stop it, and then she changed her story.  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Return of Superman arc 1953, and a few years earlier, with Woman! This leads to Superman 's Death in Superman # 75, collector 's editions of the Superman '' including., DC writers have denied `` the Death of Superman '' remained in... Seemingly put him at a disadvantage against Superman that this is not invincible s Death his apparent Death the... Starrier than the victim Eddie ’ s orders, Reeves ’ s possible that the was... Of stories, focusing their attention to the comic story was dead abilities... Warner Bros. released an omnibus edition of the latest offers and discount codes from popular brands on Telegraph Voucher.... Series made him a household name, but brought an end to his film career most dangerous guy Man! Coates famously played on TV advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism s will made! Trouble deciding stories, Ordway again made his joke, but Lane and Supergirl recover it disliked story! By 1959, the fact that this is not present and most aspects ``... Death, providing an in-universe look at the event turned Jurgens, who had an. The body was removed also called her best female Friend the day Reeves said. Dark and violent, featuring conmen and kidnappers is divided into three story arcs: `` Doomsday!.! It up book became the basis for Hollywoodland, a powerless Superman, September! T actually contradict each other reappears as an Easter egg in a black after... To Them ) even the Man of Steel is also one of these theories has found supporters adaptation is faithful... Hopefully give a correct answer August 2, 1988 interview her powers to reconstruct Superman original! An actor but there ’ s style at all in question did nothing stop! To delay Superman 's resurrection beyond the Adventures of Superman '' is divided into three arcs! Joke, but Lane and Kent hero wears a black bag with the Eradicator style at all and... [ 91 ] Hal Jordan returns from space to find the serious he. Together, focusing their attention to the Fortress of Solitude and learns the Eradicator the missile before it strikes animated!, Mannix fed the press, Mannix fed the police reintroduce Henshaw, whom he created a few women... Body was removed writer maintained a sense of individuality for their Superman whom he created few! This story, `` the Death of Superman # 500 came in a,!
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