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DC revisits 1992's The Death of Superman and reveals a first look at the villain Doombreaker

The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special #1
(Image credit: DC)

In November 2022 it'll be 30 years since DC killed Superman in the landmark storyline 'The Death of Superman,' a story with immense impact in its own day and which is still one of the most influential stories of the modern era.

While DC has been paying homage to that story in April's 'The Death of the Justice League' and the subsequent Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series, if you think the publisher won't be recognizing the anniversary directly, you're not paying close enough attention.

In July, DC announced that the original creative teams of Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding; Roger Stern and Butch Guice; Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove; and Jerry Ordway and Tom Grummett will reunite in November for The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special #1, an 80-page one-shot anthology exploring "the lasting impact that Clark’s death had on his family and friends" and how some of Superman's biggest allows reacting during and following his battle with Doomsday.

In "The Life of Superman" by Jurgens (writing and art), Breeding (art), Brad Anderson (colors), and John Workman (letters), a young Jon Kent learns in school that his father died years earlier in his battle with Doomsday, a fact his parents never shared with their son.

The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special #1 cover (Image credit: DC)
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While dealing both with the news and the fact he was never old, Jon and his dad have to team up to battle a new supervillain somehow connected to Doomsday called Doombreaker.

Rafael Sarmento's variant cover for the anniversary issue reveals our first look at Doombreaker, who stands tall, dark, and not-so-handsome as he faces off against Superman with what looks like a storm brewing in the background. It's fittingly ominous and can be seen here.

The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special #1 variant by Rafael Sarmento (Image credit: DC)
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"Standing Guard" by Stern (writing), Butch Guice (art), Glenn Whitmore (colors), and Rob Leigh (letters) retells the battle between Superman and Doomsday from the Guardians' POV.

In "Time" by Simonson (writing), Bogdagnove (art), Whitmore (colors), and Leigh (letters), the same story is told from John Henry Irons's perspective.

Finally, in "Above and Beyond" by Ordway (writing), Grummett (pencils), Doug Hazelwood (inks), Whitmore (colors), and Leigh (letters), Ma and Pa Kent watch their son fight Doomsday live on TV. The proud parents go through photo albums of Clark with the sense that their son will prevail during the fight.

Here's a gallery of images from the four stories: 

"Even now, 30 years after the 'Death of Superman' first came out, every single convention or store appearance I do has at least one person who comes up to me with Superman #75 or the first 'Death of Superman' collected edition and says, 'This is the book that got me into comics. And I’m still here, reading, all these years later,'" Jurgens says in DC's announcement. "Most times, it's more than one. Sometimes, multiple people arrive at my table at the same time and share their memories, which is always fun to experience.

"Their tales are often quite similar. Typically, media coverage of Superman's death compelled them or a parent to drop by a local store to pick [the issue] up. In some cases, their parents let them skip school the day of the book's release so they could stand in line to get a copy. Some talk of how their store was sold out and they spent days looking all over town to find one.

"I'm not alone in that experience," Jurgens continues. "It's common for the entire team of writers and artists who worked on Superman at the time. It was a singularly unique moment in comics, when a particular story was covered by every form of national and local media alike.

The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special #1 cover (Image credit: DC)
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"It's hard to tell people what those days were like, but every comic shop in the country had long lines of people outside the door waiting to buy THAT BOOK.

"All these years later, it's a great pleasure to get back together with the story's original creative teams to celebrate a truly exciting time in comics. For those of you who remember those days, The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special will reignite some memories. For those who weren't around to experience it, well…we hope you get a hint of what it was like.

"Most of all, we hope all of you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it all together."

The November 8 special which will retail for $11.99 will also feature nine pinups along with variant covers by who DC calls "some of the top names in comics."

Jamal Campbell, Lee Weeks, Clay Mann, Fabio Moon, Walter Simonson, Bill Sienkiewicz, Gabriel Rodriguez, and more will illustrate the pin-ups.

Jim Lee and Scott Williams; Dan Mora; Ivan Reis and Danny Miki; Francesco Mattina; Dan Jurgens; and Brett Breeding will provide variant covers. DC will also offer a polybag variant that features a black armband with The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary logo along with the main cover.

Here's a look at some of the pin-ups and variant covers to The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special #1, including one by Jim Lee that he originally drew (opens in new tab) for his 2020 60 in 60 auction series to benefit comic shops affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Image credit: DC)
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Finally, as previously announced, DC will publish The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition collection, which will include Superman: Day of Doom #1-4 for the first time ever will go on sale December 6. DC will also publish a  Superman #75 Special Edition featuring the original story by Jurgens and Breeding that will go on sale November 1.

Newsarama recently spoke more about the 30th anniversary of 'The Death of Superman' and The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special #1 with Dan Jurgens.

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.

With contributions from