Veteran Superman editor Mike Carlin retires after 37 years at DC

A flag with the Superman logo.
(Image credit: DC Comics)

Veteran editor Mike Carlin, who oversaw the Death of Superman story, as well as many other iconic adventures for the Man of Steel, has retired from DC after 37 years. Carlin announced his departure with a series of reminiscences on his wife Janice's Facebook page.

A lifelong comics fan, Carlin first crossed paths with DC while studying Animation and Cartooning at New York's High School of Art & Design. As he recalls in his announcement, "One Saturday famed DC Editor Dick Giordano gave a lecture about doing comic book art. He gave out a packet and said that if we did sample pages and they were selected, the 'winner' could come up to DC's offices at 75 Rockefeller Plaza for a private (well with 8 other kids) lesson from Dick... I was selected and invited up to DC's headquarters." A few years later he began an internship at the company.

Carlin's first official comics gig, however, was with DC's main competitor. He contributed to Crazy Magazine (Marvel's equivalent of humor title MAD), before becoming an assistant editor at the company, where he would work on Captain America, The Thing, and more. He was let go from Marvel in 1986.

DC October 2022 solicitations

(Image credit: DC)

Despite this setback, Carlin was rapidly hired by DC. By the end of 1987 he was running the Superman line where he assembled a new team of writers, moved Action Comics to a weekly schedule, and established regular "Superman summits" that would be used to hash out the future of DC's flagship character. It was in one of these that the idea for the bestselling Death of Superman storyline was born, as well as its follow up, Reign of the Supermen. 

Between 1996 and 2002 Carlin worked as an Executive Editor at the company, helping bring about the DC Versus Marvel Comics crossover event. He became a Senior Group Editor in 2003, overseeing projects such as the popular - if controversial - Identity Crisis arc, before moving over to the animation division in 2011, where he has spent the last 12 years as creative director.

The Death of Superman is one of Kal-El's biggest adventures - but is it one of his greatest? Read about the 10 best Superman stories of all time here. 

Will Salmon
Comics Editor

Will Salmon is the Comics Editor for GamesRadar/Newsarama. He has been writing about comics, film, TV, and music for more than 15 years, which is quite a long time if you stop and think about it. At Future he has previously launched scary movie magazine Horrorville, relaunched Comic Heroes, and has written for every issue of SFX magazine for over a decade. He sometimes feels very old, like Guy Pearce in Prometheus. His music writing has appeared in The Quietus, MOJO, Electronic Sound, Clash, and loads of other places and he runs the micro-label Modern Aviation, which puts out experimental music on cassette tape.