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Historical note: This section of the website about the "Iron Age" was written in the mid-to-late 1990s and focused on some of the problems that occured in the comicbooks during that time.  A handful of readers complained that they believed this section was not objective and was overly critical and negative.  Rather than remove it from the website, I leave it here for those who wish to know this website's original viewpoint.  Other pages on this site that cover the same era may be found here; but note that all images on this page are from actual DC publications.

The Iron Age

bleeding S-'shield' by Dan Jurgens TM DC Comics

1986-1999: Where is Superman?

In 1986, DC Comics decided that Superman was due for another revamp. This decision may have been well intentioned, but the execution was fatally flawed.

In this latest attempt to streamline Superman and his associated continuity, the defining elements of Superman's heroism, the legendary aspect of his character, and the many sources of his inspiration were all eliminated. This resulted in a "Superman" that failed to effect any change, but merely wandered the world as a lost, powerless soul, frustrated at every turn.

Since that time, various writers and editors have attempted to restore the legacy of Superman, but have been consistently thwarted by a DC editorial policy which traps the character in shackles of ineffective angst.

One cannot build on a foundation of mud and blood.

"We've figured out some ways to make his life worse."

- Joey Cavalieri

The Reboot
a 1986 interview with John Byrne and Marv Wolfman

What is wrong with this picture?
an article explaining some of the problems

Wanted: For Murder
scenes from DC's comic books illustrating various instances of a major mistake

Why is it called "The Iron Age"?

This is not Superman
 does not whine
The vengeance-driven killer

Rather than inspiring his readers to greatness, we here see "Superman" engaged in a typical Hollywood-like, vengeance-driven man-hunt, complete with Big Guns.
The doubtful whiner
This character lacks the self confidence that is one of the core elements of Superman. Here we see DC's new "Superman" exhibiting a Generation-X-like "I'm just a loser" attitude.

What does Alan Moore have to say?

Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder  

Whines by Dan Jurgens

Has DC Comics forgotten who Superman is?

by Dan Jurgens

"For me, the things he can't do are more interesting than the things he can do."

- Dan Jurgens 

"Ode to a Dream"
In remembrance of Superman, 1938-1986

"Superman Died"

"I regret getting rid of Superboy"

- John Byrne, 1995 

"Identity Crisis"
A Tale of the Iron Age

"DC is the House that Superman built, and where he falls, so too does that House."

Get me outta here!