(Thrift Store Finds is a mostly-weekly “column” of sorts where I discuss some of the cool books I’ve happened upon in my neighborhood St. Vincent DePaul store. Please don’t mistake me for an expert on any of the books I am writing about… I’m just a fan of a bargain.)
I started collecting and reading superhero comic book in 1992.
In 1993, DC Comics orchestrated one of the biggest event stories ever done in superhero comics when they introduced The Death of Superman to readers. A comic story line that did exactly what it set out to do, The Death of Superman was not only a huge seller amongst regular comic book readers, it was the rarest of beasts: a comic book that crossed over into the general population. I don’t know if it was a slow news day or whether people were actually emotionally invested in the idea of Superman shuffling off this mortal coil, but folks went absolutely batshit crazy over these comics. The major news outlets reported Superman’s death at the hands of the brawling monster Doomsday as though it was hard news, and people responded in kind. Folks who had never before darkened the door of a comic book shop bought multiple copies and stashed them away.
Readership was at an all time high in ’93… but eventually, things died down. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Superman returned to comics about a year later in a grand resurrection that involved four different people claiming they were Big Blue and many, many crossovers and tie-in comic books.
I read The Death of Superman in ’93, but I remember marveling more at the amount of tie-ins and special die-cut, poly-bagged enhanced covers than enjoying the story… which, by the way, left one huge plot point completely unanswered for readers. Superman is killed by a rampaging Hulk-like monster called Doomsday… but Doomsday is left trapped on an asteroid, alive and well by the time Superman came back to the land of the living, sporting a brand new mullet hairstyle.
All that’s the long way around saying “Hey, look what I found at the thrift store this week! The defacto sequel to The Death of Superman, Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey!”
I should mention that one doesn’t often see modern comic trades in the paperback stacks. Every once and awhile, I’ll come across a trade… but for the most part, this was a rare find.