11 Greatest Superman Comics of 2000s

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11 Best Superman Comics of the 2000s

Comic panel of All-Star Superman
All-Star Superman by Frank Quietly. DC Comics

Superman comics went through a massive change in the 2000's. Throughout Superman's history DC Comics explored the character in different ways. But this decade saw the biggest changes as Grant Morrison and others took Superman in totally new and fresh directions.

Here are the greatest Superman comics of the 2000s.

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11. Superman #204 (2004)

Comic panel from Superman #204
Superman #204 by Jim Lee. DC Comics

Who is Superman? He's helpless. Superman tells a priest about how he heard a distress call from space. He flies to help Green Lantern and when he comes back 1 million people disappeared. Including Lois Lane. This story was the beginning of the “For Tomorrow” storyline.

Why Should You Read This? The best Superman stories tell about the inward struggle that he has and this story is no different. Through his conversations with Father Leone, who finds out he’s dying of cancer Superman examines his own struggle to save lives. He faces his own helplessness as he realizes he can't save everyone in the world. Superman has hard choices to make every day and Brian Azzarello understands that. Through the sharpness of Jim Lee’s artwork this comic makes you think and is a great answer to those who think Superman can't be interesting.

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10. Superman: Red Son (2003)

Comic panel of Superman: Red Son (2003)
Superman: Red Son (2003). DC Comics

Who is Superman? He's Russian. He's not the defender of truth justice and the American way. After Kal El's rocket crashes in a commune in the Soviet Union Superman becomes the defender of the Russian communist regime.

Why Should You Read It? Mark Millar's brilliant alternate reality story turns the entire concept of Superman on its ear. It's an insanely fun story and his alternate takes on Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lex Luthor are some of the most inventive comics. The artwork by Dave Johnson, Kilian Plunkett, Andrew Robinson, Walden Wong, and Paul Mounts is wonderful and includes several clever homages to classic Superman comics.

Henry Cavill, who played Superman in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman called the comic "essential" to his character research.

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9. JLA: Earth 2 (2000)

Cover of JLA: Earth 2
JLA: Earth 2 by Frank Quietly. DC Comics

Who is Superman? Superman has an evil twin. When an anti-matter universe breaks through to our world the Justice League must fight their evil doppelgangers Ultraman, Superwoman, Flash and Owlman known as the “Crime Syndicate”.

Why Should You Read It? Think of this comic as the DC version of the Mirror Star Trek universe. Alternate Earths are pretty common but Grant Morrison created a comic that challenges the very nature of good and evil. The artwork by Frank Quietly is marvellous and although his drawing of Wonder Woman’s face is a little too masculine for my taste. It’s a story filled with mind-blowing action and unexpected twists that keep you guessing till the very end.

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8. Lex Luthor: Man of Steel (2005)

Cover of Lex Luthor: Man of Steel
Lex Luthor: Man of Steel by Lee Bermejo. DC Comics

Who Is Superman? A fear-inspiring alien bent on destruction. This comic tells a Superman story from Lex Luthor’s point of view.

Why Should You Read It? This comic helped shape the current view of Lex Luthor by exploring his complex and sometimes paranoid viewpoint. Brian Azzarello managed to make Superman scary and helps explain why a genius like Luthor would devote himself to Superman’s destruction. The bleak and moody artwork by Lee Bermejo is wonderfully cynical. One of the greatest explorations of Superman’s greatest villain.

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7. Infinite Crisis #7 (2006)

Comic panel of Infinite Crisis (2006)
Infinite Crisis (2006) by Phil Jimenez, George Pérez, Ivan Reis, Joe Bennett. DC Comics

Who Is Superman? The Last Son of Krypton and guardian of the multiverse. After the multi-verse is banished several members of an alternate reality fight to create a "perfect" reality. Only Superman can stop them.

Why Should You Read It? 20 years after the mega event of Crisis on Infinite Earths got rid of the multiple universes that occupied the DC universe a new event happened. Spanning a seven-issue limited series it was written by Geoff Johns with illustrations by Phil Jimenez, George Perez, Ivan Reis and Jerry Ordway.

While the series crossed over many issues this is the one with the final fight between multiple Supermen. Superman (Earth-Two) and Superman (Earth-One) take down Superboy-Prime in his Anti-Monitor armor. That's four Superman duking it out and it's insane. Besides that, there are some really heartwarming moments in the comic and the series overall.

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6. Superman: Sacrifice (2003)

Cover of Superman: Sacrifice
Superman: Sacrifice. DC Comics

Who is Superman? He's a villain. Max Lord forces Superman to see his friends as enemies and sets out to kill the Justice League. His incredible power is under the control of a madman and it's terrifying.

Why Should You Read It? If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if Superman turned evil then this is the comic for you. The fights in this comic are amazing and terrifying at the same time. Superman goes through a roller-coaster of emotions from crushing grief to crushing remorse.

Plus, it has one of the greatest battles of all time as Wonder Woman fights to stop him. It also leads to the Infinite Crisis storyline.

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5. Superman: Secret Origin (2006)

Cover of Superman: Secret Origin
Superman: Secret Origin. DC Comics

Who Is Superman? A young man with terrifying new powers.The six-issue limited series follows Superman, not as the baby from Krypton, but a young man growing up in Smallville till he becomes the hero of Metropolis.

Why Should You Read This Comic? Written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Gary Frank this was the definitive origin of Superman in the post-Infinite Crisis era. While it’s not ground-breaking or revolutionary it manages to tell the origin of Superman that feels familiar while still fresh and new.

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4. Identity Crisis (2004)

Comic panel of Identity Crisis #6
Identity Crisis #6 by Rags Morales. DC Comics

Who is Superman? A terrified husband. When Sue Dibny the wife of the Elongated Man is killed the Justice League goes looking for the murderer and Superman is terrified when Lois is the next target.

Why Should You Read It? This is one of the most controversial stories in the last two decades. The brutality in the story and rape of a major character have polarized readers for years. The New York Post said, “If it’s been ages since you read a superhero comic, start with this one.” Meanwhile, ComicsAlliance called the series "the comic that ruined comics."

But no one can deny New York Times best-selling author Brad Metzler writes a gripping murder mystery filled with surprising revelations. While Superman doesn't have a big role in the story he's still important.

Because of his love for Lois, he's the most powerful superhero and one of the most vulnerable. Plus, there's a great in-joke about the "Big Blue Boy Scout's" knowledge of Boy Scouts.

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3. Superman: Birthright (2003)

Comic panel of Superman: Birthright (2003)
Superman: Birthright (2003) by Leinil Francis Yu. DC Comics

Who is Superman? He's a newbie. This story follows Superman as a young man in Metropolis. He's far from a seasoned superhero and has human flaws but is still passionate about helping people in need.

Why Should You Read It? Writer Mark Waid retells the ofttimes told origin of Superman in a surprisingly fresh and original way. From redefining Superman’s birth in Krypton to his relationship with Lex Luthor this 12-issue comic is a must read.

The artwork by Leinil Francis Yu, Dave McCaig and Gerry Alanguilan is unique and dynamic with detailed lines and brilliant colors. The comic takes the iconic nature of superman readers can learn about him and longtime fans can relive the wonder 

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2. All-Star Superman #2 (2005)

Cover of All-Star Superman
All-Star Superman by Frank Quietly. DC Comics

Who is Superman? He's a dying man. After an incident involving the sun, Superman discovers that he’s dying. He decides to spend his last year saving the world and spending time with his true love Lois Lane. He's not like the modernized version of Superman from the 80s and 90s but an amalgam of decades of portrayals of Superman and more laid back than  usual.

Why Should you read it? Superman's been around for 75 years and many of the comics from the 50s and 60s are comical in their corniness. But writer Grant Morrison finds a way to embrace all aspects of Golden Age and Silver Age Superman while still keeping him grounded in the mythology.

The themes of loss, regret and redemption still resonate today. Frank Quietly’s finely detailed artwork is still some of the most beautiful depiction of Superman ever made. The entire series is wonderful but issue #2 is a touching exploration of his relationship with Lois Lane.

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1. Final Crisis (2008)

Comic panel of Final Crisis #7
Final Crisis #7 by Doug Mahnke. DC Comics

Who is Superman? He's a man with the power of a god. When Darkseid uses the anti-life equation to take over the universe Superman and the rest of the DC universe unite to stop him. He's a man desperate and broken but willing to fight and sacrifice for everyone.

Why Should You Read It? The entire "Final Crisis" storyline is the most epic storyline in comic book history. Superman discovers he can't punch his way out of this problem when he realizes Darkseid has taken over the body of Dan Turpin. The action in this comic is mind-bending and reaches it's height when an army of Superman from alternate realities rally against the enemy. 

Grant Morrison created a story that is both frustrating, beautiful, inspiring and confusing. In the end, the DC universe begins and ends with one man: Superman.

Superman has been around for 75 years and will continue to go in new exciting directions.

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Your Citation
Mitchell, Maurice. "11 Greatest Superman Comics of 2000s." ThoughtCo, Apr. 15, 2016, thoughtco.com/greatest-superman-comics-of-2000s-4028132. Mitchell, Maurice. (2016, April 15). 11 Greatest Superman Comics of 2000s. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/greatest-superman-comics-of-2000s-4028132 Mitchell, Maurice. "11 Greatest Superman Comics of 2000s." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/greatest-superman-comics-of-2000s-4028132 (accessed March 23, 2018).