This Death and Return of Superman Ad Would Have Hooked Me in 1994

Reign of the Supermen

When I was a kid, I was collecting Superman comics during the fallout of the whole Death of Superman arc (particularly the Reign of the Supermen storyline). I’ve forgotten so many of the details, but the general premise is that four heroes have risen to the challenge of filling Superman’s shoes after the events of The Death of Superman (you can read a more in-depth summary on the Superman Wiki).

I was transfixed. I couldn’t believe DC would actually kill off the Man of Steel (I hadn’t been reading cape comics for long at that point or I would have realized that killing of major heroes and then finding convoluted ways to bring them back is just sort of what happens in the world of comic book writing).

The storyline crossed over multiple Superman series, and I was never able to collect all of them. In fact, my collection had some pretty sizeable gaps in it. Being a kid, I let my imagination fill in those gaps. And the stuff my imagination came up with was pretty impressive (well, pretty impressive to a twelve-year-old version of myself, anyway).

So, had I seen the ad below when it initially was published, I would have gone absolutely bonkers.

The Death and Return of Superman Ad

(I found this particular ad in Electronic Gaming Monthly Issue 62, dated September of 1994.)

Just like the gaps in my comic book collection, the ad leaves a whole lot to the imagination. What’s there, however, is really cool — a bloody Superman logo with Doomsday’s fist ripping through it. So cool! And then around that you have all of the Reign of the Supermen contenders, each with a cool title in all caps. THE CYBORG (Cyborg Superman), THE ERADICATOR (Last Son of Krypton), THE MAN OF STEEL (Steel), SUPERBOY (um, Superboy, obviously). They’re all here! If only I had known back then that there was a video game based on my then-favorite comic book arc, I would have flipped. I would have done whatever it took (probably months and months of cleaning shingles) to make sure I acquired it.

Of course, I didn’t see this ad as a kid. I only recently discovered it after having played the game. If I would have worked to buy a Super NES just to pick up The Death and Return of Superman, I’m sure I would have been disappointed. The game is, well, not great.

So, it is only by my good fortune that I didn’t pick up EGM Issue 62 when it was hot on the newsstands, because it saved me months of hard labor. And for that, I am thankful.

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