[x] I thought I would attempt to put together a list of all in-print Superman trade paperbacks in the correct reading order so that those who wish to can catch up on their Superman history.

Since Superman has appeared in countless comics and graphic novels in both major and minor roles, I am trying to only include those in which Superman plays a leading part or in which something signifigant happens in his life. Otherwise this list would get rather overrun with pretty much every DC book ever published.

Books in bold are what I consider the most important in an overview of Kal-El's continuity and books in italics are those that feature the Man of Steel, but are relatively unimportant in the grand scheme. This is of course entirely based on my own opinion, so please feel free to form your own. Books marked with an asterisk are those that I do not yet own, so my knowledge of them is reliant on Internet research and in many cases my own memory of the individual issues upon which they are based.

I've grouped these into sections with the beginning of each section being a retelling of Superman's origins or other major retcon. You'll also find sections for DC's Archive Editions and Elseworlds, as well as translations into other media, such as television and film.

-elfie


[notes | author | edition | ownership] full list | no notes | titles only

viewing by story-arc is a work in progress


[o]Archive Editions
DC's Archive Editions are complete hardcover reprints, including ads, of classic comics. These are not a cheap way to go, but they are comprehensive and look damn sexy on a bookshelf.
Action Comics Volume 1 collects issue 1 and 7-20. Odd that they would skip 2-6, though you can find those below in Chronicles Volume 1. Volume 2, collecting Action Comics 21-36, includes the first appearances of Lex Luthor and the Daily Planet. Volume 3, collecting Action Comics 37-53, introduces Domino, the Trickster, and the Puzzler.
Superman Archives - Volume 7 by Jerry Siegel, et al  (Hardcover) *
Superman Archives volumes 1-7, much thinner than the Action Comics Archives, reprint issues 1-29 with no omissions.
The Man of Tomorrow Archives are a collection of Silver Age tales. The first volume, collecting Action Comics 241-247 and Superman 112-126, features the first appearances of the Fortress of Solitude, Brainiac, Kandor, and the Super-Pets. Volume 2 collects Action Comics 248-254 and Superman 127-131 and introduces us to the likes of Lori Lemaris, Metallo, and Bizarro, as well as the return of Mr. Mxyzptlk.
Crossing-over a bit with The Man of Tomorrow Archives and introducing the Girl of Steel, the Supergirl Archives collect Action Comics 252-285. Volume 1 also includes Superman #123.
[o]Other Pre-Crisis Collections
Superman Chronicles - Volume 1 by Jerry Siegel*
A somewhat cheaper alternative to Archives are Chronicles, which are intended to be a complete, in-order by publication date, retelling of every issue of the various Superman titles. This first volume collects Action Comics #1-13, New York World's Fair #1, and Superman #1. If you're extremely patient and optimistic, you could just wait for these to come out and buy nothing else. Good luck with that plan, though, as there is a lot of history to go through here.
The Dailies collects the black and white newspaper serials from 1939-1942 by Siegel and Shuster. The Sunday Classics contains the color Sunday strips from the same time-period.
A much cheaper alternative to the Archive Editions are DC's Showcase Presents Books. These are massive black and white collections, containing over 500 pages each. These particular books collect many of the same stories as are found in the Man of Tomorrow and Supergirl Archives. The first volume collects Superman 122-133 and Action Comics 241-257 and includes the introduction of the Fortress of Solitude, the arrival of the bottle City of Kandor, and the first battles against Brainiac and Metallo. Volume Two collections Action Comics 258-275 and Superman 134-145, which include appearances by Mxyzptlk, Brainiac, and Bizarro.
Several decade-spanning collections of Pre-Crisis Superman stories. These are by far your best bet at getting a taste of Pre-Crisis Superman tales without spending ridiculous amounts of money on the hardcover Archive editions. Of particular note here is the introduction to the Seventies by Christopher Reeve! The Forties does include the essential Action Comics #1. Just watch out for the Eighties, which contains some Post-Crisis stories that take place during the Man of Steel volumes below.
[o]Crisis on Infinite Earths and Beyond
Superman: The Earth Stealers by John Byrne*
Though this graphic novel was published after Crisis on Infinite Earths, many readers have suggested that it rather obviously takes place in a Pre-Crisis DC universe, which is why I've chosen to palce it here.
Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? by Alan Moore
Also originally published after Crisis on Infinite Earths, this collection was a goodbye to the Pre-Crisis Superman prior to Byrne's Man of Steel. Alan Moore writes a theoretical end to the Man of Steel's career if the Crisis had never happened.
The end of the Multiverse and the creation of the streamlined DC Universe. The Absolute Edition includes loads of extra information and cool stuff and is highly recommended. History of the DC Universe, originally planned as issues 11-12 of Crisis on Infinite Earths, lays the groundwork for Post-Crisis DC continuity.
Superman: The Man of Steel - Volume 2 by John Byrne, Marv Wolfman*
Superman: The Man of Steel - Volume 3 by John Byrne, Marv Wolfman*
Superman: The Man of Steel - Volume 4 by John Byrne, Marv Wolfman, Paul Levitz*
Superman: The Man of Steel - Volume 5 by John Byrne, Marv Wolfman*
After the Crisis, John Byrne (before he sucked) reintroduced us to the Man of Steel with a new origin. Reintroductions can also be found here for Bizarro, Lana Lang, Lex Luthor, Metallo, and Darkseid. Volume five also includes appearances by the Joker, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Mr. Mxyzptlk, and the first appearance of Gangbuster.
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman*
Though it may look at first glance like a tv-show tie-in, this book collects several actual issues of the various Superman titles. A few of them take place after Exile, but the vast majority of them do not, which is why I've placed it here. These stories were selected to specifically highlight the relationship between Lois Lane and Clark Kent.
Superman: Exile*
Superman is overwhelmed by guilt after breaking his vow not to kill and banishes himself to space. Along his journey, we meet Mongul and the Eradicator for the first time. This seems to me to be some of the basis for Superman Returns, but until the movie actually comes out, this notion is entirely speculative.
Superman: Eradication!*
Though the Eradicator first appears in Exile, Eradication really gives him his origin story, which finds itself in the hands of a dying Krypton. We also get an appearance from my favorite anti-hero, Lobo.
Superman: Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite by Roger Stern*
Mxyzptlk and red kryptonite in this hard-to-find collection, which also includes Clark and Lois's engagement.
Superman: Time and Time Again by Dan Jurgens*
Superman's time-traveling adventures with the Legion of Super-Heroes and the Linear Men.
Superman: Panic in the Sky by Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson*
Brainiac has taken over Warworld and is piloting it toward earth. Here we also get some of our first looks at the new Post-Crisis Supergirl, who leaves Earth toward this story's end.
Superman: They Saved Luthor's Brain! by John Byrne, Roger Stern*
Shortly after Lex Luthor's death due to Kryptonite poisoning, his "son" appears, a young philanthropic businessman with a full head of hair. The issues contained here actually span several of the previously listed Superman trades, but without giving too much away, this book will make the most sense when read here in the list. Also in this book, Supergirl returns to Earth after her departure during Panic in the Sky.
The Death of Superman by Dan Jurgens, et al  (Hardcover Omnibus)
World Without a Superman by Dan Jurgens, et al
The Return of Superman by Dan Jurgens, et al
The Death of Superman chronicles Superman's death at the hands of a fierce new enemy, Doomsday. World Without a Superman includes Kal-El's funeral and reactions from the super-hero community and the rest of the world. The Return of Superman also includes the Reign of the Supermen story-lines in which four new heroes attempt to take Superman's palce. Look here for the origins of Superboy, Steel, the Cyborg (of the Superman variety, not the Vic Stone variety), and a new incarnation of the Eradicator. Their four separate tales eventually converge upon the resurrection of the Man of Steel himself and the birth of his stylish new 90's haircut. The Hardcover Omnibus covers all three story arcs in a single high-quality volume.
Superman / Aliens by Dan Jurgens*
This is one of the few inter-company crossovers that actually ends up being considered to be in-continuity. It was written by Dan Jurgens who was a primary Superman writer at the time, and it references recent Superman history, such as Exile and The Death of Superman. It is also briefly mentioned later in the Final Night. I've placed it here, just prior to Zero Hour, because if memory serves, Zero Hour is where Superman loses his long 90's hair, which he still has in this story.
Zero Hour: Crisis in Time by Dan Jurgens
Zero Hour was DC's attempt to clean up the continuity issues still left over from Crisis on Infinite Earths. Time is unraveling due to the plotting of Extant, and all the heroes must band together to hold the timestream together. But even if they defeat Extant, Parallax may help time to fully unravel, giving all of DC continuity a fresh start. Also seen here is the origin of Impulse, the aging of most of the original JSA, and Jack Knight's takeover of the Starman mantle.
Superman/Doomsday Omnibus by Dan Jurgens, Jeph Loeb, et al*
Collection of the battles between Superman and Doomsday in the years after the Death and Return of Superman. This also includes Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey, which reveals Doomsday's surprising origin.
Superman: The Death of Clark Kent*
Someone from Clark Kent's past learns his great secret and begins using it against those he loves, leading him to the conclusion that the only way to save them is to kill off his secret identity and become only Superman.
The Trial of Superman by Louise Simonson
Superman is kidnapped to space and put on trial for the crime of one of his ancestors who played a part in the destruction of Krypton.
Superman: The Wedding and Beyond*
After fifty years (though I suppose only a few in current continuity), Lois and Clark are finally married. Theirs has always been my favorite fictional romance.
The Final Night by Ron Marz
A Sun-Eater envelopes our Sun and the Earth is shrouded in darkness, causing Superman to lose his powers.
Superman: Transformed! by Dan Jurgens*
In the wake of Final Night, a powerless Superman is mysteriously transformed into a being of pure-energy.
Superman vs. the Revenge Squad*
Maxima, Barrage, Riot, Anomaly, and Misa team up as The Revenge Squad to battle the Last Son of Krypton. This book actually takes place about halfway through Transoformed, but I believe it can be read separately without too much confusion.
Superman: End of the Century by Stuart Immonen  (Hardcover)
Superman and Lois lane must track down a mysterious killing force in Metropolis, which is soon revealed to be the child of Lex Luthor's ex-wife, Contessa. The continuity of this book directly conflicts with Endgame, but is worth a read none-the-less.
[o]Elseworlds Interlude
Kingdom Come was originally released as an Elseworlds tale, but so many aspects of it have been brought in to continuity that I decided it was best to place it along with its in-continuity sequel, The Kingdom. The same goes for Red Son, which has since been referenced in many other Superman books.
Kingdom Come by Mark Waid  (Absolute Edition)
The Kingdom by Mark Waid
Superman stars in Kingdom Come, a groundbreaking work featuring a dark alternative future with appearances by almost every DC character and their children battling against the terrible Magog. In The Kingdom, Gog is traveling through alternate realities, attempting to destroy every incarnation of Superman that he can find. The Kingdom also subtly foreshadows Infinite Crisis and Red Son.
Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar
An often referenced Elseworlds tale, Red Son poses the question: What if Superman had landed in the Soviet Union rather than in Smallville, Kansas? Not important to continuity, but still a fantastic story.
[o]The New Millennium
The Kents by John Ostrander*
The Kents looks at the lives of the ancestors Superman's adopted family in the 1960s.
Superman For All Seasons by Jeph Loeb  (Hardcover) *
Just prior to the start of his run on the series, Jeph Loeb took a crack at rewriting Superman's origin. This origin was very similar to what would be used in the Smallivlle TV series, on which Loeb consulted.
Superman - Volume 1: No Limits by Jeph Loeb, Joe Kelly, et al*
Superman - Volume 2: Endgame by Jeph Loeb, Joe Kelly, Stuart Immonen, Mark Millar*
Superman - Volume 3: 'Til Death Do Us Part by Jeph Loeb, Joe Kelly, Stuart Immonen*
Superman - Volume 4: Critical Condition by Jeph Loeb, Joe Kelly, J.M. DeMatteis, Mark Schultz*
No Limits marked an intended new direction for the Superman series with a new set of authors. This first volume includes battles with the Eradicator and Mongul, as well as the first appearances of Imperiex and La Encantadora. In Endgame, at midnight December 31, 1999, Brainiac 13 takes over Metropolis and remakes it in his own image. 'Til Death Do Us Part is one of my least favorite story-arcs ever simply for the fact that it suggests turmoil in the relationship between Lois and Clark. Critical Condition remedies this a bit, though in the process infects Superman with a mysterious disease. Batman hunts for Lois as Steel, Superboy, Supergirl, and the Atom miniaturize to fight said disease within Superman's body.
Superman: Emperor Joker by Jeph Loeb, J.M. DeMatteis, Joe Kelly, Mark Schultz
Wonderfully, amazingly, perfectly, awesomely, twisted story. By far one of my favorite Superman stories of all time. The experience of reading this in single-issue form cannot be re-captured in this graphic novel if for no other reason than because the halfway-through shocker is revelaed right in the title, but that just means that I can actually tell you what it's about without worrying I'm ruining anything. Ready for this? The Joker has obtained nearly infinite cosmic power. Period. The End. That's it. Just let your mind run wild with that one. Characters are introduced here that last well into the pages of Infinite Crisis. Though not the main-character, Batman plays an absolutely essential role in this twisted tale.
Superman - Volume 5: President Lex by Jeph Loeb, Greg Rucka, et al*
In the 2000 election, the DC United States of America elected Lex Luthor as President, "a murderous, scheming multimillionaire who'd sell out the helpless for his own glory." Good thing we don't live in that kind of America, huh? Oh. Wait. Nevermind.
Superman - Volume 7: Our Worlds at War - Volume 2 by Jeph Loeb, Joe Kelly, Phil Jimenez, et al*
Superman forms alliances with Lex Luthor and Darkseid in order to save the universe from the world-destroying Imperiex. The Complete Edition collects both Volume 1 and 2 in a single book.
Superman - Volume 8: Return to Krypton by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning*
Superman and Lois are sent back in time and through space, as Kal-El is given a completely new outlook on what Krypton was like before its destruction.
Superman: Day of Doom by Dan Jurgens*
On the anniversary of Superman's death, someone is following Doomsday's cross-country path, and murdering people along the way.
[o]Birthright to Infinite Crisis
Superman: Birthright by Mark Waid  (Hardcover) *
Birthright rewrites Clark Kent's early life as he leaves Smallville in an attempt to tie the comic book continuity in with the Smallville television series. This is a move that I personally found appalling and for the most part tried to ignore. Unfortunately, this new origin story has became the standard for the Superman books that followed it, so I suppose we're stuck with it.
Superman/Shazam!: First Thunder by Judd Winick*
First Thunder takes a look at the first meeting of Superman and Captain marvel in a Post-Crisis universe. Unfortunately this book was published twenty years after Crisis on Infinite Earths, making it extremely difficult to place chronologically. I have chosen to place it just after Birthright as it is the first historical tale in the post-Birthright universe.
Jeph Loeb's run on Superman/Batman was epic and amazing. In Public Enemies, Superman and Batman work together with and against almost every current DC hero to conclude the presdiential reign of Lex Luthor, who, with the final words of this book, foreshadows the coming of a Crisis. Supergirl reintroduces Kara Zor-El as Superman's Kryptonian cousin and also brings us a return of Harbinger as Supergirl struggles to find her place in the world, first being taken in by the Amazons of Paradise Island and then by Darkseid! In Absolute Power we are shown Superman and Batman on multiple Earths and in multiple timlines. They begin the story as the ruthless rulers of a conquered Earth as an uprising of heroes joins together to battle them, an uprising of heroes that includes Uncle Sam, the Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, the Ray, Doll Man, and Wonder Woman. But when Wonder Woman kills Batman, and Superman kills her in return, the Superman of Kingdom Come must step in to help set things right. The story contines with appearances by Kamandi and Tufta... Cinnamon, Bat Lash, El Diablo, Jonah Hex, and Scalphunter... Darkseid, Metron, and Etrigan... Sgt. Rock, and the Easy Company... the Blackhawks... and even Ra's Al Ghul and the Legion of Superheroes. Consider this a fantastic refresher on the breadth of the DC Universe as we lead into the beginnings of Infinite Crisis. In addition to bringing together all of the stories that go back to the beginning of Public Enemies, Vengeance brings us the extra special bonus of referring back to one of my favorite storylines of all time, Superman Arkham / Emperor Joker. Vengeance also ushers in the return of Bizarro, Batzarro, and almost every other incarnation of Superman or Batman that has ever existed or been imagined (including the Superman of Red Son and the Batman of Batman Beyond).
Superman: Godfall by Michael Turner, Joe Kelly  (Hardcover)
Superman has vanished and a new hero has appeared in Metropolis in his place. Majestic is actually a hero from the Wildstorm universe and this Superman cross-over was used as a place to jump into his own series under that banner. Godfall reveals where Superman has been, apparantly back on Krypton! But can he find his way back to Earth?
Gog, from The Kingdom, has returned and has brought a hoard of foes along with him, including Doomsday!
Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer  (Hardcover)
Identity Crisis is an incredible story that shakes the foundation of much of the DC Universe and sets forth events that pave the way for Infinite Crisis. A hero's wife is murdered and the members of the Justice League, old and current, must band together to find the killer before their own spouses are next. But as the investigations continue, a potentially more sinister crime is revealed.
Lex Luthor: Man of Steel by Brian Azzarello*
In For Tomorrow, millions of people have vanished from the face of the Earth, including Lois Lane. And Superman is responsible!
Unconventional Warfare begins the three-part story of Ruin, a new villain out to destroy Superman through his friends and family. Lois is shot while on location in Umec. Could Ruin be responsible? That Healing Touch, the second part of Ruin's tale, ties into the aftermath of Identity Crisis, including a good look at differing moralities of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Pete Ross takes over as President in Luthor's absence. Myxzptlk also makes several appearances during these first two chapters, warning the Man of Steel of an upcoming Crisis. The third pard of this story, Ruin Revealed, takes place during OMAC Project, so look for it just a bit later.
The OMAC Project includes the original Countdown to Infinite Crisis one-shot that leads into the other Countdown books and therefore into Infinite Crisis itself. Maxwell Lord leads Checkmate and has unleashed an army of OMACs upon the superhuman community. Superman: Sacrifice expands upon the events of The OMAC Project and is in fact intended to be read about halfway through finishing that book. When reading The OMAC Project, switch to Sacrifice when you get to the page that says "Previously in Sacrifice" at the top. These books overlap during one chapter, so after reading sacrifice, you can skip ahead in The OMAC Project to the page that starts "Part four..." Complicated, I know. Sacrifice itself refers to the sacrifice Wonder Woman must make when Superman falls under the mind control of Maxwell Lord.
Superman: Ruin Revealed by Greg Rucka
Ruin Revealed is the third part of the Ruin story and this book does just what it says. In the first several pages, we finally learn the true face behind Ruin. Or do we? The first two issues contained here actually take place before Sacrifice, but there's not really any need to flip back and forth between the two. Just read Sacrifice first if you're planning to read it at all.
Superman: The Journey by Mark Verheiden
The Journey follows Superman's life just before the opening chapter of Infinite Crisis. But just to confuse matters, the first part of the book (up to page 25) actually takes place before OMAC Project. It is not imperative that it is read prior to OMAC, but that's where it goes chronologically. Just make sure not to read page 26, "Our Story Continues," before reading OMAC Project and Sacrifice. (Also found here are two of my favorite characters that were introduced during Emperor Joker.) Strange Attractors happens somewhat concurrently with the Journey, and is also pre-OMAC up to page 51. In this story, Superman faces off against Black Adam, Satanus, Livewire, and the Doctors Polaris and Psycho.
JLA: Crisis of Conscience
The events of Identity Crisis finally come full-circle in Crisis of Conscience, driving the Justice League of America to disband. The last page of this book leads directly to the first page of Infinite Crisis.
Infinite Crisis by Geoff Johns  (Hardcover) *
Twenty years after Crisis on Infinite Earths, a true sequel is finally published. I cannot possibly give a proper synopsis of this book without giving too much away, but it is definitely a Superman must-read. The Infinite Crisis Companion appears as though it is going to contain all of the Infinite Crisis Specials that were released alongside Infinite Crisis. It is good that these are going to be collected in trade, but collecting them separately from Infinite Crisis itself is going to make it nearly impossible to read everything in the proper order. When it comes out though, I will do my best to tell you in what order these two book should be read.
Superman: Infinite Crisis
Superman: Infinite Crisis looks at the lives of two Supermen as they may have played out had their roles been reversed. This Earths-shattering event takes place in the cracks in the Multiverse between pages 143 and 160 of Infinite Crisis, as Superman battles Superman. My suggestion is to read this book in its entirety after reading Infinite Crisis up to page 150.
[o]One Year Later
Superman: Up, Up, and Away! by Kurt Busiek, Geoff Johns
One year after Infinite Crisis, a de-powered Superman makes his return to Metropolis to battle his everlasting arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor. Meanwhile, Lois and Clark must cope with his returning powers and what that means for their relationship and how they've lived for the past year.
Superman: Back in Action by Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieiza, Len Wein, Gerry Conway
"The Auctioneer," is collecting unique structural and metahuman specimens from Earth, and a newly re-powered Superman is on his wish-list. Superman will have to team up with Nightwing, Firestorm, the new Aquaman, the Veteran, Skyrocket, Blue Jay, and even Livewire to get the rest of Earth's heroes out of captivity. No less than three very distinct and very interesting storylines look like they are going to start due to events in this book. Can anyone say "third Kryptonian on Earth?" Because this is only a three-part story, DC decided to include a couple classic superman team-ups from the late 70s and early 80s. In these stories, look for Superman to join up with the Metal Men to battle Chemo, with Firestorm (who joins the league in this issue) against Killer Frost, and finally with Deadman against Death itself.
Superman must expunge Intergang from Metropolis while also handling old unresolved issues with Lana and a new threat from Kazakhstan.
Superman: Kryptonite by Darwyn Cooke  (Hardcover) *
No details available yet.
In The Enemies Among Us, the Martain Manhunter attacks Batman, Parasite and Titano return, and Superman's ellegiances are tested among the Green Lantern Corps.
[o]Elseworlds and Other Tales
Elseworlds are DC's "What If?" books, where they take familiar characters and places and rewrite them in an unfamiliar and way-the-hell-out-of-continuity way. For the most part, these are all "Superman landed in [insert place here] instead of Smallville" and take it from there.
Superman: Distant Fires by Howard Chaykin
In a post-apocalyptic world, where most of the former super heroes have lost their powers, Superman faces off against Captain Marvel.
Superman: Kal by Dave Gibbons
Baby Kal lands in medieval England, falls in love with Lady Louisse, and battles Baron Luthor.
Superman: The Dark Side by John Francis Moore
Baby Superman lands on Apokolips and is raised by Darkseid, who uses him to destroy New Genesis and eventually Earth.
Superman: War of the Worlds by Roy Thomas
Superman crossed-over with War of the Orson Welles telling of the H.G. Wells novel, War of the Worlds.
Superman: A Nation Divided by Roger Stern
Baby Kal lands one century earlier, is named Atticus Kent, and eventually participates in the Civil War on the side of the North.
The Superman Monster by Dan Abnett
This Elsewords crosses Superman with Frankenstein as Vicktor Luthor finds the dead baby Kal-El and uses him to create a monster.
Superman, Inc. by Steve Vance
Found by the Sudermans, baby Dale grows up to become quite the jetsetter.
Son of Superman by Howard Chaykin  (Hardcover) *
Fifteen years after the disappearance of Superman, teenager Jon Kent discovers his super powers. In a world where the Justice Leage is run by the corrupt government, Jon must corrupt versions of his father's former allies.
Superman: Last Son of Earth by Steve Gerber
In the reverse of standard continuity, baby Kal-El is sent from Earth to the planet Krypton. This was followed-up by a ten-year-later sequel, Last Stand of Krypton.
Superman Gen Thirteen by Adam Hughs
Superman crosses over with the Wildstorm universe as the Gen Thirteen girls take a road trip to Metropolis.
Superman vs. Predator by David Michellinie*
Yes... really.
Superman: True Brit by Kim Johnson, John Cleese  (Hardcover) *
Yes, that John Cleese. This Elseworlds tale considers what would have happened if Kal-El had crash-landed in England instead of Kansas and grown up as Colin Clark.
Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek
In a story somewhat smiliar to that of Superboy-Prime, young Clark Kent, a human born on earth, is constantly made fun of for sharing a name with the comic-book hero, Superman. His friends and family find it hilarious to give him Superman-related gives at every ocassion, but he is personally not amused. Finally giving in to the pressure, he attends a costume party dressed as Superman and on the way, finds that he does indeed have the powers of the Man of Steel.
Superman: Infinite City by Mike Kennedy  (Hardcover) *
Though not an Elseworlds, I don't know if this book can be actually considered in-continuity. In it, Superman and Lois lane are transported to a city that is a mix of magic and technology, supposidly created by Jor-El in a previous attempt to rescue Kryptonian civilization.
All-Star Superman - Volume 1 by Grant Morrison  (Hardcover) *
Also neither an Elseworlds nor in-continuity, this series by Grant Morrison is a modern take on the classic superman, with his own twist on the Lois/Clark/Superman triangle.
It's a Bird... by Steven T. Seagle  (Hardcover)
One of Superman's rare appearances in a Vertigo title, though he does not actually appear in this book other than in the form of merchandising. This book is actually about the author, Steven, and his struggle to understand the hero he has been asked to write about.
Superman: Cover to Cover  (Hardcover) *
This hardcover collection features a great history of Superman comic book covers. Several writers, artists, actors, and directors select their personal favorites, including Grant Morrison, Jeph Loeb, Mark Varheiden, Mark Waid, Bryan Singer, Brandon Routh, Richard Donner, and Jack Larson.
[o]On Screen
The 17 animated Superman shorts created by Max Fleischer and released from 1941-1943 are now in the public domain. Because of this, several companies have released their own collections of these cartoons. Each of the above DVDs contains the exact same 17 episodes packaged by a different company with different reproduction quality and different extras. I highly recommend doing your own research before deciding which of these collections is best for you. One thing I found particularly interesting in these cartoons was how much Superman's S shield from Kingdom Come resembles the one used here.
The 1950's TV series, starring George Reeves.
The feature films starring Christopher Reeve, who made me believe a man could fly. The Special Editions of Superman I and II together contain all of the Fleischer cartoons. The Box Set contains all four Reeve films in their respective Special or Deluxe editions. The first two of these films are lead-ins to the new Superman Returns.
Superman II - The Richard Donner Cut  (Blu-Ray, HD DVD)
Richard Donner, director of the first Superman movie, concurrently filmed most of Superman II as well, but near completion, the film was handed off to another director who re-shot almost the entire movie, leaving out all but small pieces of Donner's original footage. The newly released Richard Donner Cut re-introduces Donner's footage, using only small amounts of the re-shot footage where absolutely necessary. This isn't just different takes of the same scenes, this is essentially a completely different film.
Superboy - Season 1*
Fifteen years before Smallivlle, there was Superboy starring Gerard Christopher and produced by Illya and Alexander Salkind, producers of the first there Superman movies starring CHristopher Reeve. Amazingly, however, this first season actually stars John Newton as the Boy of Steel. It wasn't until the second season that Christopher came onboard and it wasn't until the third season that the name of the show was changed to The Adventures of Superboy. Even more amazingly, Christopher actually tried out for and was cast in the role of Clark Kent on Lois & Clark, but when the producers realized that he had already played Superboy, they dropped him, not wanting any ties to the previous series.
The television series about Lois Lane and Clark Kent as played by Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher. There were some rather fantastic guest appearances in this series, including Howie Mandel as Mr. Mxyzptlk. Though it may look at first glance like a tv-show tie-in, the book listed here collects several actual issues of the various Superman titles from around the time of Exile. These stories were selected to specifically highlight the relationship between Lois Lane and Clark Kent.
Superman: Adventures of the Man of Steel by Scott McCloud, Paul Dani*
The complete late-90's Superman cartoon movie series. The Last Son of Krypton was an animated movie released during the beginning of the Animated Series and Brainiac Attacks is an all-new movie for 2006 using the same artistic style and voice cast. The Adventures of the Man of Steel was released during the run of the Animated Series using the same artistic style as all of DC's recent animated shows. The four Superman Adventures trade paperbacks collect issues of the kid-friendly Superman Adventures comic that was also styled after the Animated Series.
The engrossing Smallville TV series, starring Tom Welling (Clark Kent), Kristin Kreuk (Lana Lang), Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor), John Glover (Lionel Luthor), Erica Durance (Lois Lane), Annette O'Toole (Martha Kent), and John Schneider (Johnathan Kent) among others. The series has had several guest appearances by other DC heroes (Aquaman, Cyborg, Kid Flash, Green Arrow), as well as making many other references to the comic books and movies (appearances by Christopher Reeve and allusions to Lex's future loss of a hand).
Prequels was a four-issue mini-series published in the month prior to the release of Superman Returns that was intended to be a direct lead-up to the film. It contains a lot of scenes taken directy from the first two Christopher Reeve Superman movies while also filling in the gap of what happened in the five years that Superman has been gone since the end of that Film. Superman Returns stars Brandon Routh (Superman), Kevin Spacey (Lex Luthor), and Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane). They're even using archive of Marlon Brando for Jor-El. Keep an eye out for Jack Larson as Bibbo. He played Jimmy Olson on the George Reeves Adventures of Superman series, as well as making a cameo as an older Jimmy Olson on Lois and Clark. This story, which in my opinion is a perfect addition to the Superman film series, takes place directly after Superman 2, essentially retconning-out Superman 3 and 4. The Movie and More Tales is the graphic novel adaptation for the film.
Look, Up in the Sky - the Amazing Story of Superman*
This DVD contains a historical look at Superman in all mediums; comic, television, and movie. It contains interviews with creators and cast of many of the above and is narrated by Kevin Spacey.
Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition
This is the Mega Ultra Awesometacular Ultimate Superman Collection. It contains no less than fourteen discs, including all four Christopher Reeve Superman films, the Richard Donner Cut of Superman II, Superman Returns, all of the Fleischer Studios cartoons, the "Look, Up in the Sky!" documentary, and tons more. Even if you already have all of the individual films, this collection still has stuff that you don't have... plus the box is sexy.
/