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Iconic Covers: Superman #123 (1997)

For me, one of THE most iconic Superman covers is the "collector’s edition" of Superman #123–the official debut of the "electric costume" back in spring 1997 (19 years ago!). The sharp contrast of the blue/whites on black makes it pop all the more, while I’m far less (personally) thrilled with the "newsstand" edition. Yet, compared to many of the Superman books of the ’90s with the two editions, this is a rarity in that I prefer the collector’s edition to the newsstand.

I’m sure part of that is that as an "iconic cover" it’s one that has served as the basis for other covers…most notably to me, a Mr. Mxyzptlk issue of the New Year’s Evil fifth-week event DC did the one year, and then the introduction of the Strange Visitor character at the end of the ’90s.

superman0123_collectors     superman0123_newsstand

New_Year's_Evil_Mister_Mxyzptlk_1     superman0149

And it’s quite cool (to me) that even after all these years, a copy of Superman #123 from a quarter bin still has its glowy-effect.


Taking the time to hold the issue up to a light, and then find a dark space to see the effect (much as it shows up in the photo, the photo does not do it justice!) was a fun distraction for a couple minutes…and well worth the 25 cents the issue cost me this time around!

Favorite Superman Covers: Superman #123

I’m not much of an art person when it comes to comics–I tend to prefer story over art…but that’s not to say that art doesn’t play a huge factor! And through the years, there have been a number of Superman comics whose covers have particularly stood out to me, for one reason or another. In this series, I’m presenting 10 of my favorites and why they are favorites.

Superman #123 is one of the few “collector’s edition” covers I prefer to the “newsstand” or “standard”/regular cover. This was a glow-in-the-dark cover…HIGHLY appropriate in a way most covers’ “enhancements” are not.


The simplicity of the image is part of what makes it iconic…just the black background, with a glowing new-electric-costume Superman standing there. I recall the image being “homaged” at least twice–with a Mr. Mxyzptlk one-shot during the New Year’s Evil skip-week “event” one year, as well as an issue with the character “Strange Visitor.”

Another significant thing that makes the issue and its cover stand out to me is that this is the issue that brought me back into Superman comics, after taking over a year “off,” though I’d picked up the wedding issue. New costume, new powers, new beginning of my folling the books.

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