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Electric Bluegaloo, Act One: Superman… Reborn!

Superman art by Stuart Immonen

Of all the strange transformations Superman has undergone in his 78-year history, none has been quite so derided as the year where his familiar costume and powers were replaced with a blue and white "containment suit" and a tenuous relationship with electricity. But that raises the question, was it really all that bad? Two decades later, we want to find out, so ComicsAlliance is taking a look back at the Electric Blue Era of Superman to find out not just what worked, but if anything worked. This is... Electric Bluegaloo.

This week, Superman's new costume makes its debut, and Metropolis almost gets nuked. Again.

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Electric Bluegaloo: Comics Alliance’s Critical Re-Examination Of Superman’s ‘Electric Blue’ Year

Electric Bluegaloo Prelude: Power Shift

Of all the strange transformations Superman has undergone in his 78-year history, none has been quite so derided as the year where his familiar costume and powers were replaced with a blue and white "containment suit" and a tenuous relationship with electricity. But that raises the questio, was it really all that bad? Two decades later, we want to find out, so ComicsAlliance is taking a look back at the Electric Blue Era of Superman to find out not just what worked, but if anything worked. This is... Electric Bluegaloo.

This week, we start with a look at the stories that led to Superman's new look, and try to figure out just why anyone thought this was a good idea to begin with.

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Ask Chris #287: The Death And Return Of Superman

Ask Chris #287, background art by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding

Q: I’m reading The Death and Return of Superman, and it's way better than I've remembered. Why do people hate it if it works? And am I crazy to say this was the last time DC did right trying to contemporize Superman? -- @robotfrom1984

A: It seems like a lot of people have been working their way through the Death of Superman over the past few weeks, which probably has a lot to do with DC recently putting the entire saga out in four gigantic paperbacks. I even spent the last week reading through it for the first time myself --- I'd read Death, of course, but I never made it through the rest of the story to get the whole weird picture.

That said, I'm not sure that it's actually all that hated. I mean, sure, it's easy to dismiss it for its excesses, but it's a hugely successful story that, for better or worse, defined Superman for a decade. And like you said, when you read it all at once, you can see that it does a whole lot that goes way beyond just having Superman get punched to death by a bone monster.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Akira, Princess Zelda, Starman, True Detective, Hannibal and More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

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Steve Rude Shows Off ‘Adventures of Superman’ Cover, DC Reveals Additional Creators

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The best Superman comic book currently published is about to get even better with the addition of Steve Rude, arguably one of today's best living American comic book artists. The April 14 edition of DC Comics' digital-first Adventures of Superman anthology will see the master storyteller collaborate with writer (and a brilliant, influential artist in his own right) Jerry Ordway for a Superman story starring OMAC, a cult favorite creation of Rude's hero, Jack Kirby.

But Rude and Ordway are just two of the creators DC has lined up for the weekly Adventures of Superman -- one of ComicsAlliance's picks for the best comic books of 2013.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Godzilla, Zatanna, Usagi Yojimbo, Star-Lord, Kill Bill, Daenerys & More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Sandman, Sailor Moon, Wonder Woman, Evangelion, Frozen, Twin Peaks & More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.

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Best Art Ever (This Week) – Superman 75th Anniversary Edition

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we've created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it's new, some of it's old, some of it's created by working professionals, some of it's created by future stars, some of it's created by talented fans, and some of it's endearingly silly. All of it's awesome. In honor of this year's 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Superman and this weekend's release of Man of Steel, we present for the second time a compilation of some of the coolest portraits of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's brilliant creation that we've highlighted in this feature over the last few years. We know it's cheating but we didn't count on going away for a month and then coming back in the middle of a big media event. All-new next week evermore.

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