Superman is a comic book published by DC Comics. The character Superman began as one of several anthology features in the National Periodical Publications comic book Action Comics #1 (June 1938). The strip proved so popular that National launched Superman into his own self-titled comic book, the first for any superhero, premiering with cover-date June 1939. Between 1986 and 2006 it was retitled The Adventures of Superman while a new comic book used the title Superman. As of September 5, 2009, the series has reached issue #690.
The Adventures of Superman
After the Man of Steel limited series, Action Comics returned and Superman (Volume 2) #1 was published. A new title, The Adventures of Superman, premiered with #424, continuing the numbering of the original Superman series. The initial team working on the renamed title was writer Marv Wolfman and artist Jerry Ordway.
The Adventures of Superman was numbered from issue #424 (January 1987) to issue #649 (April 2006), for a total of 228 monthly issues (including issue #0 (October 1994) published between issues #516 and #517 during the Zero Hour crossover event and issue #1,000,000 (November 1998) during the DC One Million crossover event) and nine Annuals published between 1987 to 1997.
The plots of the Superman books were often linked during the first few years of the series run. To coordinate the storyline and sequence of event, from January 1991 to January 2002, "triangle numbers" (or "shield numbers") appeared on the cover of each Superman comic book. During these years the Superman story lines ran with the story continuing through the titles Superman, Action Comics and later in two further series, Superman: The Man of Steel and Superman: The Man of Tomorrow. After February 2002, the integration between the Superman titles became less frequent, and the remaining issues of The Adventures of Superman commonly carried self-contained stories. The final issue (#649), however, was part of a three-part crossover with Superman and Action Comics, an homage to the Golden Age Superman in the wake of events in the limited series Infinite Crisis.
For its last few years, The Adventures of Superman was written by Greg Rucka. Notable plots included the villain Ruin, the attempted assassination of Lois Lane and a number of well-regarded Mxyzptlk appearances.
Superman (Volume 2) reached issue #226 (April 2006) and was then canceled as part of the companywide Infinite Crisis storyline. The Adventures of Superman was returned to its original title, Superman, with issue #650 (May 2006). Action Comics had continued publication normally.
The annual editions after the retitling back to Superman (Volume 1) continued starting with Annual #13 released November 28, 2007 (cover dated Jan. 2008, the last annual issue prior to the 1987 retitling was Annual #12 in 1986). The Annual issue's lead story was the finale to the "Camelot Falls" arc by Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco.
The book also participated in the weekly series Countdown to Final Crisis, giving a different perspective on certain happenings that are shown in the weekly title, such as the events preceding the death of New God Lightray.