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  1. #1

    Default Triangle Era Appreciation Thread and Recommendations

    I'd like to be "that" guy and start a thread celebrating my favorite era for the franchise: The Triangle Era! While technically running from January 1991 to January 2002, most people usually think of the Triangle Era as being the unbroken run of Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Roger Stern, Louise Simonson, and later writers and artists on the Superman books, extending from the time John Byrne left in 1988 to when Jeph Loeb took over in late 1999. The name comes from the little triangle on the cover of each Superman title that would allow readers to follow along chronologically with the serialized storyline of Superman. In essence, this would turn the three, then four, then five, main Superman books into one massive weekly series with rotating writing and art teams.

    The Triangle Era has its roots in the Exile storyline, where the new creative teams had to dig their way out of a massive hole: On his way out, John Byrne had Superman commit murder against the Pocket Universe versions of General Zod and his crew. This should have been poison to the recently-rebooted Superman universe, but they dug their heels in and made it work, turning Superman's greatest moral failing into one of the best storylines ever run in the main Superman books. Afterward, things slowly fell into place with a few more linked crossovers, until all three Superman books operating as one voice became the norm with the start of 1991.

    Contrary to popular opinion, this didn't deprive each creative team from putting their own flourishes on the world. In fact, it would allow more of Superman's supporting cast to have greater exposure then we'd get when there'd be less adherence to week-by-week continuity. For example, Superman: The Man of Steel would be the place where the stories of the Underworlders would be told, Action Comics would typically have a greater focus on Lex Luthor and the Matrix Supergirl than seen in the other books, and the Adventures of Superman would tend to incorporate a lot of Jack Kirby concepts. In fact, it was rarely the norm to have an unbroken story week-to-week. With the exception of some two, three, or four-part arcs (and naturally the huge mega-storylines like Doomsday, Funeral for a Friend, and Reign of the Supermen), usually each issue would be a standalone story that, at most, would be referenced in dialogue the following week.

    Since getting back into Superman with DC Rebirth, I've gone back and started devouring this era. I can't think of any other time where Superman's world has seen so robust. Ironic, then, that this was without Kara Zor-El, the Legion of Super-Heroes, or many other Pre-Crisis concepts that wouldn't be reincorporated into continuity until the mid-2000's. In their absence, we had new heroes: Gangbuster, Steel, the '90s Superboy, Matrix/Linda Danvers, and many more. We had a greater focus on the Daily Planet and WGBS staff, with new introductions to the family like Cat Grant and Ron Troupe. Yes, the Kents were also alive, and whether you think this is good for the Superman mythos or not, it allowed us a window back to Smallville in a time when "The Adventures of Superman When He Was a Boy" didn't exist in the canon. Finally, this is where Lois and Clark went from rivals to best friends to husband and wife. It's a time where nothing, save for the core tenants of the character, was held TOO sacred, and, because of that, the quickly-expanding mythos and sheer glut of new characters came at a furious pace.

    As a fan of this era, I find it disheartening that so many people who got into comics at a later date don't have a great familiarity with anything beyond the Death and Return trade paperbacks and some big flashy storylines like the Electric Superman saga. It's really not anyone's fault but DC's, as nothing from this era remains in print, with a full chronicle of Post-Crisis Superman usually ending with John Byrne's run. But man, there's SO much good stuff that's just waiting to be rediscovered, and the great news is that most of it is available digitially. So use this thread to reminiscence and share your favorite issues and arcs from this era, which is still the bedrock on which the Superman books are built today.
    Last edited by Kuwagaton; 10-24-2017 at 05:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member TheCape's Avatar
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    ordway+3.jpg
    Jerry Ordway was one my favorite artist of this era (he was also the writter that loved to use the supporting cast more), this painting comes from the "Time and Time Again" storyline (well as a suplemental material for a trade i think) one of the most funs around that time period.
    Last edited by TheCape; 10-25-2017 at 11:26 AM.

  3. #3
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    As I've said elsewhere, ditto to everything said. And well said, too!

    It's interesting that much of the attention to the Triangle Era is DOS-ROS and after, because some of the most influential stories owe a lot to the years of stories that proceeded that. Especially Lois and Clark getting engaged, him telling her his secret (that's an incredible cover, too!).. so many things that are big moments, but are hard to find anymore, iirc.

    Love that poster image, too. So many good artists from this era, too: Jerry Ordway, Dan Jurgens, Tom Grummett, and the extremely talented Jon Bogdanove.

    In my avatar (which is me, in case anyone's wondering) the emblem is taken from Superman #78 (the Cyborg Superman cover) because I specifically wanted a Jurgens/Breeding emblem for the suit.


    I still wonder about the year that Superman's wedding became Superman's funeral. I'd love to see what the original timeline was going to be before WB made them change it due to the "Lois & Clark" tv show.


    To my mind, there will never be a better approach to character than someone who feels it. This era, imo, had that in spades... best example being this video here (which I know I've shared over a dozen times):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkWcfpYQ4S4
    Hear my new CD "Love The World Away", available on iTunes, Google Music, Spotify, Shazam, and Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01N5XYV..._waESybX1C0RXK via @amazon
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  4. #4

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    I couldn't believe there was alot of negativity towards Post-Crisis Supes. I read Byrnes run and fell in love with it! I honestly thought this was the run people would love the most. I didn't get a chance to read the runs after Byrnes but I do look foward doing so.

    Also there's a Superman Exile and other storis omnibus coming out
    IMG_20171024_203612.jpg

  5. #5

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    Yeah, the wedding happening in Superman #75 seems so unthinkable, as the Death and Return saga became a, if you'll pardon the term, flash point for the entire era. What I love about the creative team and the editorial stewards was how they were able to weave in so many elements to make it seem like that story was always supposed to happen. They even paid off both Hank Henshaw (which was originally just a Fantastic Four riff) and the Eradicator concept! I just can't fathom a Superman world where things went differently, although I imagine they might have toyed with the concept of Lois and Clark having a child a lot sooner if there hadn't been years of stalling.

    I think part of the problem of those earlier stories becoming lost is that they're wedged between the John Byrne run and the beginning of Doomsday. In the early days, DC never really kept anything in trade form unless it was a storyline they could market as a complete book. Time and Time Again and Panic in the Sky might have had trades at one point, but they were never going to be perennially on bookstore shelves like Doomsday, Funeral for a Friend, and the Reign. DC releasing trades of a complete run is still a relatively new concept that they didn't start faithfully adhering to until around a decade ago. Unless you were a reader of this era or you've had great luck digging through back issue bins at the comic store, ComiXology really represents the first time this era is accessible to people.
    Last edited by Embryonic Superman; 10-24-2017 at 05:51 PM.

  6. #6
    Resident of Central City RedWhiteAndBlueSupes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    In my avatar (which is me, in case anyone's wondering) the emblem is taken from Superman #78 (the Cyborg Superman cover) because I specifically wanted a Jurgens/Breeding emblem for the suit.
    LOL nice, who says details don't matter right? I also have a fondness for that era of \S/


    I still wonder about the year that Superman's wedding became Superman's funeral. I'd love to see what the original timeline was going to be before WB made them change it due to the "Lois & Clark" tv show.
    [/QUOTE]
    oh yeah, more tv synergy....uggghh

    Maybe somewhat biased as a 90s kid, but I LOVED the Triangle era, and really the height of the 1986-2006 Superman for me.
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  7. #7
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Thanks, JAK, for that video. Weezy was really ultra cool, she had the best corner of Metropolis and a great collaborator for 80 issues. Of course, they were all collaborators. I was always so thankful that all of those people, with few exceptions, stayed on the same page with things. It made a huge task of coordinating titles into a regular thing. It was so nice to hear her insight.

    That's also really cool on your costume. I would never have been that good with details.

    Although there is no one era I like most, most of what I like probably comes from 1987-2001. A few years back I started a project of reading all post crisis, and while I did read stories out of order and have a spotty collection between 1995-1997, it was quite the adventure. There are so many crazy little folds and references. Jurgens, Stern, and Ordway did tons of subtle humor. I think Post Crisis Superman is the equivalent of what the Simpsons were for animated comedy during the same years.

  8. #8
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Thanks, JAK, for that video. Weezy was really ultra cool, she had the best corner of Metropolis and a great collaborator for 80 issues. Of course, they were all collaborators. I was always so thankful that all of those people, with few exceptions, stayed on the same page with things. It made a huge task of coordinating titles into a regular thing. It was so nice to hear her insight.
    Absolutely. I love that video. That she gets so emotional about the characters, as if they were people she knew, is contagious. I love that, years later (this was for the Doomsday DVD release bonus features), it still means that much to her. That shows a connection to the characters that, after the era, I really felt the absence of.

    Another thing I remember reading about, in this same vein on approach, was on Lois accepting Clark's proposal... from what I remember, they said that - originally - the plan was for her to say "no" and go back to status quo. But as it got closer, they said that "the characters kind of guide themselves" and that they "knew that Lois wouldn't say no." So she said yes.

    That's also really cool on your costume. I would never have been that good with details.
    Oh, I was very meticulous with this one. Being a costume geek and with a grandmother who could sew, I had quite a few over the years... but in '95 I designed the heck outta that thing, lol - even for the cape shape to have the fuller gathers at the top, and to drape the shoulders like the "relaxed" poses:
    Outside_The_Daily_Planet.jpg

    Made in '95 when I was 15, the fact that it fits me better now is one heck of a testament to it, as well. Anyway, pardon my indulgence on sharing that.

    Although there is no one era I like most, most of what I like probably comes from 1987-2001. A few years back I started a project of reading all post crisis, and while I did read stories out of order and have a spotty collection between 1995-1997, it was quite the adventure. There are so many crazy little folds and references. Jurgens, Stern, and Ordway did tons of subtle humor. I think Post Crisis Superman is the equivalent of what the Simpsons were for animated comedy during the same years.
    I've been meaning to do that with the Pre-Crisis era, staring with the Bronze Age. I definitely appreciate just about every era that's come out (3.5 notable exceptions lol), and I've been a Superman nut for longer than I even remember. But the stories that had the most impact were in that same timeframe. It was always interesting to hear other people talk about why they liked the characters they liked, and their reasons usually seemed very superficial. Always about power levels or "cool" factor. But Superman's appeal was just another animal entirely, which is something that's always been incredibly appealing. "Getting" him always seemed like it required some sense of maturity, if that makes any sense.
    Hear my new CD "Love The World Away", available on iTunes, Google Music, Spotify, Shazam, and Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01N5XYV..._waESybX1C0RXK via @amazon
    www.jamiekelleymusic.com
    TV interview here: https://snjtoday.com/snj-today-hotline-jamie-kelley/

  9. #9
    Mighty Member Soubhagya's Avatar
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    Thankfully there is an appreciation thread for this.

    I was getting tired of the almost constant criticism of Superman after 1986. Every era has its fans. I am sure if such a thread existed in 1960s there would have been a lot of criticism of Superman of 60s by the older fans who grew up with Superman of the 40s. What someone prefers is very subjective. Let the new fans see how awesome it was. (Weirdly i am among them. lol)


    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    Absolutely. I love that video. That she gets so emotional about the characters, as if they were people she knew, is contagious. I love that, years later (this was for the Doomsday DVD release bonus features), it still means that much to her. That shows a connection to the characters that, after the era, I really felt the absence of.

    Another thing I remember reading about, in this same vein on approach, was on Lois accepting Clark's proposal... from what I remember, they said that - originally - the plan was for her to say "no" and go back to status quo. But as it got closer, they said that "the characters kind of guide themselves" and that they "knew that Lois wouldn't say no." So she said yes.
    You shared that with me too! It is great to see so much love! Someone like me may never understand. At most i can appreciate her. This is something which makes the result something special. When talent is backed by so much love it is stuff for the ages. Harry Potter is an example.



    I've been meaning to do that with the Pre-Crisis era, staring with the Bronze Age. I definitely appreciate just about every era that's come out (3.5 notable exceptions lol), and I've been a Superman nut for longer than I even remember. But the stories that had the most impact were in that same timeframe. It was always interesting to hear other people talk about why they liked the characters they liked, and their reasons usually seemed very superficial. Always about power levels or "cool" factor. But Superman's appeal was just another animal entirely, which is something that's always been incredibly appealing. "Getting" him always seemed like it required some sense of maturity, if that makes any sense.
    I can't agree with you more. 'Cool' characters are everywhere. 'Power levels' are plenty. What matters is good and enjoyable stories. And Superman when handled well can give that a lot. Superman is cool. He is powerful. At the same time he is lot more. Pardon me for asking but you mentioned 3.5 eras. It would require some clarity. There is no need to tell what you don't like. But an average fan like me would say there are five eras (after looking up wiki of course). Golden, Silver, Bronze, Post Crisis and New 52. Rebirth is a continuation/amalgamation of Post Crisis and New 52.


    Oh, I was very meticulous with this one. Being a costume geek and with a grandmother who could sew, I had quite a few over the years... but in '95 I designed the heck outta that thing, lol - even for the cape shape to have the fuller gathers at the top, and to drape the shoulders like the "relaxed" poses:
    Outside_The_Daily_Planet.jpg

    Made in '95 when I was 15, the fact that it fits me better now is one heck of a testament to it, as well. Anyway, pardon my indulgence on sharing that.
    Where else can we be indulgent. Now that's a costume! I would take that anyday over the one Cavill or Hoelchin wear. I could not tell there is so much detail at first. One has to look more carefully to get that. Kudos to your Grandma! And whoever else behind the costume. It is also a testament to your fitness.
    Last edited by Soubhagya; 10-24-2017 at 08:52 PM.

  10. #10
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    I've only ever read the Death of Superrman saga (via those reprints that popped up during BvS's release) & The Wedding Album but yeah this really did seem like a great era for Supes. Hell the Wedding Album alone gave me new insight on Superman's supporting cast alone that I knew nothing about.

  11. #11
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Louise Simonson... man, that video put her work in a new light. For the life of me I'll never understand Jeb, but it sure did have me stop and think about all of her otherwise great Lois and personal moments. My earliest Superman comics were random issues of Exile my mom found. At the time though, I was more into the new Superboy and Steel comics. Maybe about ten years ago I found two bargain bundles, one containing the Blackout story and the other just being her early MoS run.

    Her very first issue was a jam session, part one of the four part "Mark of the Krypton Man." That story had each creative team do a part of each issue, and I think they all had a few pages extra. I like the beginning of her run because Cerberus made for a solid goon squad and she also didn't hesitate to add Myra, Keith, Babe, and other characters of color. Between her and Bog Metropolis started looking like a real big city.

    The middle part of her run also stands out in my mind, since I faintly remember Fall of Metropolis from when it actually came out. On top of that, I distinctly remember World's Collide, where the Super titles crossed over with Milestone. Between #30 and #43 is a sweet spot, although it was rather heavy with crossovers.

    My favorite from her run though, is probably the golden age story from #80-82. Bog kinda stole the show with some haunting visuals, but the whole thing holds up.

    The two things I'd recommend, thinking about all this, are: DC Retroactive - the '90s. Weezy and Bog reunite for a follow up on an older issue, which is also reprinted inside. And also, her husband's adaptation of the Sand Superman story, the Superman Special of 1992. Very easy to just pick up and read either.


    've been meaning to do that with the Pre-Crisis era, staring with the Bronze Age. I definitely appreciate just about every era that's come out (3.5 notable exceptions lol), and I've been a Superman nut for longer than I even remember. But the stories that had the most impact were in that same timeframe. It was always interesting to hear other people talk about why they liked the characters they liked, and their reasons usually seemed very superficial. Always about power levels or "cool" factor. But Superman's appeal was just another animal entirely, which is something that's always been incredibly appealing. "Getting" him always seemed like it required some sense of maturity, if that makes any sense.
    I regret not starting a Bronze Age collection much earlier... like when I landed my first job as a teen. I've been working pretty hard at filling the gaps for a few years and it's been fun, but it was easier getting a dozen consecutive post crisis issues than say, tracking down Action Comics #410. I really enjoy the Supergirl stuff done by Sekowsky, and I've decided to just wait until they get serious with reprints before going for those stories.

  12. #12
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    This era was just so strong creatively. It's a hell of a thing to be able to put out high-quality work with a distinct voice in normal circumstances, but for each team to do that while having to coordinate with three others is incredible. And it just worked beautifully. To me, the early Triangle Era (1989-1994) is one of the greatest feats in comics.

    It's one of the things that irks me when the "Post-Crisis sucks" posts flare up, because there are many quotes from the Triangle teams about how hard they worked to make the stories feel like part of any era of Superman, excepting the stuff that editorial mandate required them to change. Even when looking at what has come after, early Triangle is still the best composite of all the versions of Superman into one.

    I appreciate how many risks that era took, even including the Byrne run, that people don't really realize were risks anymore. There's a list of things that would never have been considered before the era that now seem like no big deal - the elevation of Lex Luthor to a full supporting cast member, the introduction of Maggie Sawyer, Superman 22, the actual advancement of the Lois and Clark relationship, full integration of Jack Kirby's characters from his Jimmy Olsen run, the Death story itself...and that's just scratching the surface.

    I hope the Exile omnibus is a sign of continued effort to get this era back in print, following the reissue of Panic in the Sky, but I'm not holding my breath on it. And that's a shame, because these really are some of the best Superman comics ever made.

    The full feature that Weezy clip is from can be found on Youtube. I'll have to watch it when I have time - it looks like an excellent complement to all the extra material in the original Panic in the Sky trade about how the creative process worked in that era.
    Last edited by Truman Burbank; 10-24-2017 at 11:01 PM.

  13. #13
    Mighty Member Soubhagya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ1107 View Post
    I've only ever read the Death of Superrman saga (via those reprints that popped up during BvS's release) & The Wedding Album but yeah this really did seem like a great era for Supes. Hell the Wedding Album alone gave me new insight on Superman's supporting cast alone that I knew nothing about.
    I have only read the 'Wedding Album'. Its really great. Apart from the clever prelude and the time when Superman 'fights' the crooks there is hardly any action. But Wow! What a good issue is it! The supporting characters are themselves so interesting to read. That is an advantage when you focus on the human characters. Combine this with the superheroics which happen on the ongoing books one can have a wonderful time. I don't think any story would then appear like filler.

  14. #14
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    There was a collected 'Lois and Clark' hardcover that collected a number of stories from 1986-1991 that inspired the Lois and Clark tv show.

    The original Eradicator storyline had a collected edition.

    Other collections include Crisis of the Crimson Kyrptonite, Time and Time Again, and Panic in the Sky.

    Dunno if the Blaze-Sattanus war was ever collected.

    Such a good and consistent era.

  15. #15
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    I really did like Doomsday Wars. I have a personal nostalgia for that Mini since it was like the 3rd thing I read that had Doomsday in it that I rented from the Library & it served as my introduction to Lana Lang & Pete Ross as well as "that" iteration of Brainiac.

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