CGC Registry

For This Is the Day... That a Superman Died

Set Type: Superman (Doomsday! Funeral for a Friend Reign of the Supermen!)
Owner: Iconic1s
Last Modified: 10/27/2022
Views: 3021

Rank: 1
Score: 4659
Leading by: 574
Points to Higher Rank: N/A

Set Description:

"And sometimes I despair the world will never see another man like him..." Crash Test Dummies - Superman's Song


My love of this set began when my Mom sent me The Death of Superman trade paperback for Christmas in 1992. I was always a Superman fan but did not collect before this storyline. When reading through the TPB I was overwhelmed upon reaching the last page and witnessing Superman’s ultimate sacrifice. This had a profound impact on me that most certainly changed the way I have spent a good deal of my free time since then. I immediately started searching for the individual Doomsday books from the TPB. I found them while joining in as the Funeral for a Friend and Reign of the Supermen stories unfolded. Collecting cards came next; I remember getting the One True Superman card in the mail… what fun times! I have collected all types of Superman memorabilia since then and am especially grateful that my Wife supports my collecting. The above image, titled A Superman, is an original mixed media work by John Alvin and is one of the highlights of my collection... the collection whose genesis was the actual TPB shown below, still in my possession.


I've had raw copies of the first printings of these books since the 90’s; some have made their way into this set and are identified in their descriptions. I remember having zero interest in the later printings back then... oh, if I only knew then what I know now! I spent 30 years in the Marine Corps and moving every 2-3 years made collecting tough at times. At one point I did not see my entire collection for four years while overseas. Many of my books and other collectibles ended up being stored for a total of 10 years nearly 2000 miles away while I finished my service and settled down.

When I at long last pulled my collection from storage and was driving it cross-country the rental truck had a blow-out, a minor setback during an otherwise smooth trip. Alone and unafraid, I took the below picture while waiting for roadside assistance.

With my collection on board...


In 2018 I finally had everything under one roof and started the real work on this set. With few exceptions, each comic description will tell how I was able to add that book.

There are 98 total books in this Set Type; my set consists of three 9.9's, 94 9.8's, and one 9.6. Thirty-three are Signature Series, I have 32 of those 33 in 9.8 Universal as well and have a larger Custom Set where I display all of these books; that set also holds The Beast... a triple cover 9.8 copy of Superman: The Man of Steel 18, and a 9.8 copy of Adventures of Superman 500 Platinum Error, as well as quite a few others!

In December 2019, I purchased 15 books in this set from a fellow Death of Superman aficionado. This filled 11 empty slots with 9.8's and expanded my set from 82 to 93 percent complete at the time. It also allowed me to upgrade three existing books to 9.8 and one to 9.9. Seven books were the lone 9.8’s in the census at the time and would have taken me years to find individually. One happened to be my grail of all grails, Adventures of Superman 498 fourth printing! I've included the Set Name they came from in their descriptions... the 'NO ONE CAN KILL SUPERMAN!' collection.

This set reached 100 percent completion on 12 March 2020. This was 27 years, 2 months, and 17 days from the day I first beheld, in the pages of that TPB, what was previously thought to be impossible... the End... to Superman's Never-Ending Battle... at the hands of Doomsday. My goal is every book in at least 9.8 but I will forever strive to improve this set, as well as my overall collection of these books.

That is why...


Set Type firsts:

• First set in this Set Type to be awarded both Best Presented Set (2020) and Best Modern Age Set (2021)
• First set to reach 100 percent completion
• First set with a complete run of all first printings graded 9.8
• First set with all four second printings of the Doomsday cameos graded 9.8
• First set with both printings of Action Comics 683 graded 9.8
• First set with all three printings of Action Comics 684 graded 9.8
• First set with all four printings of Adventures of Superman 498 graded 9.8
• First set with both (Regular and Collector's) printings of Adventures of Superman 505 graded 9.8
• First set with all four printings of Justice League America 69 graded 9.8
• First set with all four printings of Justice League America 70 graded 9.8
• First set with both printings of Superman 73 graded 9.8
• First set with all four printings of Superman 74 graded 9.8
• First set with both printings of Superman 76 graded 9.8
• First set with both printings of Superman: The Legacy of Superman 1 graded 9.8
• First set with both printings of Superman: The Man of Steel 20 graded 9.8
• Fourteen books in this set are the first 9.8 copy of that issue
• Four books in this set are confirmed (could be more) to be the first ever graded copy of that issue

Adding the 'NO ONE CAN KILL SUPERMAN!' books to this set made this the lone set with all printings of the below issues graded 9.8 at that time:

• Action Comics 685, three printings
• Adventures of Superman 497, three printings
• Superman 77, three printings
• Superman 82, two printings + Collector's Edition

Below is a breakdown of how this set first* achieved 100% completion:

23 books were from my own submissions, 10 of those were from my original raw collection
15 were from the ‘NO ONE CAN KILL SUPERMAN!’ collection
Three were from CGC board members
Four were obtained in a trade
53 were from various other sellers and sites including eBay, My Comic Shop, and ComicLink

*I have since upgraded or swapped out some of the books that originally brought this set to 100% completion

I submitted 68 additional books while building this set; 16 of those became multiple 9.8's while the rest did not make the cut. I went through hundreds of raw copies to obtain the small successes that I did have with my own submissions. In the case of one particular Funeral for a Friend book, I went through over 50 copies before finding any that were worthy of submission. I opened three Doomsday! 7 issue Collector's Packs, two Funeral for a Friend 9 issue Collector's Packs, nine Funeral for a Friend 9 issue Limited Collector's Sets, three Superman's Greatest Hits 7 issue Collector's Packs, and seven Toys R Us Two-Packs looking for submission candidates during my pursuit of 9.8's for this set... whew!

Noteworthy moments from my own submissions:

• First to submit Justice League America 70 third printing for grading, graded 9.8 Universal on 11 September 2019
• First to have Action Comics 683 second printing grade 9.8 Universal, grade date 7 April 2020, three copies
• First to have Justice League America 69 third printing grade 9.8 Universal, grade date 25 September 2020
• First to have Justice League America 70 fourth printing grade 9.8 Universal, grade date 16 February 2021
• First to have Superman 76 second printing grade 9.8 Universal, grade date 24 April 2020, two copies
• I also had the following challenging books earn 9.8's through my submissions; Action Comics 685 third printing, Adventures of Superman 498 third printing, Adventures of Superman 505 Regular and Collector's Editions, Superman 73 second printing, Superman 75 third and fourth printing and Platinum Edition, Superman 82 second printing, Superman: The Man of Steel 18 fourth and fifth printing, 19 third printing, and Green Lantern 46 second printing

Rather than showing the back cover of books, I have included other items in second image slots where I thought they would add to the set's overall presentation. I had 38 books in this set reholdered so that all books would be in current and pristine holders. To preserve gallery consistency going forward, I will (try) not put a book in this set unless/until it is in the current CGC holder. Some of my book descriptions mention my larger Doomsday related Custom Set where I have all of these books in reading order plus quite a few others... if you enjoy this set please check out that one here...


Oh no... it looks like Superman has gotten himself into trouble again!


Don't worry... in reality this piece was a gift from the Marines at my last unit. It is two original comic pages and was drawn and inked by Stephen B. Scott. Putting this set together was almost as fun as I imagine it would be to actually knock out Darkseid with one punch! I hope whoever takes a look at it enjoys it just as much!

The Registry Award judges had this to say when awarding it Best Presented Set in 2020

"With a big surge at the end of 2019 this set shot up the ranks like a speeding bullet! Using his patience and laser-like focus Iconic1s has put together a complete set over the span of 27+ years. Your tireless efforts did not go unnoticed by our judges and we are sure that the collecting community will agree! Thank you for sharing your collection and personal journey with us all."

And then they said this when it was awarded Best Modern Age Set in 2021...

"During the early 1990s, Superman was a long way from where he started back in 1938. DC sales were at all-time lows. Superman in particular wasn’t selling well at all. It seemed like the public had all but abandoned the Man of Steel.

In 1992, DC’s newly formed Superman creative team got together to give new life to the Son of Krypton… by killing him off. The idea was born of a joke made by Jerry Ordway, one of the creative team, but eventually it evolved into a provocative storyline that gave Superman something entirely new: vulnerability. It also invited readers to look at a world without the greatest super-hero of all time.

Readers certainly took up the invitation and were riveted with the storyline to say the least. DC’s sales skyrocketed across the titles, and Superman 75 became the best-selling comic of 1992.

During Christmas of the same year, Iconic1s received the Death of Superman trade paperback, officially launching a 27+ year journey to collect every issue of the entire storyline! What an accomplishment!

This collection boasts some of the highest graded storyline issues, many of them the first 9.8's to be added to the census, as well as two 9.9's with Adventures of Superman 500 and Superman: The Man of Steel 18! Arguably, though, some of the toughest books in this set are the later printings! With such high readership, later printings were definitely not as appreciated as the first, and are very hard to find in nice shape.

We’re impressed with the high grades of Iconic1s set, but it’s the heart that’s gone into assembling this collection that really makes it shine! We’re proud to award Iconic1s with Best in Modern Age for this extraordinary set! Congratulations Iconic1s!"

And now, without further ado...

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