"To this day, I still encounter people who believe that the Death and Return of Superman was a market-driven publicity stunt. But, quite to the contrary, these stories -- and the attention they received -- all just sort of snowballed.
"The publicity came later, and then only because we'd come up with a (you'll pardon the expression) killer story. The word got out on a slow news day, and the media storm that followed was greater than anything we could have hoped for. But it was all thanks to the story's power.
"Doomsday smashing his way through a suburban Lex-Mart. Lois Lane cradling the fallen Superman in her arms. An enraged Lex Luthor breaking a chair over Doomsday's body. Bibbo Bibbowski kneeling in prayer on a barroom floor. The honor guard of Earth's super-heroes, following Superman's coffin through the streets of Metropolis. Jonathan Kent collapsing in a field. Lois and Inspector Henderson finding Superman's tomb empty. Coast City being wiped off the face of the Earth.
"Powerful stuff. And I got to see it all, long before you did.
"You see, each week, every Superman writer and artist received copies of each others' work in progress, so we could coordinate the stories for the [then] four monthly Super-titles. It was like a relay race, with the Man of Steel
team handing the story off to the Superman
team, who would pass the baton to the Adventures of Superman
team, who would hand it off to the Action Comics
would then shoot the story to the Man of Steel
team, and we'd start all over, always under the watchful eye of 'Coach' Carlin.
"I was so lucky to have worked with these wonderful, talented people. It's great to see our stories collected under one cover. For those of you reading them here for the first time, welcome.
"And for those of your who remember these stories from before, welcome back." -- Roger Stern