Demian's Gamebook Web Page

Item - Superman: The Man of Steel

(original)
(reissue)
(British edition)
Series: Super Powers Which Way Books — no. 1
Author: Helfer, Andrew
Illustrator: Delbo, José
Dates: June, 1983 (American edition)
1985 (British edition)
ISBNs: 0552522562 / 9780552522564 (British edition)
0671474634 / 9780671474638 (original)
0671643320 / 9780671643324 (reissue)
Length: 118 pages
Number of Endings: 38
User Summary: Superman battles some familiar foes and explores an alien world.
Demian's Thoughts:

The third-person narration is somewhat annoying, but this isn't a terrible gamebook. Apparently it wasn't nearly as successful as the publishers had hoped, however; this book, the first in the series, lists Wonder Woman, Justice League of America, and Batman as forthcoming books. As far as I can tell, only two of these three books ever happened, and Batman didn't come out until three years later.

More reviews by Demian

drereichdude's Thoughts:

This book was a pretty good representation of the Man of Steel, also known as the Last Son of Krypton. Although I've usually been more partial to the Marvel comic characters than those from DC, I liked this book.

As Superman, you have numerous adventures. You can put the villains from the Phantom Zone back where they were originally imprisoned. Then there's the fiendish inventor Toyman, who has in his possession a large amount of Green Kryptonite. Of course, there is also Lex Luthor, who is an insane genius, and is generally considered Superman's greatest human foe. In one story, you have to thwart him and his Death Ray from destroying Metropolis.

Another path has you meet up with a giant yellow alien, who implores Superman to come to his homeworld and free his people from oppressors. It's in that story where I had the most enjoyment reading; it was my favorite part of the book.

Also, there's Superman being Clark Kent at the Daily Planet, talking with Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Perry White. This part does not last long, though.

All throughout the book, Superman must beware of those with the aforementioned Kryptonite. The most common kind is Green, which is deadly to any Kryptonian, then there's Red, which causes unpredicable changes in Kryptonians and can only affect each Kryptonian once, and the kind I had never heard of, Gold, which does not kill, but instead strips Kryptonians of their powers. Really quite creative of those DC writers, there is also an article on Wikipedia about all the different kinds of Kryptonite in the DC universe.

I liked reading this, but it was written in the '80's, so the technology used where Toyman forces Superman to play video games to free Lois Lane is out of date. Other than that this was a good enjoyable read. I recommend it!

More reviews by drereichdude

Fireguard's Thoughts:

Not a bad gamebook all around. The system for battling the Phantom Zone villains was interesting, although it seemed strange to me that most of the rest of the book involved putting Superman in situations where his powers were useless. Doesn't that defeat the point of a book about controlling DC's greatest hero?

More reviews by Fireguard

Guillermo's Thoughts:

This book seems a little wordier than what I remember other Which Way books being, but as seems to be commonplace in the line, it includes three different adventures. Which adventure you end up playing depends on choices made early on in the book.

Like the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Gamebooks series, this book captures the feel of the comic book source material it's based on quite well. The writing is fast-paced and entertaining, and many of the endings are well worth reading. One pathway where you have to play a real-life version of Space Invaders pushed the right nostalgia buttons in me. Gameplay-wise, the book is quite strong for a pick-a-path endeavour: there is a portion of the book (mentioned by Fireguard above) where you have to refer to a rogues' gallery and choose weapons from an inventory list in order to defeat a series of villains. I also enjoyed that completing several of the missions was a bit more challenging than is usual in systemless gamebooks. Overall, while this is definitely not Appointment with F.E.A.R. or Through Six Dimensions, it's still a very good way to kill a couple of hours.

More reviews by Guillermo

Users Who Own This Item: auximenes, bookwormjeff (reissue), Crazyscotsman, dave2002a, drereichdude (reissue), Fireguard, Gamebook, Garrick Muttley, Grifter (original), Himynameistony, hoops4ever, horrorbusiness, jcruelty, katzcollection, kinderstef (reissue), knginatl (orig., reissue, U.K.), Lambchop, mcd (first Archway printing), mlvoss, Nomad, ntar (original), RonaldFrobnitz, Ryuran333, stonemason, Von Scotty
Users Who Want This Item: bonhomme, Braldt, Egghead Nurse, exaquint, NEMO, Pseudo_Intellectual, wonderfly
Users with Extra Copies: Fireguard - Regular and Superman's birthday editions
Von Scotty

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