After Crisis on Infinite Earths hit the DC Universe in the ‘80s, the company decided to reboot all of its characters in the wake of the event. This was all part of a plan to modernize these decades’ old characters for a more sophisticated and cynical audience. Alongside Batman: Year One and Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals, DC launched Man of Steel, a reimagining of the Superman mythos without all of the Silver Age dead weight.

Written and drawn by Uncanny X-Men veteran John Byrne, The Man of Steel took a more streamlined approach to the character, such as limiting Superman’s power-levels to be more believable, getting rid of the Superboy concept, turning Lex Luthor into a corrupt businessman, and making Clark Kent less “mild-mannered” and more of a full fledged character.

This “new look” Superman still retained what made the character great, but made it easier for casual fans to stomach some of his more outlandish aspects. It was extremely polarizing at the time, but Man of Steel still happens to be one of the most concise and enjoyable Superman reads ever.