I give 4 or 5 star ratings to each paperback in this series to indicate which volumes I prefer. And I'm mainly rating the Byrne content, whereas if I were to consider the material by other creators I *might* be giving a few of these 3-stars each.
Highlights here for me...
*Action 598- Checkmate. Superman encounters a new, American covert action agency, while trying to diffuse a hostage situation. The situation in the Middle East apparently reaches Metropolis! Here we see Byrne pencils with Ty Templeton inks- I wouldn't have recognized this as Byrne work if it weren't for the helpful credits. I still enjoyed the story despite the plain looking inks.
*Superman 16- introducing Prankster! A villain who looks like an Andrew Loomis caricature, he's the host of a kids TV show, and he's attacking Metroplolis with deadly silliness. This is all out fun, and my favorite issue here. Kesel's inks shine again.
*Action 599- Metal Men vs. Lex Luthor. A special issue penciled by Ross Andru, with figure inks by Byrne. The visuals look very loose & unrefined yet they have a certain charming quality that I like.
*Superman 17- the return of Silver Banshee. We learn more about her... and her family?! She has a great visual design that works great with the coloring of the 80's. She's strictly black & white, which is a look today's 3D colorists would likely spoil by adding shading & highlights.
*Action 600- celebrating Superman's 50th year. Wonder Woman & Superman have a 1st date, with Darkseid as a special guest! Pencils by Byrne, inks by George Perez- the inks are actually somewhat blurry looking yet I still enjoyed this issue.
The inks are all over the place in this paperback, with many varying contributions. I'm still greatly enjoying this, with Byrne & Kesel being my winning combination. People often say Superman is boring; I didn't feel any sense of this here! Byrne handles the character like a dream come true. I'm a *huge* fan of 80's comics, and Byrne's Superman run is to me a highlight of the decade. It's deservedly considered among his best-ever works, and I'm still clamoring for an omnibus or two. Get with it DC!