Superman01

Thursday was Superman’s 75th anniversary and since he’s my favorite DC superhero, if not my favorite period, I wanted to do something special. Well, I have a Superman book here that won’t go through the “Chapter By Chapter” process over on my other site, because it doesn’t read like that. I’m sure you’ve heard of Choose Your Own Adventure ® books. They’re awesome. The Wikipedia article I linked to refers to them as “gamebooks” and there are elements of role-playing games in there. If you haven’t heard of them, the idea is that at certain points in the story a choice is offered. The reader then makes a choice and his or her choice will change the story. You don’t read it like a normal book, but bounce to different pages to continue the story. They’re a lot of fun.

They’re also very popular, so much so that other book publishers got in on the game, creating similar “gamebooks”. One of them was Archway Paperbacks, who created the “Which Way” series, an obvious play on their name. Like CYOA, Which Way books had the reader playing themselves as a character. The narrator talks about “you” and character names aren’t given. Even in the two Star Trek books you “play” an ensign and decide who you want to hang out with.

An intended sub-series was the “DC Super Heroes Which Way” books (although the gamebooks website in that link refers to them as “Super Powers” it clearly says Super Heroes on my book). I was lucky to get the first one in the series, featuring the Man of Steel himself, Superman! On the back cover of mine are teasers for a Wonder Woman and a Batman book. According to that gamebook site, Wonder Woman’s never showed up, although apparently Supergirl and the Justice League did have books and Batman’s showed up eventually. The series didn’t do well for Archway. Too bad, because the Superman one was darn good!

Superman Which Way

“I get by with a little help from my…enemies?”

Superman: The Man of Steel

Super Heroes Which Way #1

PUBLISHER: Archway Paperbacks (1983)
A British printing was released in 1985, and this book was reprinted for his 50th birthday under the “Super Powers” series.
WRITER: Andrew Helfer
ARTIST: José Delbo

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