Awesome, Dear Boy: Superman vol. 2 #75 being done in nothing but splash panels? Dan Jurgens had always wanted to do a comic like that, but no one felt right doing it because of the risk. This issue let him do so.
However, it was also part of a theme. The issue before? Two frames per page. Before that, three frames per page, and even before that, four frames per page. It was a countdown.
Cash Cow Franchise: The compiled first part of the arc, called "The Death of Superman", is the best-selling graphic novel of all time.
Development Gag: A sad one — in Superman vol. 2 #77, Lois begins sadly daydreaming her wedding as Superman's body is being returned to the crypt.
In Memoriam: The first chapter of Funeral for a Friend in Adventures of Superman #498 was dedicated to Superman co-creator Joe Shuster, who had passed away earlier in the year.
Jossed: Due to a case of only storylines being collected together in the early days, fans who picked up the trade paperback of the Panic in the Sky! storyline was convinced that Doomsday was actually a last-ditch weapon by Brainiac. However, as it turned out, that weapon actually showed up in an issue between the two storylines, which were never collected.
Just as Legends of Batman (barring the Elseworlds theme of most of the figures) was a toyline based on Knightfall, the 1990s Superman: The Man of Steel toyline (no relation to the toyline forSuperman Returns) was one of this, as it included figures for Superman post-resurrection, Steel, Superboy, and Doomsday in a two-pack. It also lapses into Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey, The Death of Clark Kent, and Underworld Unleashed as said two-pack with Doomsday came with Superman wearing his uniform from Hunter/Prey, Conduit (the main villain of TDoCK) got his own figure, and Lex Luthor's figure was based on him following his deal with Neron. The Last Son of Krypton, Metallo, and a two-pack with another Superboy and King Shark also had figures planned, but the line was cancelled before they could be released. That said, Last Son was later released as a mail-in exclusive through Toyfare, and Metallo (with a redo of a Superman figure) and the Superboy/King Shark were exclusives at comic shops and via Hasbro's website.
Much like Knightfall, DC Direct would make figures based on this story, including Superman in the black suit, Doomsday, Cyborg-Superman, the Eradicator, Steel, and Superboy.
Shout-Out: There's an ad early on for Fleischer Paint. (Fleischer Studios produced Superman cartoons back in the 50's). One of the mortuaries courting Lex to build Superman's final resting place is called Wm. Gaines Crypts. William Gaines was the well-respected comics publisher and editor of, among other titles, Tales from the Crypt.
Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy: Concerning the Eradicator in the Hasbro line, as the comic version sported Superman's trademark spitcurl while his figurine used the later-used buzzcut.
What Could Have Been: One issue of the "Funeral For a Friend" arc was supposed to feature a scene in which Mr. Mxyzptlk arrives back on Earth, only to discover the news about Superman's death, leading him to willingly teleport himself back to the 5th dimension since not having Superman to mess around with just wasn't fun. This ultimately didn't happen in the final story.
Writer Revolt: According to Louise Simonson, in the early 90s DC's Superman writers wanted to have Superman marry Lois Lane, which publisher Jeanette Khan vetoed because they weren't married in Lois & Clark. And then...
We were a little disgruntled, and then as she closed the door, Jerry Ordway said what he always says, which was "Let's just kill him." And instead of laughing it off this time, we said "Yeah... Yeah! Let's just kill him!"