Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI
Art by SHANE DAVIS and SANDRA HOPE
Cover by SHANE DAVIS
On Sale October 27, 2010
DC Comics, 136pg., Color, Hardcover, $19.99 US
I’ve found it. A Superman comic I can actually say I enjoyed. I’ve always been more of a Batman guy. It’s not that I hate Superman. I actually love the movies and grew up on them. I watched the old TV series with George Reeves and loved the Fleischer cartoons. I was just never really interested in reading the comics or following him the way I did Batman. He wasn’t rooted in reality like Batman was. I couldn’t identify with a super-strong guy who basically only had one weakness. I was a skinny, wimpy nerd who had no powers at all and tons of weaknesses!
Well, along came Smallville which gave Clark Kent and the hero a little more of a human touch. He was a high school kid who was picked on and had a secret he was forced to keep from everyone. He couldn’t even control the powers he had. Clark had girl troubles and struggled to fit in. He also dealt with an absentee father who would speak to him from the grave and always disapprove of whatever it was Clark was trying to do while searching for his place in the world. I could finally identify with him to an extent.
Enter Superman: Earth One. Written by J. Michael Straczynski (Brave and the Bold, Thor, Babylon 5), this graphic novel which apparently is the launch of an “all-new continuity re-imagining DC’s top heroes” actually makes me want to read more adventures from this version of the first superhero. Just like in Smallville, this Kal-El is searching for his “destiny” while fighting against it at the same time. He just wants to use his powers to get a normal well-paid job that pays good money to send back home to his mother and help take care of her.
One of the funniest parts of Superman: Earth One is when Clark is applying for different jobs. He goes to try out for Metropolis’s professional football and baseball teams; solves a scientific formula that the other schooled lab professionals had been working on for years; tries to be a stock broker; and even manage a construction business. He finally ends up at The Daily Planet where we get to see Clark’s first job interview with Perry White. We also meet Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen for the first time. Jimmy seems a little cooler than he was in the original Superman stories. Lois is pretty much the same.
The main story or elements of the superhero’s legend stays intact. Superman: Earth One is just updated to be relevant to teenagers and twenty-somethings. The only thing that has been altered or added to is the reason behind why the planet Krypton blew up. What seemed to be a minor detail that set the story in motion in the original canon has now been turned into the whole foundation and catalyst of this new version.
The art for Superman: Earth One is absolutely perfect for the book. It’s realistic-looking and gritty. The coloring is both vibrant and reflective of the dark tone of the story. Shane Davis (Green Lantern, Superman / Batman) has done a great job preserving the iconic look of the suit for the hero while altering it just a bit to change things up. The costume basically looks like a mix of Superman Returns and the old Fleischer animated shorts.
Superman: Earth One does a wonderful job of updating the legendary character. If what DC Comics was trying to do was jump start a new updated monthly or graphic novel series then they have succeeded in my eyes. This is Superman for a new generation…or at least age bracket.
Source: DC Comics