Review: Superman Earth One

I have a confession to make.  I’m not a huge DC fan, with the exception of Batman.  In particular, I have not liked Superman in a very, very long time. I stopped reading DC comics at some point before the first Crisis event, and only with the coming of Blackest Night and Brightest Day have I started reading DC again.  The release of the awesome DC Adventures by Green Ronin helped this interest spark, incidentally.  I also loved the original concept of Marvel’s Ultimate universe: reboot continuity completely and present the characters as if they were created with modern day sensibilities (I am no longer enamored with the Ultimate universe, but that is a story for another time…).

And that’s basically what Superman Earth One does.  It completely ignores everything that has come before and resets the tale of the single most iconic superhero ever into the modern day and I love it.  Although from both the cover and the way the previews might give you the impression that this is “emo Superman with a hoodie” it’s not, really.  Yes, Clark is conflicted, and yes, he spends about half the issue chewing on whether to even become Superman or to just use his talents for personal gain but it makes him feel more real, more human.  And when he does finally decide, it’s on; he doesn’t decide right away and lots of people die because of it but Clark knows that once he reveals himself to the world, there’s no turning back; there are apparently no other super heroes in this world, so when he reveals himself, he becomes the first.

The book is a hardcover one-shot graphic novel and, as such, has a self-contained storyline.  It does involve the origin of Kal-el, but it’s different than previous incarnations in many ways.  The artwork is excellent, and I can only hope that the Batman Earth One graphic novel has the same excellence in art and presentation.

There are two things that bug me.  The first is the fact that the main villain looks quite a bit like Archangel of X-Men fame.  The second is that the whole thing where nobody realizes Clark Kent and Superman are the same person is taken to a ridiculous extreme.  When Clark Kent first visits the Daily Planet to look for a job, he’s not wearing the glasses (he does so after defeating the main villain in an effort to make Clark Kent his secret identity) and Jim Olsen (yes, Jim, not Jimmie..thank goodness) and Lois Lane are right up in his face during this time, but don’t seem to recognize him when he takes on the Superman persona, not even with the clear shot of Superman Jim takes.

I would dearly love to see this line turned into a monthly series.  I’m not sure that’s going to happen;  it would make me squee; but I am waiting impatiently to see Batman, my second-favorite superhero ever, get the Earth One treatment.

[tags]review,comic books,comics,Superman,DC,Earth One[/tags]

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