Comic Review: Superman Earth One

sme1galley 082 copy 02 Comic Review: Superman Earth One

With the release of Superman Earth One Volume Two just under a week away, I thought it the appropriate time to revisit the first in the DC: Earth One line and see how it stacks up a year later. Initially I was not a fan of this book, the art style wasn’t really my cup of tea and Clark came off as more whinny than lost or confused, oh how stupid I was.

The main theme of this book is, what do you want to do with your life? Its something all of us have to face in adulthood and the choice we make will decide course of our entire lives, this is something a young Clark Kent has to deal with upon leaving Smallville and reaching the city of opportunity, Metropolis.

Here Clark goes on dozens upon dozens of job interviews ranging from being a football player to a scientist, and he excels in every single one of them but he’s not happy with any of them, in fact it only causes him to become more and more confused as to what he wants to do with his life.

All the while he has to deal with the expectations of his adoptive parents, the Kent’s who set him up to be Superman right from the start, they wanted him to truly help and inspire people but they’re also willing to let go of this if their son doesn’t want to do it.

Clarks hand is forced when an alien invasion force arrives in Metropolis for the sole purpose of killing him, here Clark finally makes his decision to become a symbol of hope for humanity as he rises up to face this threat and protect his home.

As I stated in the beginning, I initially thought Clark came off as whinny and incredibly indecisive and that his parents just forced the Superman thing down his throat, I was completely wrong on the first one and semi wrong on the second one, let me explain.

Clark is a lost soul here, he feels incredibly confused and conflicted about what he wants to do with his life, he made a vow to his father as he died that he would take care of Martha, she on the other hand pushes him in the other direction of, do what you want and don’t worry about me.

This really shows in the way JMS writes him, he’s very shy, quiet as Clark Kent and because of that in a good number of the conversations he either gets completely ignored or shoved to the side until everyone else has finished talking.

Initially this bothers him, but after becoming Superman it proves an advantage as the quiet, shy reporter Clark Kent would never be suspected of being Superman, who acts completely different from him.

As Superman, Clark is actually very menacing, his eyes constantly glow red (which is a awesome effect), he swears, he’s not afraid to fight dirty and he’s finally allowed to cut loose and speak his mind which he’s never been able to do because of his secret.

Many people have compared this version of Clark Kent to Ultimate Spider-Man and I kind of see that in here, he works for the Daily Planet as a way to provide for himself and for his mother, as a way to keep the guise of Clark Kent up and in a cool twist, he actually makes interviews with Superman that are DP exclusives and single handedly save the news paper from going bankrupt.

This is probably my favorite version of Superman, it does what many writers try to do (make Superman hip, cool and modern for new readers) and fail, without sacrificing the soul of the character.

As Clark Kent he is extremely relatable and you feel for the guy and it will make you think, how am I going to deal with this type of situation when the time come for it? As Superman, he is above us in every way, he has extraordinary powers that make him seem like a god among men, but he still chooses to use his powers to defend us even though some may fear and hate him.

And this is what the book does so well, in a single page you get these interviews with people, some really love Superman and other don’t trust him at all, this is a world that hasn’t seen any super heroes or vigilantes (except maybe Batman) and they don’t know what to think about this.

This is a small thing but its genius, it always bugs me that EVERYONE loves and trusts Superman, when most shouldn’t, he has all this power and no one monitors him, its just his good will and values that keep him from enslaving us, and I really hope this continues to be a running theme throughout the entire DC: Earth Line, at least for Superman.

Another thing that I loved was that Lois suspects that Clark is Superman, she gets a good look at him in and out of costume and confronts him about where he was during the attack, its minor, but it goes a long way to prove that Lois really is a smart and keen reporter in the story itself, not like in other places where they just tell you how great she is but don’t show it at all.

And yet another minor thing that I found hilarious was the role reversal, Lois is infamous for being the constant damsel in distress and being saved by Superman, here she’s the one who saves him from being killed, I just found that really funny.

The art initially wasn’t something I was too keen on, but in the context of this book, it’s amazing, the best way I could describe it is, its a painting in a 140 page comic book, but there are some flaws with it.

First of all, I HATE the red underwear over Superman’s costume, while the costume itself looks like a almost perfect blend of the Pre/Post New 52 costumes, the red underwear really should have been cut out.

The next thing that bugs me is that Lois Lane looks at least 10 years older than Clark, who’s anywhere between 18 and 22, she looks at least 30 and its going to make it weird, at least for me if they decide to do a romance with these two, which I hope they don’t.

Not that I don’t like Lois and Clark together, its just that we have seen it done a thousand times already and frankly im sick and tired of it.

But my prayers might already be answered as we see a red head checking Clark out in the Volume Two preview who I think is supposed to be Lana Lang, I do hope they got the Ultimate Spider-Man route and make her his primary love interest.

But regardless of these small issues, Superman Earth One is a must own, if you’re a guy like me who was never keen on Superman, this book will convert you into a believer as it did me, now why are you still here? Go out and buy this!





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