At some point in life, you were either a teenager, or a young adult or maybe you currently are, and you’ve questioned everything before you as teachers & parents would tell you is a normal thing. Who you are, who you are meant to be, why you are, even why you don’t fit in, for example. Now for a moment, picture yourself as a child. You look like every other person around you…. Normal. You have every possible ability any other child born of this earth has. Now, keep with me, you are one day playing a little catch or stick ball with your dad/mom, brother etc, or you see a beautiful girl, or you try to run for the first time as a child, a bus with all your friends falls into a lake… And suddenly, you throw/hit that ball 20 miles away, you shoot intense heat from your eyes, you run as fast as you could and you are in China in 5 seconds (if you are reading this in China, then you’re in Brazil in three seconds) and you can pick up the bus with all your friends in it with ease. I’m sure you just pictured yourself not of this earth with the same questions. But they now have a greater weight to it don’t they?
That’s the main premise of “Superman Earth One”. You aren’t just a mere mortal, you’re an alien from a distant planet. Sent as a child to earth for what? To be the master of mortals? For protection? TO PROTECT Earth from harms way (which is the actual answer, by the way)? All these are great questions for a man who can literally do anything which is very evident in the early pages of this J. M. Straczynski written, Shane Davis drawn book. The artwork reminded me kind of a hard hitting, anime that has a serious film grain like in the movie 300. The costume choice is very much like the one seen in the early pages of Smallville season 11. It’s a great design (much better than the current Superman comics book design, and the Man of Steel one as well). The entire comic is drawn perfectly. I don’t think there’s really any bad page, panel. Though, I do question the look of Jonathan Kent. He looks much like William Dafoe. As well, and this is a contradiction, but the only page that’s a little confusing, was when they show the villain’s home world in the same orbit as Superman’s. Another thing that I really enjoyed, artistically, was they gave Lois a mole. It’s easy to miss; I’ve maybe read this book 3 times and I just now caught it. The only character design I didn’t like at all, was “Jimmy Olsen”. He looked like a very poorly drawn Wolverine. Shane was a great choice for this book, and one of the best creative collaborators to work with J.M.S since J.M.S’s run on Amazing Spider-man with John Romita Jr.
The work of J.M.S is brilliant. He took the story almost any comic reading being can recite to some degree, and built around it. He did it in a very interesting way that was very compelling. He made the origin feel organic to the story, and not just, “oh ye, we need to have this, so let’s just toss this in here.” There was almost like “we’re only telling you this so you understand how its all related to the story of the bad guy”. Yes, the initial origin of Superman ties directly to the past of bad guy here, and the bad guy here is an incredible one. He is very plausible and I have to wonder why no one honestly thought of it before to this degree in the regular comics.
Moving a bit a way from the character’s, J.M.S crafts a story that is short and sweet. It could be argued that it’s not worth the money asked for the book, but it is worth it if you so happen to find it for cheap at a “used” book store (B.M.V, for example for people in Toronto). It’s an easy read and gives you a lot of options that many of today’s young adults face when finishing school or still undecided in terms of career options. He used this medium to even bring valid debatable issues on a global scale through the villain, which I sort of agree with. But we don’t live in a world, sadly, to have it ever happen. He even took a page from Watchmen with the “end game” move towards the end.
J.M.S was one of the major reasons I got back into comics. He did a story called Sins Past, which, I’m probably the only one who enjoyed that story (deals with Gwen, having relations with Norman Osborn.. Ye, it’s sickening, but it happened). Then I followed the entire run of spider-man done by J.M.S and loved it, minus the ending (one more day, wasn’t his idea, but still). Then he left Marvel for the Definitive Competition and here we are. The cover drew me to the book. I loved how mysterious and bad ass he seemed (Superman). Then I found out it was a J.M.S story, and I only said “take my money”. One thing that does annoy me with this is that THIS is called Earth One, which means it’s the main Superman. Yet, some how, for some reason, it didn’t go to become the origin of the “New 52” Superman. Why? I don’t know. It was much better of a story than what was produced early from both “Action Comics” & “Superman” books.
Bottom line if your into Superman this is probably the best origin story your gonna get for a while, that pays homage to a lot other incarnations of the Man of Steel. It’s a great out of continuity read and it’s fast as well. It’s definitely worthy of a pick up.
- Overall rating of the comic: 8.7 out of 10,
- Art: 8 out of 10,
- layout*: 10 out of 10,
- True to character dialogue: 7 out of 10,
- Story: 8.8 out of 10,
- Continuity? Well its out of normal continuity, so it works, but in general, from panel to panel, it is pretty solid.
Thank you for reading feedback is always helpful.
THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!
– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW