New Superman Man of Steel
Superman: Earth One - Volume 3 is not a good comic-book story. But it's one that stands in direct opposition to the sorta-okay Superman movie that came out in 2013. It pushes back at that thing that happened in the movie. You know, the thing that pissed off a lot of Superman fans.
(That was your spoiler warning, everyone.)
Released last week, Earth One - Volume 3 is worth considering as part of the ongoing effort to make The Last Son of Krypton seem cool and relevant. Superman's been around more than 75 years. He is a character that your parents and grandparents could have grown up on, which might make Clark Kent seem less cool than, say, Tony Stark. As a result, Kal-El's caretakers are continuously trying to freshen the guy up for modern audiences. The Man of Steel movie from 2012 tried it one way and the most interesting thing about DC Comics' new high-profile graphic novel is that it can be read as a rebuttal to that film's most controversial scene.
This new story features the same main villain as Man of Steel, a would-be military despot named Zod who also hails from Superman's long-dead home planet of Krypton. Here, he's recast as Kal-El's uncle, and their fateful family reunion is deceptively happy at first. Then, after Zod tells the governments of the world that he will eliminate Superman for them, Superman learns the true evil nature of his father's brother. The last remaining Kryptonians come to blows in the heart of Metropolis.
Both Kryptonians are recovering from being de-powered by human super-science and are far less powerful. They slug it out but Superman never even comes close to snapping the neck of his parents' murderer. However, someone does kill Zod. It's just not just Superman. This whole sequence feels like a weird compromise. He doesn't pick up a gun and kill Zod himself, and Superman is presumably so weak that he can't save his evil uncle.