Superman Earth One Review | Superman Blog

Superman Earth One Review

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The second volume of J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis’ re-imagining of the Man of Steel in Superman: Earth One is successfully able to raise the bar from its predecessor, which readers need not revisit before cracking this book open.

Admittedly, I wasn’t keen on Superman: Earth One Vol. 1 (nor was the official IGN Comics review), but Vol. 2 is a marked improvement. Though it still suffers from most of the same problems as it did the first time around, the positives are far more beneficial to the greater whole. The primary attraction to Vol. 2 is the larger philosophical questions raised by the presence of Superman and the personal and professional tribulations of Clark Kent.

JMS finds interesting angles to explore in terms of the reality of Superman’s appearance – most notably how he’ll affect global affairs and what conflicts he should and shouldn’t get involved in. The writer builds a world in which Superman isn’t generally seen as a heroic figure quite yet; instead, he’s portrayed in the media as a time bomb waiting to go off. Of course, we the readers know better, but the cynicism of JMS’ world is nearly omnipresent.

The Clark Kent pieces of this book are by far the most interesting, as he deals with pressure to follow-up his debut article for the Daily Planet with a worthwhile piece of writing while simultaneously struggling to get intimate with a new love interest. That’s not as odd as it sounds, as JMS gives the whole concept a broader context, flashing back to a hilariously awkward “birds and the bees” conversation with Pa Kent that presents the idea that Clark really doesn’t know what would happen if he were to try and have a sex life. Ultimately, though, this idea of Clark’s virginity is really just the smaller piece to the larger whole – Clark’s intense alienation from everyone and everything around him.

While his ideas for Clark as Superman sometimes waiver from what I would consider iconic or even appropriate, JMS totally nails the core of Clark as a regular person. There are multiple instances throughout this book that position Clark as a lonely outsider, desperately looking in on humanity from the other side of the glass. There’s a heart-wrenching tale that the character recounts about his childhood best friend – a farm cat named Fuzzball – that perfectly encapsulates Clark’s humanity despite him later musing how he’s anything but. The true triumph of Superman: Earth One Vol. 2 is shouldered by Clark and his desperate bid to feel “normal, ” despite the fact that in many ways, he’s his own biggest obstacle in achieving that goal.

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