Superman Earth One (Volume 1) by J. Michael Straczynski

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“Because truth is, if you do go down that road, you’ll probably lose more than you’d ever stand to gain from it.”

— J. Michael Straczynski, Superman Earth One (Volume 1)

             Seriously. I really believe the Earth One series only truly work if you don’t know much about the superhero in the first place. My knowledge of Superman is really limited to the movies and the animated appearances of the Man of Steel. If you’ve followed Clark Kent through the comic world and know every bit of his story, from Action Comics to All-Star, I’m pretty confident that this volume let you down in many ways. As you might already know, the Earth One series is a trend in DC’s universe where the superheroes all get a reboot treatment. Superman Earth One (Volume 1) is the story of a depressed and conflicted Clark Kent who tries vainly to fit in with humans. As he struggles to find an identity that suits him throughout a great deal of this book, a menace from way back in Superman’s past surges from space to seek and destroy the last Son of Krypton.

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“If I expose myself to the world, if I show them what I can do… I’ll always be on the run. I’ll never fit in. I’ll always be on the outside, looking in. I’ll be alone.”

— J. Michael Straczynski, Superman Earth One (Volume 1)

             There’s a bunch of hiccups in the plot, but I didn’t feel like it took away entertaining value to the book. One thing’s for sure, the story started off on the right foot. Portraying the struggles of Clark Kent to merge with Metropolis without being the center of attention was clear and well-done. Showing the lonesome reality that he faces was pretty much nailed and what can I say, it’s definitely a good point to touch upon. How does one fit in when he can do absolutely anything and everything? I did however despise some of the example of Clark Kent trying to find the right job for him. The sport scene was… ridiculous. Did he not think that such a move would blow his cover? What really fascinates me even more is how sport events in superhero movies are 100% horrible. The scene in The Amazing Spider-Man and basket-ball? Catwoman and basket-ball? Leave the sports alone! Then there’s the formula-solving scene. You can’t be serious. Clark Kent flies in to save the day in a couple of seconds while scientists couldn’t solve it for years. Couldn’t have been more cliche than that. Oh, but it does and we’ll get back to that pretty soon.

               This first volume also explores Superman’s origins and his space shuttle. The space shuttle plays a big role in this volume and if its first appearance didn’t reveal the fact that it would come in handy pretty soon, I don’t know what will. Clark Kent’s origins was interesting thanks to its easy to understand and mysterious aspects and did help me want to know more about the Man of Steel’s story and what his past might one day bring to Earth. Talking about things that his past brings to Earth. The villain. J. M. Straczynski creates a brand new villain for the Earth One series who goes by the name of Tyrell. If anything, I actually thought he looked fine. I didn’t have any complaints on that regard. Then again, the artwork in this volume is absolutely delightful. Kudos to Shane Davis on that, cause the volume could’ve lost a lot of points if it was ugly in any way possible. However, there is a panel that had be cringing a little too much; remember when Clark Kent becomes the Clark Kent we know? With glasses? Yeh, that panel. That smile…

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“He will be alone. He will be like them, but he will not be one of them. He will be among them. But he will not be of them.”

— J. Michael Straczynski, Superman Earth One (Volume 1)

            How about we talk about the characters? Clark Kent’s adoptive parents were fairly interesting and maybe a little too invasive in the creation of Superman. In fact, the meaning of the S on Superman’s costume knows a brand new signification; one that wasn’t too fascinating and a little sad when you think about it. I believe its meaning should’ve stayed what it was before this revamp of Superman’s origin. Something that’s even more bothersome is how Clark Kent gets his superhero name. Now that was really lame. Although the self-sent interview for the Metropolitan newspapers was an interesting idea, the fact that Clark Kent self-entitled himself for personal reasons was a let down. Otherwise, both mamma and poppa Kent were pretty well integrated. Their role in Kent’s life was clear and influential. On the other hand, Lois Lane and her reporter partner were really annoying. Especially when it came down to their irrational and reckless behavior once the alien invasion settled into Metropolis. Their personality felt also a little distant and it was hard to even enjoy their presence. Apart from some clever lines here and there, those characters need more time to develop in future volumes. By the way, is it just me, or does Lois Lane look like Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) from Dexter (TV show)?

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“They’ll need to see your face, so they can see that there’s no evil in it… To see the gentleness and decency in you… And know that they have nothing to fear. The mask — The mask is what you’ll have to wear the rest of the time.”

— J. Michael Straczynski, Superman Earth One (Volume 1)

            What helped me enjoy this volume the most was the fact that I didn’t have much of a solid background on Superman; at least for now. Once I acquaint myself with the original origins of the Man of Steel and read more of his memorable story arcs, I’ll definitely revisit this and see if it really did come up with a new and fun revamp origin. Superman Earth One (Volume 1) still does deliver a fun story to indulge in. Its villain wasn’t as amazing as one would like him to do, but for a debut to a series, this volume does manage to pique my interest and make me want to know what’s next. The artwork is beautiful, Clark Kent is interesting, the universe seems promising. Hopefully, J. Michael Straczynski has some good stuff planned for future volumes.

As always, don’t forget to share your thoughts on this comic, as well as like and follow us as we continue to get you guys reviews to enjoy. So what are you waiting for? If you’re interested in this story, you can purchase a copy of Superman Earth One (Volume 1) by clicking on this hyperlink !

My overall rating: ★★★☆☆/

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4 thoughts on “Superman Earth One (Volume 1) by J. Michael Straczynski

  1. Sasha says:

    Your review is neat and fair and I love everything about it ! I didnt like this graphic novel as much because Im a superman fangirl..But it is better I guess when you dont know much about the character haha as you pointed out. I still strongly suggest you to watch Supergirl ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words !! 😀 I’m definitely going to check out the show soon enough. I’m hearing great things about it nowadays. It seems to be getting every episode! I need to also get my hands on more of superman classic stories so I can see if Earth One (Volume 1) deserved less stars or not! 😀 Thanks again for checking out my review, it’s really appreciated.

      – Lashaan

      Like

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