Superman: Earth One

J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davi’s Earth One is an interesting if not original concept. Go back in time and pick up on a phase in Superman’s life that we don’t know too much about and fill in the blanks.  Batman did it with Year one – and now it’s Supes turn.

What must be commended is the drama that is created in this void.  We find a young Clark Kent having just left Smallville and entering the city – pretty much trying to find a purpose in life. We see him looking to help others out, applying for jobs and not really finding the right fit. And this set up is wonderful as it draws parallels to his school days where he had to deal with problems on a daily basis and have the restraint to help conceal his identity and abilities.

The grown up world is no different – and whilst from time to time he manages to bring a stop to petty crimes – he is really put to the test – and ultimately on his path when Earth is invaded.

This is where the film fan-base and the comic fan-base will probably divide. The film lot will wonder why everything has go so big and bizarre – and with a two dimensional villain to boot!  The comic readers will be more accepting of what transpires as it adds a think base to the mythos of Superman’s background.

The action segments of the book are perhaps the ones most devoid of the most fun, but then it has usually been the case that Superman is much more entertaining as a human being than as the saviour of the planet. His own internal struggle along with his dramatic and comedic interaction with the world as Clark Kent has always been an astonishing accomplishment. Superman we don’t tend to worry too much about unless they bring the ole kryptonite into play – and even then we couldn’t care less – until the writers really test audiences by killing him off – which they have done!

Earth One then best represents a new alternative to Superman’s past. Ignore the Emo-tags it has been given, as it only reads that way if you are looking to read it that way. Earth one is perfectly acceptable. The decision to add any extra dimensions to any characters is usually a welcome one.

 Steven Hurst

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