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DC Comics Essentials: Superman: Earth One (2015-) #1

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Forget everything you know about The Man of Steel and brace yourself for a staggering new take on the world's most popular Super Hero. Best-selling, Hugo Award-winning writer J. Michael Straczynski (Thor, Babylon 5) and red-hot rising star artist Shane Davis (Green Lantern, Superman/Batman) team up for this exciting launch of the Earth One graphic novel series. Set in an al Forget everything you know about The Man of Steel and brace yourself for a staggering new take on the world's most popular Super Hero. Best-selling, Hugo Award-winning writer J. Michael Straczynski (Thor, Babylon 5) and red-hot rising star artist Shane Davis (Green Lantern, Superman/Batman) team up for this exciting launch of the Earth One graphic novel series. Set in an all-new continuity re-imagining DC's top heroes, Earth One is a new wave of original, stand-alone graphic novels produced by the top writers and artists in the industry. The groundbreaking new line rockets into effect right here with the Super Hero who started it all – Superman! What would happen if the origin of The Man of Tomorrow were introduced today for the very first time? Return to Smallville and experience the journey of Earth's favorite adopted son as he grows from boy to Superman like you've never seen before!


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Forget everything you know about The Man of Steel and brace yourself for a staggering new take on the world's most popular Super Hero. Best-selling, Hugo Award-winning writer J. Michael Straczynski (Thor, Babylon 5) and red-hot rising star artist Shane Davis (Green Lantern, Superman/Batman) team up for this exciting launch of the Earth One graphic novel series. Set in an al Forget everything you know about The Man of Steel and brace yourself for a staggering new take on the world's most popular Super Hero. Best-selling, Hugo Award-winning writer J. Michael Straczynski (Thor, Babylon 5) and red-hot rising star artist Shane Davis (Green Lantern, Superman/Batman) team up for this exciting launch of the Earth One graphic novel series. Set in an all-new continuity re-imagining DC's top heroes, Earth One is a new wave of original, stand-alone graphic novels produced by the top writers and artists in the industry. The groundbreaking new line rockets into effect right here with the Super Hero who started it all – Superman! What would happen if the origin of The Man of Tomorrow were introduced today for the very first time? Return to Smallville and experience the journey of Earth's favorite adopted son as he grows from boy to Superman like you've never seen before!

30 review for DC Comics Essentials: Superman: Earth One (2015-) #1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will M.

    Maybe they should've made Geoff Johns do this series, because the Batman Earth One series is among my favorite graphic novels ever. This story arc of Superman was not bad just to be clear, but nothing was interesting on the other hand. Forgettable at best. Actually the whole thing felt a bit rushed. It's like Stracyznski didn't give Superman the proper introduction that he deserved. I'm not a huge Superman fan, but I'm not among the haters. I don't think I've ever read a Superman graphic novel, o Maybe they should've made Geoff Johns do this series, because the Batman Earth One series is among my favorite graphic novels ever. This story arc of Superman was not bad just to be clear, but nothing was interesting on the other hand. Forgettable at best. Actually the whole thing felt a bit rushed. It's like Stracyznski didn't give Superman the proper introduction that he deserved. I'm not a huge Superman fan, but I'm not among the haters. I don't think I've ever read a Superman graphic novel, or even a single comic book issue, so that's why I was expecting to enjoy this. Everything that I know about Superman would be because of the movies and the TV series (animated). This is not a good start for a Superman newbie. The artwork was commendable though. I liked how they portrayed him, unlike some of the Justice League ones. Am I the only one who can see a slight similarity to Spider-man? Seriously, the job that he chose closely resembled Spidey's. Like I said though, I don't really know the original story of Superman, so I'm not sure if I should complain about that in the first place. 3/5 stars. Mediocre but not terrible enough to make me steer away from the next volume. Hopefully the next one would have a better plot development. I don't like my graphic novels rushed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    mark monday

    the art is gorgeous: a vivid palette, expert linework, by turns visceral and delicate, super stylish overall. but for some reason, Shane Davis gives us a short, slender, eerie, vaguely asian Superman. the writing is smart, the pacing works well, the ideas are compelling, the mysteries are intriguing. but J. Michael Straczynski gets it all wrong too. this is not Superman. (and it is also not Earth One - but I'm not going to go there in this review.) many years back, Mark Gruenwald's ingenious Squa the art is gorgeous: a vivid palette, expert linework, by turns visceral and delicate, super stylish overall. but for some reason, Shane Davis gives us a short, slender, eerie, vaguely asian Superman. the writing is smart, the pacing works well, the ideas are compelling, the mysteries are intriguing. but J. Michael Straczynski gets it all wrong too. this is not Superman. (and it is also not Earth One - but I'm not going to go there in this review.) many years back, Mark Gruenwald's ingenious Squadron Supreme reboot was a clever, challenging take on the Justice League and pushed superhero stories in directions that had seldom been traveled before - it had similar ideas to but actually preceded Watchmen. 15 years later, Straczynski's sinister re-reboot Supreme Power went to even darker and more extreme places and was often equally excellent. I highly recommend both series. anyway, Squadron Supreme's version of Superman is Hyperion. Straczynski's Hyperion is truly eerie. he's detached, he's cold, he's unsettling and ambiguous and unknowable and alien. he's highly disturbing. a disturbing Superman! I loved it. but now Straczynski gives us a Superman who is basically his Hyperion. Hyperion is fascinating as a creepy alternate version of Superman, particularly in series that are bent on deconstructing various comic book tropes... but Superman does not equal Hyperion. I'm surprised that Straczynski doesn't seem to understand that.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    I haven't read a lot of Superman comic books so I can't really compare this to anything, aside from the movie adaptations that is. But I absolutely love how they showed this side of Superman. Superman, for me, was unstoppable force. He was the person we all would never be. He is strong. Has superhuman strength. Is also super smart. What else is there? What more can this guy want? He was basically a god. But of course, that wasn't all this was. Kal-el has a lot of weaknesses. And this story actua I haven't read a lot of Superman comic books so I can't really compare this to anything, aside from the movie adaptations that is. But I absolutely love how they showed this side of Superman. Superman, for me, was unstoppable force. He was the person we all would never be. He is strong. Has superhuman strength. Is also super smart. What else is there? What more can this guy want? He was basically a god. But of course, that wasn't all this was. Kal-el has a lot of weaknesses. And this story actually showed us that. THE THINGS I LIKED ● The humanity that they have added to Superman's character. The internal struggles that he had when deciding what was right and what was wrong. Would he do it because it was the right thing for everyone or would be do what is right for him. I loved seeing that in a character. Whether in books, graphic novels, or movies. I love a good character arc and this one is one of them. ● The illustrations were gorgeous. I'll be looking forward to more works by Shane Davis. ●I like that page where people were interviewed after the encounter with Tyrelle. There was one guy who made the reference to another Ubermensch in history that didn't go too well. ● I liked the dialogues. There were some that were really meaningful morals and could be applied to anyone. THE THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE ● The reason why he was called Superman was a bit cheesy. ● I thought the plot line was pretty predictable. We all know Superman was going to make the right decision. But, it wasn't too bad that it made me hate this. FINAL THOUGHTS All in all, I really loved this. I can't wait to read the other volumes. I'll definitely look forward to other works by Stracszynski. I saw he made a few for Marvel too. I'd definitely pick those up too.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Ugh. I really wanted to like this. I love Michael Straczynski's stuff. Usually. Unfortunately, the only thing I really liked about Earth One was Shane Davis' artwork. I thought he did an awesome job updating Clark's looks. He was actually quite a hottie. Unfortunately, at the end when Clark put on the familiar costume, he ended up looking a bit like a boy playing dress-up. He seemed too short or something to be Superman. Sort of like they cast Tom Cruise to play The Man of Steel. Urp! *retching Ugh. I really wanted to like this. I love Michael Straczynski's stuff. Usually. Unfortunately, the only thing I really liked about Earth One was Shane Davis' artwork. I thought he did an awesome job updating Clark's looks. He was actually quite a hottie. Unfortunately, at the end when Clark put on the familiar costume, he ended up looking a bit like a boy playing dress-up. He seemed too short or something to be Superman. Sort of like they cast Tom Cruise to play The Man of Steel. Urp! *retching noises, toilet flushes in the background* Anyhoo, that was my only problem with the art. Mostly, it was fantastic. The story, though? Not so much. It started out okish, but then it really degenerated. I know Straczynski was trying to give a fresh take on the early years of the Superman story, but the things he changed around just didn't work for me. (view spoiler)[ First, Johnathan and Martha were the ones who wanted Clark to become Superman. Huh? Yeah. It came across like they were almost pushing/guilting him into it, and then telling him they would stand behind whatever he chose. It was just very unKent-like. Supposedly, the S on his cape was Martha's idea...it meant Son. Hokey, much? Then there are the scenes where Clark goes to Metropolis and tries out for football and evidently other sports teams. What?! He also waltzes into some research facility and fills in some of the missing equations (that they have been trying to solve for years), in order to get a job offer. Really? I mean, is there anything at this point that he can't do? We all know he is extremely intelligent, but this was just over the top. When we finally get to the battle with the Big Bad, it's not all that good. Evidently, Krypton was sabotaged by one of their neighboring planets (who covertly drilled, then planted explosives at the core of the planet?). Anyway, these guys come all the way to earth looking for Clark so they can finish the job. I guess there is more to that story, but who cares at this point? So, Superman goes and gets his kiddie cape (seriously, he looks teeny!), and then fights them off. Oh, wait. He gets help from the rocket he crashed on earth in. Uh-huh. It reconstructed itself and came to his rescue. 'Nuff said. Almost. Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane also help pull him out of an evil death ray, which is how he decides that he needs to work with them at the Daily Planet. Riiiiight. And this leads to the final nail in the coffin, so to speak. Wait for it.... Clark names himself Superman. Yes. He named himself Superman! How, you ask? Clark marches into the Daily Planet with an exclusive interview with Superman. The best part is, that you get to read the interview in all of it's awkward glory. It's awful. I think I may have actually cringed a few times while I was reading it. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cheese

    I may be a fan of stracynski because I really enjoyed this. Superman used to be my favourite hero and he's been written over and over so badly so many times. Each time they try and make him human to relate to the reader more because stupid batman fans keep saying "he's too strong" or "he's unrealistic" - fools! He's an alien and I love that he's really fucking strong and I love what he stands for. So stracynski writes him as a superior here. Another origin story! Another one! However, this one w I may be a fan of stracynski because I really enjoyed this. Superman used to be my favourite hero and he's been written over and over so badly so many times. Each time they try and make him human to relate to the reader more because stupid batman fans keep saying "he's too strong" or "he's unrealistic" - fools! He's an alien and I love that he's really fucking strong and I love what he stands for. So stracynski writes him as a superior here. Another origin story! Another one! However, this one was decent. Superman tries to fit in but in a different way. He has the world at his feet and then he realises he has another responsibility after an old neighbour arrives at his front door. Enter new bad guys for supes to deal with. Nice touch. Look forward to reading the other volumes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    StoryTellerShannon

    This is a focus on Super Boy right after he leaves to “find himself” at Metropolis. He has a lot of options with his knowledge and isn't really interested in being any type of superhero. However, cataclysmic circumstances force him to become one and that really isn't much of a surprise so not a spoiler, people. The story had its moment but it was a bit too predictable for my tastes and didn't have any interesting small moments. The artwork was absolutely beautiful and primarily done by Shane Davi This is a focus on Super Boy right after he leaves to “find himself” at Metropolis. He has a lot of options with his knowledge and isn't really interested in being any type of superhero. However, cataclysmic circumstances force him to become one and that really isn't much of a surprise so not a spoiler, people. The story had its moment but it was a bit too predictable for my tastes and didn't have any interesting small moments. The artwork was absolutely beautiful and primarily done by Shane Davis. The story was by famous writer Michael J. Straczinski and I had higher expectations and he didn't meet them. ACTION SCENES: B to B plus; STORY/PLOTTING: B minus; CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: B minus to B; ARTWORK PRESENTATION: B to B plus; OVERALL GRADE: B; WHEN READ: mid October 2012.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Scott S.

    Superman lands somewhere between the Batman (huzzah) and Wonder Woman (blah) books in the Earth One series. There are a few good things -- the homily-like flashback scenes on the Kent family farm, the dynamic duo of Daily Planet co-workers Lois and Jimmy in the midst of a disaster, and young Clark's 'shotgun' approach to researching employment opportunities upon arrival Metropolis. However, the villain (who could possibly be mistaken for a member of KISS), with his generic world domination and/or Superman lands somewhere between the Batman (huzzah) and Wonder Woman (blah) books in the Earth One series. There are a few good things -- the homily-like flashback scenes on the Kent family farm, the dynamic duo of Daily Planet co-workers Lois and Jimmy in the midst of a disaster, and young Clark's 'shotgun' approach to researching employment opportunities upon arrival Metropolis. However, the villain (who could possibly be mistaken for a member of KISS), with his generic world domination and/or destruction plot, is boring and too talky - is he auditioning to be in a Bond film?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Donovan

    The synopsis says it all. Superman doesn't know who he is, and that's because he's nobody but a surface version of his Golden Age self. Football star, scientist, baseball player. Which will he choose? All to buy Martha Kent a new Cadillac. He moves to the city to, I don't know, mope, creep on girls in diners, and jump into any career he wants to with only a two year degree. That's the Superman I know and love. The "aliens attack the world" trope has become so tiresome, sudden belligerent aliens The synopsis says it all. Superman doesn't know who he is, and that's because he's nobody but a surface version of his Golden Age self. Football star, scientist, baseball player. Which will he choose? All to buy Martha Kent a new Cadillac. He moves to the city to, I don't know, mope, creep on girls in diners, and jump into any career he wants to with only a two year degree. That's the Superman I know and love. The "aliens attack the world" trope has become so tiresome, sudden belligerent aliens doling out random global violence. Meanwhile the villain distracts Superman by explaining his evil plan, even while Superman discusses the "villain explaining the evil plan" trope. The game changer was when Lois Lane and the photographer hooked a chain up to Supes and towed him from the red sun gravity force field. And the villain said something like "I underestimated you!" Oh man, I laughed so hard. A tow truck, that's impressive. Compared to Batman Earth One, with its fascinating retelling of characters, history and setting, and a drastically different Bruce Wayne, who is nothing like the usual Rocky Balboa meets James Bond, but rather a complex, weak, naive, vengeful but hopeful human being, Straczynski does nothing new here for Superman. He's still a mumbling journalist. He still yearns for his parents and his lost planet. That's old news. And he lacks any real depth or conflict found in other countless titles. At best he has career path conflict, then he gets sidetracked by an alien invasion, and concedes to take the lowest paying job to, I don't know, keep a low profile? Didn't he blow his cover by saving the planet maskless? I was skeptical going into this and you should be, too. I wouldn't call myself a diehard Supes fan, more of an amateur fanatic, but this didn't do much for me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    This felt very much like the Man of Steel movie. That isn't really a good thing. I get that this Earth One books are supposed to be new, fresh takes on the origin stories of familiar heroes, but this one just felt off to me. And there are plenty of aspects of the story that don't make much sense. Since when is Clark enough of a genius that he can effortlessly solve equations that trained and experienced scientists have been struggling with for years? Did it never occur to Clark that putting in a This felt very much like the Man of Steel movie. That isn't really a good thing. I get that this Earth One books are supposed to be new, fresh takes on the origin stories of familiar heroes, but this one just felt off to me. And there are plenty of aspects of the story that don't make much sense. Since when is Clark enough of a genius that he can effortlessly solve equations that trained and experienced scientists have been struggling with for years? Did it never occur to Clark that putting in a literally superhuman performance at professional sports tryouts might make people a little too curious about him? Why are his parents trying to steer him towards becoming a superhero? Did Pa really ask a graphic designer friend to come up with the S logo? Once Clark actually does become Superman, there's a couple dozen people who should have good, educated guesses as to his not-terribly-secret identity, but it doesn't look like any of them do. I did kind of like how Lois and Jimmy were handled. Jimmy alone is a big upgrade over the Silver Age version, and acts the way an enterprising news photographer should. And Lois is shown to be smart, capable, brave, and committed. Everything that Lois should be. I especially liked the hint that she knows good and well that Clark is Superman, but she's going to leave it alone- for now. But the two of them weren't enough to entirely save a book with a bland story and a bland hero.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    I love Superman as much as anyone and hey I'm open to new versions of the character, so if a new Superman origin story has to happen in today's world with a twentyish Clark Kent moving out of small town Smallville to big town Metropolis, I'll go along for the ride. What people said to me about it was that this was an "emo" Superman but I didn't see that here. Sure Clark is 20 and wears a hoodie but so what? That doesn't make him emo. No, what made me dislike this book was how booooring the story I love Superman as much as anyone and hey I'm open to new versions of the character, so if a new Superman origin story has to happen in today's world with a twentyish Clark Kent moving out of small town Smallville to big town Metropolis, I'll go along for the ride. What people said to me about it was that this was an "emo" Superman but I didn't see that here. Sure Clark is 20 and wears a hoodie but so what? That doesn't make him emo. No, what made me dislike this book was how booooring the story was. Remember Bryan Singer's "Superman Returns"? Remember how bored you were? That's what this is like, though J. Michael Straczynski does correct one of Singer's big problems with his story by allowing Superman to throw a punch, to get angry! So why boring? Well, we go through the rigmarole of Clark starting life, wowing people with his amazing athletic abilities and amazing mental abilities. Life's not tough for Clark, though Straczynski attempts to show him "struggling" by giving him a less than appealing apartment to live in. But so what? He's Superman! And before he knows it, he's offered a six figure sum so I guess there goes any attempt of Clark struggling for long. We get the flashbacks of Clark growing up in Smallville, Jonathan and Martha giving out wise instruction, raising this alien child as if their own, and Clark slowly understanding his role, not as a man, but as a Superman. It's nice but if you've read Superman before you'll have read this origin story a hundred times already, hell, even people who don't read the comics know the origin story; having it regurgitated here is just plain dull. The only interesting part was the alien invasion in the middle of the book with lots of robots. Sounds interesting on paper, kind of de rigeur in the comics world, and not much different from other Superman or other superhero comics before. Mildly interesting, it was good to see Superman kicking ass. And then it's done. Baddies defeated, then there's the Daily Planet, Lois and Jimmy and Perry, and of course Clark winds up working there. The book is done! Straczynski doesn't reinvent the character, or even retell the origin story in a daring new way, and frankly the only readers who would find this book interesting would be new readers who are coming into contact with this brilliant character for the first time. Seasoned comics fans will find little here to distinguish itself from other Superman origin comics, despite some decent art from Shane Davis.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Don't listen to the reviews on this one. It's not terrible. From what I'd gathered, Straczynski and crew presented some emo-modernistic version of Superman with anger problems. There's nothing of the sort. Deep down there's not much different about our beloved Man of Steel. The changes to character and the origin story itself is very minor, with one significant change, which I enjoyed to tell the truth. Clark Kent is newly arrived in Metropolis and looking for a job - a means to strike it out on Don't listen to the reviews on this one. It's not terrible. From what I'd gathered, Straczynski and crew presented some emo-modernistic version of Superman with anger problems. There's nothing of the sort. Deep down there's not much different about our beloved Man of Steel. The changes to character and the origin story itself is very minor, with one significant change, which I enjoyed to tell the truth. Clark Kent is newly arrived in Metropolis and looking for a job - a means to strike it out on his own. Through a series of flashbacks we learn the usual story, crash-landed from a dying planet, discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent, humble farmers from the mid-west, discovery that he's not the same as other kids and the search for a place in the world. Clark is on the verge of self-discovery. There's still a bit of teen in him that yearns for fame and fortune, but at his core, he's still the Clark we know and love - his desire for fortune merely a front to fulfill a promise to his dying father to provide and protect his mother. Especially well done are scenes between Martha and Clark that lead to his eventual acceptance of his rightful place in the world. This self-realization is provoked by the invasion of a race of powerful beings known as Dheronians. There's a pretty epic slug-fest between their leader, Tyrell and Clark that reveals Superman's power balanced with ingenuity. One difference between canon Clark and Earth One Clark: this younger Clark is not seasoned. He gets angry sometimes and doesn't sit back spouting platitudes about responsibility and goodness and yada, yada, yada while he beats on the baddies. It's refreshing and realistic. The action is balanced by solid narration and dialogue that results in a competent re-telling of the origin story for a new generation. As devoted and traditional as I am when it comes to my favorite superhero, I have to say that I was not only accepting of the changes, but happy with them; particularly a bit about the destruction of Krypton that I think has enormous potential down the line if they keep this series going.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Yes this *is* fresh, a very modern telling of the Superman origin story - and yet it doesn't feel *forced*, doesn't feel like you're reading or seeing things that were rammed into the story to make you think "yes, I see they took great pains to update the story - look at the cell phones! Look at how we finally drop the stupid planet-exploding-for-no-reason..." Instead this is a very well-crafted story - JMS really has the *craft* of storytelling down, and he makes it clear it's about telling a gr Yes this *is* fresh, a very modern telling of the Superman origin story - and yet it doesn't feel *forced*, doesn't feel like you're reading or seeing things that were rammed into the story to make you think "yes, I see they took great pains to update the story - look at the cell phones! Look at how we finally drop the stupid planet-exploding-for-no-reason..." Instead this is a very well-crafted story - JMS really has the *craft* of storytelling down, and he makes it clear it's about telling a great, cohesive story - not about showing off as a creator or injecting a lot of his ego and personal belief structure. I totally believe the story, the angst of Clark Kent trying to find his place in the world - of course he would feel alone, and of course he would struggle with how he could find a place in this world. I smiled a couple of times to see the old Superman story get set aside because it didn't make sense, but somehow JMS and Davis found ways to weave together the old and the new so that it felt 'right'. I so totally would read everything this team put out, if the fates had conspired to give us a continuing series. Thankful we got this much of it, look forward to their next offerings.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nicolo Yu

    Superman, the original and seminal superhero, has undergone a lot of reboots ever since he leaped off the pages of Action Comics number one in 1938. It is understandable that he needs to be re-imagined every time a new generation of comic book readers comes of age. Especially, the generation whose first exposure of the character came from the television show Smallville. This project to revitalize the character had a lot going for it. It had a capable writer and artist team with proven track recor Superman, the original and seminal superhero, has undergone a lot of reboots ever since he leaped off the pages of Action Comics number one in 1938. It is understandable that he needs to be re-imagined every time a new generation of comic book readers comes of age. Especially, the generation whose first exposure of the character came from the television show Smallville. This project to revitalize the character had a lot going for it. It had a capable writer and artist team with proven track records in individual projects. This is probably Shane Davis’ best work, producing realistic and detailed pencils to emphasize the real world feel. The color tones are darker and muddied the pencils, but not enough to diminish Davis’ art. The colors give it a look that is edgy and modern. It is no fault of the artist that I find this take on the Superman mythos to be wanting. My idea of Superman is neither an undecided youth, nor is he selfish and motivated by revenge. I’ve always thought of him as a symbol for humanity’s collective hope and man’s ability to do good. I find J.M. Straczynski’s Superman to be too human and flawed. Straczynski writes a good story and the ending sets up further adventures and there are still subplots to be explored and resolved. It is enough to stir interest for me to wait for the next volume, but he is not my Superman. Thankfully, there is Mark Waid and Leinil Yu’s Superman: Birthright that I believe is a better reimagining of Superman’s origin. Geoff Johns’ Action Comics work and Grant Morrison’s All Star Superman also have tales of the Kryptonian with modern sensibilities and timeless wonder.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    I love all the story of the young Clark arriving to Metropolis and looking for what to do with his life. However the climax, it was good but not exactly what I would expect, also they include some elements changing the reason of how Krypton exploded and that affected how people could look the staying of Superman on Earh in a whole different way. Not that I don't find creative but it wouldnt be as I would so thrilled about it. Still, it's a very good book recommended to any Superman fan. I love all the story of the young Clark arriving to Metropolis and looking for what to do with his life. However the climax, it was good but not exactly what I would expect, also they include some elements changing the reason of how Krypton exploded and that affected how people could look the staying of Superman on Earh in a whole different way. Not that I don't find creative but it wouldn´t be as I would so thrilled about it. Still, it's a very good book recommended to any Superman fan.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    A baby is sent to Earth from his dying home planet, Krypton. Years later, the baby is now a young adult named Clark and moves from Kansas to Metropolis, searching for a way to fit in. He inadvertently triggers a series of events that brings an associate of his former world's destroyers to Earth, committed to hunting down the last survivor of Krypton. It feels like the film Man of Steel was largely based on this, with the film's Zod taking the place of the verbose alien hunter Tyrell. Man of Steel A baby is sent to Earth from his dying home planet, Krypton. Years later, the baby is now a young adult named Clark and moves from Kansas to Metropolis, searching for a way to fit in. He inadvertently triggers a series of events that brings an associate of his former world's destroyers to Earth, committed to hunting down the last survivor of Krypton. It feels like the film Man of Steel was largely based on this, with the film's Zod taking the place of the verbose alien hunter Tyrell. Man of Steel was decent, not great, but this similar story was more fun and seems to be what it was hoped that the movie would be. It strikes a more somber tone than almost any other Superman origin I've read, and I think for the most part, it works. It has some tweaks that make it distinct. Clark is not just super physically, but also when it comes to science and math (as his 1950's and 1960's versions were super in literally all things), and he uses these abilities to find his place in the city. It makes sense, if he really is super in every way. His Earth parents have made it clear that he would be limiting himself if he doesn't use his full potential, and they've conceived of a method where he can help the most people possible. Clark is more introverted and thoughtful this time as well, which I liked; his personality fit the idea that he would voluntarily remain hidden until he couldn't any longer. Tyrell is an interesting new character, a rival of the planet Krypton who is only on Earth at some mysterious group's request. I also really liked the couple of pages of people's reactions to Superman's appearance, divided reasonably into half who like him and half who don't. In most other ways, the origin hits all the standard notes. Krypton is shown briefly. Lois, Jimmy, and Perry are all there and all characterized believably. Clark makes his dramatic public debut as Superman. All of these scenes are punctuated with flashbacks of Clark's youth, showing his growth and the ideas he has taken into adulthood. Shane Davis's art is probably one of the, if not the, strongest elements of the whole thing, showing very realistic portraits and some of the best recent Superman action I can recall. The book does start to show cracks when you introduce logic into the mix, which is probably not a great idea when reading about a guy who flies unaided and shoots red fire from his eyes. Clark trying out for pro sports and throwing around game-changing scientific equations is fine and make sense for someone who is super in everything, but it would raise red flags and make the government (who has been studying his captured spaceship) look in his direction. Also, there seemed to be a lot of purposeful property destruction in this one. Come on, Clark, be more careful with those buildings unless you're paying for them. I'm also not a big fan of Clark's "S" being created by his mom as opposed to it being a Kryptonian symbol, but this was also an element of John Byrne's version of the origin and was probably done to make Clark more symbolically tied to his adoptive parents. In the end, none of these really diminished the quality of the book and my suspension of disbelief managed to stay intact. A fairly standard yet well-told version of Superman's origin with a few interesting updates.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Clark

    Earth One is an interesting concept with great writers and artists. The art is beautiful, the story is fast paced and the characters are very grounded. I enjoyed this one, but the same as Batman, very few things were changed. I feel like they could have done a lot more in this series, but it is good never the less.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mizuki

    3.5 stars. The story and the artwork itself is okay, but I am really not a fan of the angst Superman in the DCEU movies, I'm okay with this comic but I'm not a fan of it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    B.R.A.CE. 2019 Αν και δεν είμαι φαν του Superman, όπως είμαι του απόλυτου Batman (!!!) παραδέχομαι ότι ήταν ένα απολαυστικό κόμικ με την αρχή της ιστορίας του και την πρώτη του εμφάνιση ως υπερήρωα.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    Bullet Review: I'm not the biggest Superman fan in the world, but I've seen the original movie, "Man of Steel", and "Smallville" and am familiar with the basic storyline. The two biggest reason I read this were A) I had recently seen "Man of Steel" and heard this comic was used as inspiration for the movie (I can totally see the similiarities), and B) I've been on a comic book kick lately and really wanted to find a good entry point into possibly reading Superman. (The biggest problem to a newbie Bullet Review: I'm not the biggest Superman fan in the world, but I've seen the original movie, "Man of Steel", and "Smallville" and am familiar with the basic storyline. The two biggest reason I read this were A) I had recently seen "Man of Steel" and heard this comic was used as inspiration for the movie (I can totally see the similiarities), and B) I've been on a comic book kick lately and really wanted to find a good entry point into possibly reading Superman. (The biggest problem to a newbie to these 50+ year comic series is "OMG, there are TEN VOLUMES of classic comics IN ADDITION to comics coming out?! Where the frak do I even begin?!?!") At the end of the day, I think this comic is just OK, pure and simple. It's the same basic Superman origin story that we've seen about a million times before (even those of us who AREN'T Supes fans). It's not done badly, just "meh, same-o, same-o". It's a perfectly serviceable entry point for a newbie - I mean, I certainly wasn't confused about who was who and what was what, and I'm pretty newbie when it comes to Superman. Honestly, I think the hardest part is that the comic is just so OK that it doesn't stand out. The characters are OK. The story is OK. The art is OK. After having Smallville do a pretty good job at feeling out Clark's teenaged years, it's hard to be excited about the "new direction" JMS takes the story. Also, Clark is now a scientific genius, offered 6-figure salaries straight out of college/high school? In addition to being offered whatever position he wanted on a football team? Supes has always suffered from the Mary Sue/Marty Stu banner - did JMS have to make it WORSE?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Blindzider

    I've read most of JMS' comic work, both DC and Marvel so I had some expectations, and to me this was 'meh'. Superman's origin has been tweaked a few times over the years and this does the same mainly by adjusting why Kal El was sent to Earth. JMS gives a deeper meaning for his arrival, the reason for Superman's first conflict, and lays the groundwork for future stories all in one fell swoop. There's also quite a bit more discussion between Clark and his parents regarding who he is, what he should I've read most of JMS' comic work, both DC and Marvel so I had some expectations, and to me this was 'meh'. Superman's origin has been tweaked a few times over the years and this does the same mainly by adjusting why Kal El was sent to Earth. JMS gives a deeper meaning for his arrival, the reason for Superman's first conflict, and lays the groundwork for future stories all in one fell swoop. There's also quite a bit more discussion between Clark and his parents regarding who he is, what he should be doing and why. This isn't completely new but gives maybe a slightly different perspective on things. JMS also gives a few modern answers to minutia such as "Why his suit has primary colors?" or "How did his mom even make the costume if it is nearly indestructible?" Art-wise it isn't bad. It has a slightly Gene Ha feel to it where people are rendered realistic looking and the coloring gives it almost a washed out watercolor feel. Panel to panel storytelling isn't bad, but I did feel some of the facial expressions seemed odd. There's not enough new stuff here to see if the changes actually make for better stories later. I initially didn't like the Batman Earth One, but found the second volume much more interesting.

  21. 4 out of 5

    M. Ashraf

    I haven't watched the movie yet,but I can say from the trailer if that movie was based on a graphic novel this would be it, just remove Tyrel and add Zodd, the same everything else appear here, the whole wandering around trying to figure out what to do after school, trying everything from a football player to a scientist - maybe this note bother me but O.K -, to the invasion of alien race to find only him and the world message that broadcast all over the world with unclear image and sound as ev I haven't watched the movie yet,but I can say from the trailer if that movie was based on a graphic novel this would be it, just remove Tyrel and add Zodd, the same everything else appear here, the whole wandering around trying to figure out what to do after school, trying everything from a football player to a scientist - maybe this note bother me but O.K -, to the invasion of alien race to find only him and the world message that broadcast all over the world with unclear image and sound as everyone watch in the trailer it's almost the same... Is that really the movie I don't know yet, but if it is, it looks good on paper :) maybe there was something missing, we didn't get it all, away from the real origin story of Superman and as many reboot DC did with its character this also could work and be accepted :) I also have to say, for this novel, the artwork is amazing!!! the complete transformation of Clark Kent the reporter is very good, the suit is the same though as always, not the new one from the movie but after all this was made three years before the movie :)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    (This review also covers Superman: Earth One, Vol. 2) I am still searching for a story about Superman that will make me like him, that will make his acceptance into society make sense. Based on the fact that several origin stories, along with two questionable movies, have popped up over the past decade or so that find alternate ways to give me this, I suspect that DC and its writers are still trying to figure that out as well. You see, the reason why I don’t like him is because my thinking falls i (This review also covers Superman: Earth One, Vol. 2) I am still searching for a story about Superman that will make me like him, that will make his acceptance into society make sense. Based on the fact that several origin stories, along with two questionable movies, have popped up over the past decade or so that find alternate ways to give me this, I suspect that DC and its writers are still trying to figure that out as well. You see, the reason why I don’t like him is because my thinking falls in line with Lex Luthor and Batman: he is an alien among us, superior to us in every way. No matter how much nurturing Ma and Pa Kent have given him, nothing removes the fact that he is not one of us, and as Clark Kent, he is attempting to suppress what makes him different. While I do agree that he is the danger that Lex and Batman believe he can be if turned against us, I have a far easier time in believing a Superman that, in his benevolence, chooses to rule over our lesser species in order to protect us. Which is a far more deadly version of Superman than one who simply wants to destroy us, and has been depicted well in alternate universe stories like Superman: Red Son and the Injustice: Gods Among Us game and comics. But Superman: Earth One, like so many other Superman stories, adheres to the boyscout depiction of a man who just wants to belong and use his powers to help everyone. A young Clark heads out on the town to find his purpose in life. His story initially focuses on his attempt to find a suitable career, but is actually more of a test of how his skills will be accepted in society. As an athlete, he’s highly desired. As a scientist, he solves a troublesome equation in seconds and is offered a huge salary to continue to do so, but Clark doesn’t find these things fulfilling. He ends up at the Daily Planet, submitting his resume to chief editor Perry White, who, for the first time ever, become a real person for me. In my experience, White has always been depicted as an overbearing boss with no empathy. Though not as boisterous and callous as Spiderman’s J. Jonah Jameson, White has always been a caricature. But in his introduction, he shows compassion, honesty and full knowledge of the job, even providing Lois Lane with some writing advice that I’ve taken to heart: "You fell in love with the words and put yourself too far into the story. Write about what you're writing about, not about you writing about what you're writing about." Lane is a disappointment in this telling. Straczynski seems to work on the assumption that we know her to be the feisty news reporter who’ll go out of her way for the story, so he doesn’t really bother to show her doing any of that. Instead, he has her go after Clark in the second volume, because she is suspicious of him. It pangs of envy, rather than going after the news, and ultimately serves only as a device to give us a bit more of Clark’s personality and history, rather than defining Lane as an interesting character herself. Photographer Jimmy Olsen on the other hand, is written very well, and seems to be, through his integrity, determination, and courage, the reason why Superman decides to don the cape and save the world. So the save the world part—this is where volume one really and truly fails for me. Unmemorable bad guy, who helped orchestrate the utter destruction of Krypton, Clark’s home planet, has traversed the galaxy to kill the lone survivor of that genocide. Why? Because he really, really hates Kryptonians. I suspect that a lot of the Man of Steel storyline has been picked up from this book, though I prefer the movie’s more logical reason for Zod hunting down Kal’El and seeking the destruction of earth. But like this book, we’ve still got this ridiculous notion that Superman is still doing the right thing, despite the destruction and death of millions being his fault for existing. Sure I can’t lump the genocide decision on Clark’s shoulders just because the bad guy came after him, but for me to believe in Superman, I want to see a whole lot more survivor’s guilt, instead of “Oh well, lemme make up for this mess by saving kittens.” Straczynski tries to give me this, most notably in an “exclusive” (though poorly written, from a journalistic point of view) interview that Clark scores with Superman himself, earning him employment at the Daily Planet despite White’s initial rejection. (We will ignore the fact that Olsen and Lane were at ground zero, face to face with Superman, even catching his face on camera, but failed to connect him with Clark. Crack reporting). Conveniently, the businessman who’d offered Clark a six figure salary before, finds him in the aftermath of the battle to repeat the offer, but Clark refuses because the businessman obviously has no concern for humanity, returning to the Daily Planet instead, because of the integrity and courage the staff there have shown him. From there, Superman can keep a finger on the pulse of the world and dash off to save people as needed. We'll just ignore the fact that Clark's proven intelligence could be used to truly help people, in the same way Bruce Wayne could do more for Gotham as rich businessman Bruce Wayne, than as the revenge-seeking Batman. Anyway, Clark's current position and life decision to become Superman leads us to the next story. In volume two, the focus is on the world view of Superman, with the government and military concerned that he is a significant threat that needs to be controlled, if not destroyed. Enter Lex2, the sexy Luthor husband and wife team, who spend their panels being sexy, and making blasé comments about how smart they are. Prior to their arrival, Superman must deal with the big bad, Parasite, who feeds on energy, of which Superman has lots. This leads to the sub-plot of Clark’s sex life, along with an attempt to pull at our heart strings with the residents of Clark’s bad-part-of-town apartment. Let’s just say that I’d much rather read about the quirky neighbours and their issues in the Hawkeye graphic novels, where you actually come to care about these people as far more than just plot lines. Clark also has to deal with the consequences of his actions when he tries to do the right thing against a dictator in another country, revealing that it is impossible to keep your hands clean, even if you don’t actually kill the bad guy yourself. I really wanted to like these stories, but I find that they suffer the same problem I’ve had with all of the stories that try to explain Superman. They all have to make it to this same end goal that I don’t find believable in the first place, so everything thrown in along the way just comes off as superficial elements funneled through a filter to create the same end product. He has to work at the Planet. He has to try to fit in. Lois Lane. He has to save kittens. He has to face off with bad guys. Things need to be destroyed (with no clean up effort from him in the aftermath). Each story attempts to be creative with these required pieces of the Superman puzzle, but it’s only in alternate universes that I truly get depth and connection with those pieces, resulting in a truly believable character. I'll end on a positive note by praising Davis' art, (though not Clark’s Bieber hair.) I liked the idea of Clark being physically our superior, without having to look it in an overly beefed up, neckless depiction. Davis gets very creative with the panel arrangements and I liked the way each page had its own colour-scheme that reflected the environment and mood. The Daily Planet is covered in soft browns, Clark's brooding introspection and time spent with his mother is usually blue, explosions are a bright, harsh orange... www.BiblioSanctum.com

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sud666

    Straczynski, whom I first read when he wrote some superb Thor graphic novels, re-tells the Superman origin story in Superman: Earth One. It is very similar to what we know, with some subtle differences. In this telling, apparently a young Superman (in his early 20's) moves to Metropolis for the first time to provide for his Ma Kent. Pa Kent has apparently passed away and Clark is looking for a job to provide for his mother. Now, in this storyline he already knows his powers, but not where he is Straczynski, whom I first read when he wrote some superb Thor graphic novels, re-tells the Superman origin story in Superman: Earth One. It is very similar to what we know, with some subtle differences. In this telling, apparently a young Superman (in his early 20's) moves to Metropolis for the first time to provide for his Ma Kent. Pa Kent has apparently passed away and Clark is looking for a job to provide for his mother. Now, in this storyline he already knows his powers, but not where he is from. His mother made the outfit for him using threads from the crashed spaceship. Pa Kent gave him the Uncle Ben from Spiderman-like "With great power comes great responsibility" type speech. He moves to Metropolis and applies for all sorts of jobs- from scientist to football player to architect in this storyline Superman is also super-smart and super-talented-great at anything he does. He wants to get a job where he can make a lot of money and "fit in". But, his plans are derailed by an alien invasion- the same aliens that helped to destroy Krypton (they caused the explosion in this storyline) are now here on Earth. The leader, Tyrell, demands Superman show himself or he will destroy Earth. This is where we see Superman meet Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane. The rest I shall leave to you to read and won't spoil. Great story, well written and well illustrated. I enjoyed this one. I admit, the story- could have been deeper, and perhaps it's that small lacking that causes me to give this only 4/5 stars. It just seems that the minor differences about why Krypton blew up, Superman's reasons for being Superman,etc just did not do it for me. But, this is a great read for any Superman fan and gives and interesting re-telling of the Man of Steel's origin story.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ariel Acupan

    Originally posted at PINOYPETERPAN . If you would ask a group of kids who’s their favorite superhero, I know that more than one would say Superman. He’s an icon. No need for further introduction, just Superman would suffice because everybody knows he is the Man of Tomorrow. But still, knowing how he looks like, the symbol, or the red and blue costume does not justify why he had been loved (and still is) by people . DC was right on their decision to make a “re-imagining” of Superman. A different ta Originally posted at PINOYPETERPAN . If you would ask a group of kids who’s their favorite superhero, I know that more than one would say Superman. He’s an icon. No need for further introduction, just Superman would suffice because everybody knows he is the Man of Tomorrow. But still, knowing how he looks like, the symbol, or the red and blue costume does not justify why he had been loved (and still is) by people . DC was right on their decision to make a “re-imagining” of Superman. A different take on the character that is Clark Kent but all the mythos that goes with him being a Superman was the same. Straczynski was able to pull it off nicely for me not because of the story (because almost all of us know the 75% of it) but because of the mood he created while telling the story. The art was simply amazing, Davis did not over do it. It was just what the story requires. I would recommend it to everyone who wants to know the man behind the red and blue costume. He maybe “super” but as what Straczynski put it, he is also just a man.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Logan

    (Re-upload of my review. I don't know why GR separates your written reviews based on what edition you reviewed originally, sigh... Here's my original review) WOW! This is now my favorite Origin story of Superman! So since this an alternate take, there are different things to this Superman. For one he is 21 in this story so hes younger than usual, also how they explain how he becomes a reporter at the Daily Planet is done, a little differently!(In all the right ways!) The background story of Krypt (Re-upload of my review. I don't know why GR separates your written reviews based on what edition you reviewed originally, sigh... Here's my original review) WOW! This is now my favorite Origin story of Superman! So since this an alternate take, there are different things to this Superman. For one he is 21 in this story so hes younger than usual, also how they explain how he becomes a reporter at the Daily Planet is done, a little differently!(In all the right ways!) The background story of Krypton is done differently to, to make it more interesting, so its the not the same back story we always get. This story also has an entirely new villain, that plays a key role in Superman's Origin story! The Artwork is spectacular, the fight scenes are amazing! Overall this book i think can relate more to younger people, because these days young kids or teenagers prefer Marvels characters and they think Superman is lame... Will this book might change there minds. I cannot praise or recommend this book enough!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

    From the press release for Superman: Earth One -- "Forget everything you know about The Man of Steel and brace yourself for a staggering new take on the world's most popular Super Hero." Well not exactly. Much of Superman's back story and origins have not been altered for this new outing as much as they've been updated. Same Superman, but new packaging is the best way to put it. Or as a friend put it, "Different clothing, same hero." Superman: Earth One is a good story, not a great one. Here we hav From the press release for Superman: Earth One -- "Forget everything you know about The Man of Steel and brace yourself for a staggering new take on the world's most popular Super Hero." Well not exactly. Much of Superman's back story and origins have not been altered for this new outing as much as they've been updated. Same Superman, but new packaging is the best way to put it. Or as a friend put it, "Different clothing, same hero." Superman: Earth One is a good story, not a great one. Here we have a younger, modernized take on Clark, a Clark who's a little less confident of how he fits into the world, but otherwise not excessively different.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Connolly

    Pretty good. Same old Superman stuff except a little different. 3 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jason Bergman

    Let's be totally clear here: I am a HUGE Superman nerd. I'll read/watch anything with that shield on it. So when DC came out with a new graphic novel written by J. Michael Straczynski that let him start over from scratch, I was all over it. This book is essentially an origin story. And in that respect, it's not bad. Straczynski picks and chooses from various depictions of Superman that we've all seen before. You'll recognize events from the comics and the Richard Donner movies here, but it's all Let's be totally clear here: I am a HUGE Superman nerd. I'll read/watch anything with that shield on it. So when DC came out with a new graphic novel written by J. Michael Straczynski that let him start over from scratch, I was all over it. This book is essentially an origin story. And in that respect, it's not bad. Straczynski picks and chooses from various depictions of Superman that we've all seen before. You'll recognize events from the comics and the Richard Donner movies here, but it's all done with your typical, overly sincere Straczynski tone. That can be an acquired taste, but it's not too bad here. Having said that, Straczynski basically has turned Superman's origin into Spider-Man's. This Clark is essentially Peter Parker, starting out wanting to take advantage of his powers before events make him accept that with great power comes great responsibility. Yes, he adds a spin on it so it's not quite so selfish (he's doing it all for Martha Kent), but really, it's the same story. That's a little weird. It takes a while to get going, but that didn't bother me *too* much. The art is decent enough, and the origin stuff, and the way he introduces the secondary characters all worked for me on some level, even when I disagreed with his decisions (I've never been comfortable with the whole Superman-is-a-genius thing and Straczynski full-on embraces that here). Everything pretty much falls apart in act 3 however, when there's suddenly (and slightly out of nowhere) a big ol' fight with an otherworldly enemy, whose motivations made no sense whatsoever. With Superman: Earth One, you're left with a very strange book that doesn't add up to a whole lot. It's not a bad read, but it's not a great one either. If you're at least slightly familiar with Superman, I'd recommend Superman: Birthright and All Star Superman over Earth One. They're less earnest, less plodding and much more entertaining as a result.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Great artwork from Shane Davis. Straynski's story is entertaining, and I know this is (yet again) an attempt to retell the Superman origin. However, this modernized Clark Kent, a twenty-year-old existentialist navel-gazing emo brat (complete with the hairdo), doesn't really fit with the Superman mythos. And implying that he's a super-genius -- he discovers a formula for extracting electricity from water molecules in about five seconds -- strikes me as an unnecessary superpower. Sure, Superman's Great artwork from Shane Davis. Straynski's story is entertaining, and I know this is (yet again) an attempt to retell the Superman origin. However, this modernized Clark Kent, a twenty-year-old existentialist navel-gazing emo brat (complete with the hairdo), doesn't really fit with the Superman mythos. And implying that he's a super-genius -- he discovers a formula for extracting electricity from water molecules in about five seconds -- strikes me as an unnecessary superpower. Sure, Superman's got brains to go with the brawn, but it's superior scientific prowess that consistently gives Lex Luthor the upper hand. And without the awesomeness of Lex Luthor, Superman has to fight intergalactic time-traveling radioactive squids that shoot kyrptonite rays from their tentacles. And that's just silly.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    This was between 3-4 stars for me, really. I liked many things about it, but some of it was kinda emo for my tastes. I mean, I like depth in comics, it's so hard to accomplish, but I guess it's pretty hard to humanize a character that is, by definition, closed off from everyone. Superman is unto himself, and since he had no real deep relationships in this book besides his mother, it was hard to root for him. There were some cool parts, and the art was great though. Would recommend the read!

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