Friday, June 9, 2017

Why You Should Read "Superman: Earth One Vol 1"

Why would a man with incredible strength and power choose to become a "Superman" rather than a "Super-Celebrity"?

I've already talked about "Wonder Woman: Earth One" and "Batman: Earth One", so I figured I'd close this week with the story that inspired those great graphic novels. Not only is "Superman: Earth One" the first story in the "Earth One" series but also about a character that inspired the figures of Batman and Wonder Woman.

In "Superman: Earth One", Clark Kent knows only that he has incredible abilities that make him incredibly strong, smart, and allow him to fly through the sky. Instead of immediately going down a path of righteousness and heroism, Clark decides to try out his powers in different fields in order to determine where he can make the most money.

At the Daily Planet, Clark Kent meets Perry White, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen, but unfortunately isn't immediately offered a fortune for his writing skills like he expects. Instead, Clark finds out that the Daily Planet and the newspaper industry is in decline. Though Perry, Lois, and Jimmy are all intriguing to Clark, especially their passion for journalism and the truth, he decides to seek employment elsewhere.

But why is Clark Kent - the man we all know as Superman - trying to use his powers to make a profit? Well, Clark is still as well-meaning as fans remember the character in other comic books and films. The reason he wants to make money is not to live life like a rock star, but to support his old mother. He doesn't want to leave her with the farm while he goes On a journey to discover where he came from and why he possesses such power.

All he knows for sure is that his adoptive parents, Jonathon and Martha Kent, found him in the wreckage of a crashed spaceship. Pondering his origins, fate makes a move and with the help of a Kryptonian artificial intelligence and tampering of the US government, Clark discovers that he is an alien and the last of his people.

This discovery is not without consequences. Tyrell, an alien general, arrives on earth and threatens to destroy the planet if the last of the Kryptonians is not given to him. Sound familiar? Yeah, this plot is similar to the plot of Man of Steel and "Superman: Earth One" is just one of the Superman stories that inspired the film. And just like in Man of Steel, this threat pushes Clark Kent to assume the role of Superman and fight against Tyrell and save the earth.

While I wouldn't call "Superman: Earth One" a masterpiece or groundbreaking, I will say that it is a pretty entertaining origin story. It is a story of a man finding his purpose and putting the lives of others before his own. It is a Superman story.

The art is also clean and beautiful. I am still a little attached to the art of "Wonder Woman: Earth One", so I'll admit that I don't think that this even approaches that level of breathtaking beauty. I also don't know why, but for some reason it took me a while to get used to Shane Davis' Clark Kent / Superman design. 

Like the other "Earth One" stories, I would recommend it to any new fans who know nothing about the character. If anything, it is a story that almost begs readers to binge on Superman comic books and movies.

ISSUE: Superman: Earth One Vol.1 (2012)
 Writing   Art   Character Development   Overall Enjoyment 
7  8 8 8

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