By: Andrew Hines
If you’ve read Superman: Earth One already, you’ll understand when I say that this is a worthy follow up to that first volume. Not only did it give us an updated origin for the Man of Steel, but we got to see what some of his other job options were. In this we get to see Superman and Clark both develop as people. There are some moral choices he’ll make that may leave you stunned. There’s a classic villain in there that many should instantly recognize. Even the question Superman vs the bedroom is tackled. That alone gives one of the greatest lines in all of recent comics.
That brings us to the writer of this fine piece of graphic novel goodness, J. Michael Straczynski. The starting point of this issue is quite clever and the way that Clark is depicted is interesting. The way that he depicts Clark in his younger years is probably the best way the character’s been handled in the last few years. The character interaction overall is good, with everything being sort of tied together. The best part is that you don’t really get that feeling until the very end of the book. It’s not entirely “true” to the characters as Jimmy acts slightly more confident than he’s typically written. Lois and Perry, however are probably written better than they have been in the last ten years if not longer.
The pencils from Shane Davis are awesome, and make up a fantastic base for Sandra Hope’s inks. Even uncolored, this would be wonderful art. Barbara Ciardo’s colors work well and actually give us really cool lighting effects. Than can be seen in the electricity that Parasite is daring from the room and the lighting on Superman’s face, arms and torso. Davis’ design for Parasite is a great treat by itself. Especially in his powered-up state, he really looks like the classic villain. I’m just happy that they did away with the white stripes on his costume, which I never really understood anyway. I can’t really say enough about the art in here, but I don’t want to seem redundant. Suffice it to say that the art is as good if not slightly better than Volume 1.
The graphic novel gets an “A”, partly because it gives us samples of what would be both Clark and Lois’ writing styles. That was always what helped make some of my favorite Superman stories. Really the fact that everything comes about as being sort of tied together or at least contrasted with an other piece of the story is fantastic. This, above almost anything else in DC, I urge you to go buy. If you don’t have Volume 1, get that first and then buy this.