Monday, November 5, 2012

Finished (Comic) - "Superman: Earth One" - Volume 2 - DC Comics

"Superman: Earth One" is an "out of continuity" (that is, a standalone story, not tied to the Superman history, though drawing on many key aspects of the character) story by J. Michael Straczynski.

Volume 1 deals with the basic origin story.  Volume 2 is showing Superman coming to grips with what it means to be a non-powered human (short period of the story with powers swiped by the Parasite).  Mr. Straczynski does a good job of having Lois probing into the background of her new co-worker (Clark) which provides the opportunity to see what Clark's life was like growing up (how to hide his powers, how much of an outsider he would have been...).

The Parasite is always a good villain, particularly in a "first encounter" story, where the hero has to figure out what is happening and how to deal with it.

The background stories are all excellent - in addition to the Superman v. Parasite, you get:
- Lois trying to figure out where Clark came from (how he got the Superman story)
- Clark moving into an apartment next to a very attractive woman interested in him
- the "birds and bees" talk between Clark and Jonathan Kent (e.g. not sure whether Clark can have "relations" without accidentally killing his partner
- Clark trying to learn to be "normal" in his Clark identity
- how Superman can exist in a real-world - how far can he go in international situations?
- the military planning for a potential "evil" Superman - how can they contain/kill him?
- the introduction of Lex Luthor to this world.

All in all, a very attractive read, art is good, story is self-contained, though does imply future issues.  No "prior" history with the character is really required - you can pick up in this issue who Lois is, and why she't probing Clark's history, you get a good feel for Clark/Superman.  The presentation(s) of Perry White and Jimmy Olsen are solid, as is the introduction of the Clark love-interest-neighbour Lisa LaSalle (not the homage to the "LL" initials common to Superman mythos - Lois Lane, Lori Lemairs, Lana Lang, Lex Luthor...).

I neglected to mention Shane Davis, the artist - the art in the books is excellent, and perfectly fits the mood of exploration of the storyline.

Very much a must-buy read.