Top critical review
One person found this helpful
on 19 July 2012
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 boring.
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.