Writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank bring you a startling new look at the beginnings of Lex Luthor, The Legion of Super-Heroes, Lois Lane, Metallo, Jimmy Olsen, The Parasite and more of your favorite characters from the Superman family in this new, deluxe hardcover. May 5: Henry Cavill, Superman in the 2013 Man of Steel movie, born in Jersey, Channel Islands in 1983. May 8: Salome Jens, Martha Kent in the Superboy TV series, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1935. May 11: Gerard Christopher, the second actor to play the lead role in the Superboy TV series, born in New York City, New York in 1959.
May 21: Joan Alexander, best known as Lois Lane from the 1940s Superman Radio Series, dies in 2009, aged 94.
May 27: Richard Schiff, Emil Hamilton in the 2013 Man of Steel movie, born in Bethesda, Maryland in 1955. So, armed with those memories, I sought out two books DC published that redefine Superman's origin.
Straczynski, a lifelong fan, wrote on DC's blog, The Source, that "as a kid growing up on the mean streets of New Jersey, Superman was an icon for me" and how he always keeps the famous S logo somewhere on him. Inspiration from Smallville and Superman Returns is evident, particularly in Shane Davis' artwork.
Another twist here is that Tyrell, the main villain, turns out to be responsible for Krypton's destruction. The key phrase there is "while being read." Ultimately, Tyrell fails to make a lasting impression. While Straczynski and Davis were busy carving out a new vision, another team worked hard to refurbish the one we already had. To sum it up, despite great innovation and an obvious creative passion, "Earth One" suffers from a weak villain and a too-narrow scope.
Post-Crisis Superman’s origin was something of a mystery, and had been contradicted so many times over that it was actually a little frustrating.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. If it’s been a while since you’ve read a Superman comic, now is probably the time to jump back in. In 2011, DC Comics rebooted its whole line of comics with an initiative dubbed “The New 52.” The 52 is a reference to the number of new titles they launched that reset the legacy numbering they had been using since debuting Action Comics #1 in 1938. The basics of who Superman is, his origin, and the cast of supporting characters is  basically the same in the New 52, but there are some small modifications.
Starting with the new Action Comics #1, Grant Morrison and Rags Morales showed us Superman when he first started out, set about 5 years before the current continuity.
This new iteration of Superman is markedly more reserved, lonely, and even more alien than we’ve seen previously.
Lois Lane and Superman’s decades-long romantic tension culminated in 1998 with a wedding that remained in canon for over a decade.
Without his parents and without Lois in his life, Superman has found a kindred spirit in Wonder Woman. Clark Kent’s journalism career began at a Daily Planet competitor called The Daily Star (this is a nod to where he worked back in the comics of the 1940s), but he would soon join Lois and photographer Jimmy Olsen at the Planet.
As previously mentioned, Lana Lang remains Clark’s close friend and has known his secret since they were kids. Superman also has a pretty tight friendship with Batman despite getting off on the wrong foot in their early meetings. As far as Superman’s villains go, the biggest change might be the recent addition of Lex Luthor to the Justice League roster.
Another classic Superman villain, Doomsday, came back in a big way in an epic storyline called "Superman: Doomed" that ran through all the various Superman titles for months. In issue #38 of the main title, Superman picks up his first new power since DC gave him heat vision back in 1949.
Superman, created by two Jewish Americans (Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster), has always been an allegory for the second-generation immigrant experience.
Superman: Secret OriginAs for pre-New 52 comics, if your definitive version of Superman was the one played in the movies by Christopher Reeve, you’ll want to read Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s retelling of Superman’s origins. All-Star SupermanGrant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s 12-issue mini-series will go down in history as one of the best Superman comics ever made.
As a reboot ala "Batman Begins," it aims to reinvigorate Superman, the world's first and foremost superhero.


I only saw the Christopher Reeve movies last year, but I still have fond memories of watching the '90s cartoon in reruns on Cartoon Network. Even when he dons his signature suit, tie, and dorky glasses, he still looks ill-fitted for the part, in a series of panels wonderfully drawn by Davis. Besides his stupid name, he has a stupid appearance, looking like a member of KISS painted blue and white with mechanical wings. The book explicitly states an outsider gave Tyrell's people the weapons to destroy Krypton, something that reinforces Tyrell's disposability and weakens his impact. DC wunderkind Geoff Johns left a 28-issue run on Action Comics to do the 6-issue "Superman: Secret Origin" with frequent Action collaborators, penciller Gary Frank and inker Jon Sibal.
He mixes the film series set into motion by his mentor with the various TV series and cartoons, even my beloved '90s version, as well as pre-Crisis aspects of the character. Both it and "Origin" have a clear goal, but "Origin" incorporates a large chunk of the familiar Superman characters and mythos to do so, something "Earth One" doesn't do in its quest to rewrite it all.
Starting two months ago with the 41st issues of the flagship Superman and Action Comics titles, there is a new status quo for the Man of Steel, who has just had his secret identity outed to the public and his powers drastically reduced. He was sporting a Kryptonian biotech version of his classic costume (sans red underwear), which has changed a couple of times but that may be gone for good now.
In the beginning, he wore an unassuming t-shirt and jeans and fought corrupt corporations and politicians.
While he is driven to protect the people of his adopted home, he doesn’t feel like he fits in. They are now trapped and in hiding in this new Earth, trying to raise their 9-year-old son Jon as if they are a normal family. The two most powerful members of the Justice League share a mutual feeling of disassociation from the people of Earth they have sworn to protect. However, in Superman #13, Clark becomes fed up with the way the media conglomeration was making the paper focus more on “infotainment” than real news and quits in protest. She is Clark’s first love, but these days she is in a relationship with John Henry Irons—the hero known as Steel—whom she met when the Kryptonian villain Doomsday spread a devastating virus through Smallville, killing her parents.
Since she hasn’t grown up on Earth like her cousin, she’s had a harder time adapting to her new home. This version of the Kryptonian mutt is a little more like a dire wolf from Game of Thrones. The Kryptonian villain is famous for killing Superman the 1992 “Death of Superman” comic, and is now on the loose and infected with a virus that destroys anything within a hundred yards of him. The so-called Super Flare is less a power than an out-of-control by-product of said heat vision. Beginning in both Superman #41 and Action Comics #41, we find Superman with greatly decreased powers having just had his secret identity exposed to the world by Lois Lane. Starting with Superman #41, award-winning graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang takes over as the new writer for a groundbreaking story of how the world finds out that Clark Kent is Superman. Now, he is being written by two Asian-American writers (Greg Pak, a third-generation Korean-American, and Yang, a second-generation Chinese-American). 1Before this new storyline, the quality of a lot of the New 52 Superman comics has been fairly spotty. Frank draws an eerily perfect Reeve Superman and Johns has one of the best handles on the character of any writer in the modern age. Set outside of normal comics continuity, it is another attempt at a definitive take on the story and it succeeds on so many levels. For only $17.99 you can wear this shirt with pride and help get the word out about our super community here. Please enable JavaScript on your Web browser to properly view this Web site, or upgrade to a Web browser that does support JavaScript; Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome or a version of Internet Explorer newer then version 6.
I also read Geoff Johns' and Gary Frank's Superman: Brainiac storyline and enjoyed it very much. Michael Straczynski who wrote a highly enjoyable and nuanced 6-year run on "The Amazing Spider-Man". Yet, despite that passion and a clear desire to make things new, "Earth One" somehow winds up a variation of what we already know. That's not a bad thing; both Davis' artwork and Straczynski's script are very tight and streamlined.
Despite that his motives, backstory, and dialogue are interesting and really click while being read.


Donner, however, dominates: Frank's Superman, lithe and graceful as he is, looks like the late Christopher Reeve and Clark's dialogue reads like it's been lifted straight from his mouth.
But with "Secret Origin," he's made a tight, fast crowd-pleaser that everyone, hardcore fan or casual reader alike, can enjoy. However, if you feel like you need a primer on the past few years of stories before you jump in, here’s all you need to know. This underpowered Man of Steel was a nod to the origins of the character from the Golden Age of the 1940s. He couldn’t really fly but rather “leaped tall buildings in a single bound,” and was a champion of the people, not so much the entire universe. This is likely the result of a big change to his backstory that we learned in Action Comics #17—Jonathan and Martha Kent died in a car crash when Clark was a teenager.
To DC’s credit, Lois is no longer defined by her obsession with Superman and even rose in professional stature to become Vice President of New Media for Morgan Edge’s news conglomerate (which owns the Daily Planet), but longtime fans find the emotional distance between Lois and Clark to be disappointing. In Justice League #12, their “kiss heard round the world” was captured on video and turned them into a celebrity power couple, making things awkward for their fellow League members.
From there he starts a blog and ironically ends up partnering with former Daily Planet entertainment reporter Cat Grant, which seems counter-productive to what he was trying to achieve. Her frustration and difficulties in dealing with her rage led to her joining the Red Lantern Corps, ring-bearing heroes like the Green Lanterns whose power is driven by anger rather than fearlessness.
He was the dog of the El family who got trapped in the Phantom zone protecting Jor-El, Lara, and baby Ka-El from the incarcerated prisoners inside it. The Man of Steel has no choice but to not only kill his enemy, but to also inhale the toxic virus in order to save the world.
After pushing it to its limits in a battle with a similarly super-powered being named Ulysses, Superman's entire body emits a solar flare that is so powerful it takes out everything around him and drains the rest of his powers for the next 24 hours, leaving him effectively human during that period of time. Over in Action Comics, Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder are jumping ahead to what happens next, with Superman sporting the old t-shirt and jeans look we saw back in the first issue of the rebooted Action Comics.
The "Earth One" part reflects how this is the start of DC's line of the same name, which they've touted the line as a chance to have fan-favorite creators (like Straczynski) tell stories about their iconic heroes without the baggage of their 75+ year history. Clark doesn't even don the tights until halfway through the story, a move as unprecedented as it is original. This series is meant to update the origin after the events of Johns' Infinite Crisis miniseries. In previous continuities, Ma and Pa Kent were alive and well in Smallville whenever Clark needed to reconnect with the normalcy of his rural American youth. Lois has been in a relationship with another journalist named Jonathan Carroll, and the strain between Lois and Clark only gets worse now when Lois exposes the truth that Superman is Clark Kent to the entire world. Kal-El and Krypto were reunited in Action Comics #13 when a portal to the Phantom Zone is opened and Superman is sucked inside. Superman is transformed into a Doomsday-like version of himself, and it all ends up being an elaborate scheme devised by Braniac. Superman resolves it by trapping them both in a black hole, and it takes 60 days for Superman to eventually emerge virus-free.
Exploring Clark’s early days as Superman, it could be a little hard to follow at times, especially if you’re not used to Morrison’s unusual style of writing. That Smallville connection has at least been partially replaced by Lana Lang, Clark’s childhood friend who shows up in present day stories quite often.
It is one of the most significant changes in canon for both characters since the New 52 relaunch. Lex himself feels not just superior to everyone around him, but also embittered and spiteful. In chapter 2, when he and Clark are still in high school, he responds to Clark's invitation to hang with a snooty, arrogant "Why would we do that?" beautifully captured by Frank and letterer Steve Wands.
This Lex is later established to hate not just Superman but anyone who isn't him or one of his worshippers.
This provides a sharp contrast to the charitable persona that he presents, even picking one random citizen of Metropolis every day to change their life. Coincidentally, that's what makes him indirectly responsible for the creation of the Parasite. It's characterization like that, and not just providing an entry point for a bigger baddie, that make Lex a better character than Tyrell, and is ultimately what holds "Secret Origin" up.



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