A younger more inexperienced Superman.
I recently got into Superman, so I’ve been buying a few trades that I can find with him in, and this was going cheap at my comic shop so I bought this and Reign of Doomsday (random choice I know), but this was the one I wanted to read most after I loved Morrison’s other Superman work, and I just generally wanted more new 52 Superman.
Superman begins a quest to put a stop to corruption in Metropolis, and tries to take out the crime bosses of the city, but he’s being hunted by the military that have the help of Lex Luthor.
This was a great volume, and for the cheap price it’s well worth the buy its not the best Superman story, but it’s a great book with a great story going on. Let me just say that before I bought this I was a slight bit hesitant due to what some people had said about Morrison’s run on Action, but I think that was on later parts of his run. I still just wanted to find out what it was like, as Morrison can create a story that some people love, but some hate, so I wanted to form my own opinion on it. One of the other things that drew me to this book was the premise of a younger slightly more raw, and untrained Superman as that intrigued me quite a lot.
- · I will not go on about everything in this book as that would make a massively boring review that I would get bored of writing, so I'll cut it down into specifics, and all that.
- · Morrison wastes absolutely no time setting things up, and throws you into the fight straight away with Superman fighting the crime bosses of Metropolis, and the corrupt, and Morrison basically fills you with everything else along the way. I loved this way of doing it, sometimes it doesn't work, but in this case it does, and to great effect, and the debut of Superman is just awesome, and you can see how different Superman is here immediately.
- · Superman in this is more raw, brash, a bit more of a risk taker, and generally just new to his powers as doesn't fly in this until later on, and in the initial story arc it doesn't happen at all. This was in my opinion a stroke of genius from Morrison as it lets him build up Superman from this early point in his career, and it adds a certain amount of uncertainty as to what Superman is going to do, and Morrison uses it well to make the story more interesting, and more unique.
- · This volume also builds quite a lot of Superman’s supporting cast quite well their not there all of the time, but there is a lot of development with some of them especially Lois Lane. I liked the rivalry Clark and Lois have, and how she’s sort of against him, and there is an interesting rivalry, and how Jimmy Olsen is friends with Clark so they keep meeting each other.
- · I liked how Clark isn’t at the daily planet yet, and how he wants to show corruption in Metropolis, and how he feels manipulated to stop him publishing these stories. Once again I like how Morrison built Superman up from a different point in his life, and this is another thing that made the story fairly unique for me, maybe it’s been covered in other places, but I don’t think recently.
- · The book’s plot itself is really interesting going from a down to earth Superman vs the army type affair, to introducing two of Superman’s most famous villains Braniac Metallo and Lex Luthor and I love how this plot develops Superman while still developing everything around him such as his villains, and his supporting cast, while still being quite exciting, plus it’s not often you see Superman being tortured by Lex Luthor, which was probably one of the most clever bits of the story.
- · Metallo is or John Corben is the villain you have to be sympathetic with as he’s only doing what he thinks is right, but he’s brought into Braniac’s plot, and manipulated into it, so you have to feel sorry for him, but he’s a pretty cool villain when he’s being manipulated by Braniac. Braniac himself is interesting he does what he normally of bottling up cities like Metropolis, but I think what made him work for me was his lines of dialogue like how on Earth he was known as “Internet” it just made me laugh, but this obviously isn’t Braniac in person (or at least that’s how I think it works). The bit linking Braniac with Krypton, and Kandor was interesting as well. Lex Luthor is interesting as well with his experimentations and obsession with Superman, but I did like how he kept telling people to call Superman “it” clever moment, by Morrison, but Morrison understands Lex Luthor better than a lot of people.
- · The final part to Morrison’s work in this volume is issues 5-6 because weirdly enough issues 1-4, and 7-8 were the main story, but in this they’ve been rearranged so it makes more sense, but both arcs have quite a strong connection due to the focus on the ship that brought Superman to Earth.
- · This is probably the weirdest choice to focus a Superman origin issue on, but Grant Morrison makes focusing on the ship that brought Superman to Earth work very well with it going from Krypton to Superman being found by the Kents, but at that point it follows the ship, not Superman. It’s a really inventive way to do it, and it works really well in this to create an interesting story especially with the Ship Spoiler dying due to the Kryptonite engine being taken out of it.
- · The inclusion of the Legion of Superheroes was interesting as well, as I liked the scene set in the past was interesting, and quite emotional as well, and the inclusion in the present was even more interesting, and the interaction and the friendship that Superman has with them made it even more fun to read.
- · Issue 8 finishes off the two part story arc in exciting fashion with some really intense scenes it, not intense as in violent, but you don’t know which way its going to go exactly. Issue 8 also introduces the anti-superman army to the story who are really interesting villains and some other characters as well which I won’t mention, but it does leave a lot to be answered in coming issues, but that’s the Morrison way.
- · One of the two backups is really, really good the Martha Kent and Jonathan Kent one is really emotional as it shows the Kent’s quest for trying to get a baby, but they can’t it’s a touching backup, and the follow-up backup on Clark on his last days on the farm is just as good.
- There is about 5 different artists on this book, and that may feel like too many, but two of those artists are on backups (Brad Walker does the extra-long issue 8 or part of it, but that bit acts as the backup in a way even though it’s a direct continuation) Rags Morales draws the majority of the book, and aside from a minor inconsistency or two his art is amazing with some great looking action, and some good emotion portrayed on characters, and his version of Superman looks really good especially the opening splash page with him in which is really impressive. Andy Kubert draws the rest issues 5-6, and his art is my favourite out of this volume it looks really dynamic, and the characters look amazing with lots of detail put in, and the emotion on characters is especially well done, and I love how he drew Superman, and the Anti-Superman army. Brad Walker is probably my least favourite artist on this, but more on that in a minute his art isn’t bad no its pretty dynamic (sometimes too much), and the art he does on the Steel backup is impressive, but I like his work on Green lantern New guardians more, and it looks better inked which it isn’t here. Chris Cross handles the kent’s backup, and he does really well with emotion, and the sort of muddied colours work really to make it look like it was in the past. Gene Ha only draws 5 or so page, but his work is quite good and the choice for where it is makes sense since it’s on Krypton in the past, and his art works well on that.
- Issue 8 is about the most complex story I've ever read so much happens, and you can't take it all in on one read, and you have to read each line of dialogue carefully to understand what is being said, as it deals with some very big concepts.
- The defeat of Braniac feels a little cheesy on Superman's part, and it felt a little anticlimactic compared to what came before it.
- The Steel backup in parts was really cheesy, Steel seemed a little too cocky with how he defeated Metallo, and the backup itself wasn't that interesting.
- Brad Walker's art on issue 8 had some really forced smiles on some of the characters, and Superman just looked ridiculous in a splash page when he Spoiler finally flies it just looks like forced perspective, and his expression forced.
This is a worthwhile buy for anyone, as it offers a interesting story, and a good introduction to Superman in general, and for the New 52 this is the first go to volume for Superman in my opinion. It's not the best Superman story (Morrison did that as well) but it has a lot going for it with an interesting story, a lot of emotional moments in it, and great artwork as well.