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Spotlight: SUPERMAN EARTH ONE, Volume 2

J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis continue the adventures of a different version of Superman.

The first volume of SUPERMAN EARTH ONE had some interesting aspects to it. The whole notion of the Earth One universe is to give us a different look at these characters. It's an opportunity for writers to give a slightly different take on characters that have existed for decades. The basic origin of the characters is known but this is where we can see some updates and have a story be completely accessible to new readers.

The problem is, is it really necessary? Everyone knows Superman's origin. Krypton was going to blow up, his father placed him in a spaceship and sent him off to Earth. He later found that Earth's yellow sun gave him extraordinary powers and he became a hero. Some of this is even being touched on in the New 52 in ACTION COMICS.

Where the EARTH ONE stories have an advantage is being able to look at a younger, less experienced Superman and place him in a modern, slightly more realistic world. This is where my interest lies in the whole idea of EARTH ONE stories. I want to see Clark/Superman as a little more human. Clark here isn't a perfect boy scout as often portrayed. He's a little less in control of his powers and emotions. That's what you would expect for someone raised to believe they were just as human as everyone else until the day they found out they were from a different planet and now had super powers.

Continuing from the first volume, Clark has a position at the Daily Planet after his exclusive interview with Superman. Now it's a matter of finding the next big story while Lois Lane can't help but be a mixture of annoyed and suspicious with him. Clark finds a place to live, it's not in the greatest part of town. He meets and gets close to a neighbor while getting settled into things.

As for a villain, Superman does have a couple confrontations with others. One is dealing with a dictator in another country. This brings up the topic of how involved Superman should get in worldly affairs. With all his power, does he have the right or responsibility to try to police the world?

The main threat is the coming of Parasite. If I'm being honest, I've never been the biggest Parasite fan. He does provide a good threat against Superman. For a character that is so incredibly powerful, a villain that can drain that power and use it against him is a good way to go. Parasite has a slightly different look which is better than his normal pink appearance. He still isn't the coolest looking villain but does the job of being the big threat in town.

Just as with the first, this was a book I really wanted to like. The problem is, I found myself not really caring too much towards the end. As much as I enjoy the opportunity for Clark, Lois and Jimmy to be portrayed differently, the fact that they're a little difficult to like makes it harder to want to stick with their story. Even the appearance/tease of Lex Luthor for what I assume will be a third volume wasn't enough to get me cheering as I read.

The story has good art. Shane Davis does a great job in clearly establishing that this is not the regular Superman/New 52 world. These are the same characters yet they are completely different. The battle scenes and tiny bits of detail make it nice to look at.

Would I pick up a third volume of SUPERMAN EARTH ONE? That's a tough question. I didn't hate this story. I just didn't love it. I was left feeling pretty ambivalent about it all. I was hoping for more and a little let down. I love the idea of a younger, more arrogant and even slightly more selfish version of Superman. I just wasn't 'wowed' by this story enough to immediately scream out how much I dug it.

If you enjoyed the first volume, chances are you've already picked this one up or are planning to.

53 Comments
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Posted by Kesho_Ronin

BRAVO! HURAY FOR COMICVINE :)

Posted by Kesho_Ronin

The story's about the cat and the dictator are great.i liked them

Posted by MonkeyToe

Does this take place outside the New 52 Multiverse?

Posted by modunhanul

First volume came out at 2010. What happened?

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@MonkeyToe: Yea this takes place on Earth One

@modunhanul: What do you mean?

Posted by MonkeyToe

: Inside the new 52?

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@MonkeyToe said:

: Inside the new 52?

the New 52 is on Earth Prime or do you mean in a multiverse sort of way?

Posted by MonkeyToe

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@MonkeyToe said:

: Inside the new 52?

the New 52 is on Earth Prime or do you mean in a multiverse sort of way?

Yeah in a Multiverse kind of way. Like Earth 2

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@MonkeyToe said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@MonkeyToe said:

: Inside the new 52?

the New 52 is on Earth Prime or do you mean in a multiverse sort of way?

Yeah in a Multiverse kind of way. Like Earth 2

In that case I'm not sure, they'v never mentioned any connections between the two earths nor have the really connected Batman Earth One with Superman Earth One.

You could look at it like Schrodinger's Comicbook, since we don't know either way it can be seen as a part of the N 52 or not.

Posted by kennybaese

I guess I'm an exception in really liking Superman: Earth One. The only real issue I had with it was how out of nowhere the villain at the end was. Otherwise, I thought it did a really good job establishing what a modern, young Clark Kent would look like. As great as Action Comics has been, Morrison's characterization of Superman has always been very influenced by the Silver Age. In Earth One, we get a proper rethinking of how Clark and Superman are and how they would fit into the modern world. The way someone like the Superman would affect the world around in a more realistic context is really quite interesting, I think, and if Earth One and Man of Steel next summer explore that, I'm excited to read them.

Posted by SmashBrawler

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@MonkeyToe said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@MonkeyToe said:

: Inside the new 52?

the New 52 is on Earth Prime or do you mean in a multiverse sort of way?

Yeah in a Multiverse kind of way. Like Earth 2

In that case I'm not sure, they'v never mentioned any connections between the two earths nor have the really connected Batman Earth One with Superman Earth One.

You could look at it like Schrodinger's Comicbook, since we don't know either way it can be seen as a part of the N 52 or not.

They actually have somewhat linked Superman: E1 and Batman: E1:

Posted by sentryman555

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@MonkeyToe said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@MonkeyToe said:

: Inside the new 52?

the New 52 is on Earth Prime or do you mean in a multiverse sort of way?

Yeah in a Multiverse kind of way. Like Earth 2

In that case I'm not sure, they'v never mentioned any connections between the two earths nor have the really connected Batman Earth One with Superman Earth One.

You could look at it like Schrodinger's Comicbook, since we don't know either way it can be seen as a part of the N 52 or not.

Actually at the end of This volume they did the same thing as last time and have a news article from the daily planet at the end. They have a little cameo side article showing Batman Earth One.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@SmashBrawler said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@MonkeyToe said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@MonkeyToe said:

: Inside the new 52?

the New 52 is on Earth Prime or do you mean in a multiverse sort of way?

Yeah in a Multiverse kind of way. Like Earth 2

In that case I'm not sure, they'v never mentioned any connections between the two earths nor have the really connected Batman Earth One with Superman Earth One.

You could look at it like Schrodinger's Comicbook, since we don't know either way it can be seen as a part of the N 52 or not.

They actually have somewhat linked Superman: E1 and Batman: E1:

Huh well there ya go, must have missed that

Posted by Onemoreposter

@SmashBrawler said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@MonkeyToe said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@MonkeyToe said:

: Inside the new 52?

the New 52 is on Earth Prime or do you mean in a multiverse sort of way?

Yeah in a Multiverse kind of way. Like Earth 2

In that case I'm not sure, they'v never mentioned any connections between the two earths nor have the really connected Batman Earth One with Superman Earth One.

You could look at it like Schrodinger's Comicbook, since we don't know either way it can be seen as a part of the N 52 or not.

They actually have somewhat linked Superman: E1 and Batman: E1:

Batman E1 was awful and needs to be forgotten about

Posted by mattydeNero

I agree. My review: mattythedee.tumblr.com

Posted by cacarl

@Onemoreposter: Awful! AWFUL! Batman Earth 1 Awful? Sir, I'll ask you to leave my warm home...NOW!

Posted by SmashBrawler

Personally, I loved this volume, and I'd definitely recommend it to new Superman readers.

Posted by MonkeyToe

: I haven't been much into Superman in the N 52 but I will consider taking a look at it.

Posted by Dernman

Granted I really didn't like the Parasite part which felt like only a small portion of the book but I did like the rest.

Edited by Grimoire

I didn't like this one as much as the first one I should mention. Lois comes across as a Bitch and I'm not talking about looking into Clark's past but how she treated I'm guessing her boyfriend in that one scene but that could be one of the "changes" someone wanted to see. (Please don't respond by saying it was showing and empowered woman because when male characters act like this to girlfriend's in comics I think they are gigantic asses. lol )

Some of the differences in Superman's attitude are cool and how the people around him are effected when he is Clark was interesting. Things seem to be going too well in the background for the military measures against Superman so I would like to see some blow back from it though.

Posted by Dedpool

Well I'll be getting this! Liked the first one, and really liked batman Earth One. Hoping for a GL Earth One and a WW Earth one soon.

Posted by ThanosIsMad

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@MonkeyToe said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@MonkeyToe said:

: Inside the new 52?

the New 52 is on Earth Prime or do you mean in a multiverse sort of way?

Yeah in a Multiverse kind of way. Like Earth 2

In that case I'm not sure, they'v never mentioned any connections between the two earths nor have the really connected Batman Earth One with Superman Earth One.

You could look at it like Schrodinger's Comicbook, since we don't know either way it can be seen as a part of the N 52 or not.

It'a not part of the New 52, but it's part of the multiverse. The New 52, aside from the Earth 2 book, primarily deals with Earth-0/New Earth. The Earth One books take place on Earth-1.

Posted by They Killed Cap!

...I will buy it used...

Posted by Onemoreposter

@cacarl said:

@Onemoreposter: Awful! AWFUL! Batman Earth 1 Awful? Sir, I'll ask you to leave my warm home...NOW!

Yeah. Awful. Geoff Johns doesn't understand or respect the character....at all.

Posted by Kesho_Ronin

I hope that in future that they will make green lantern,green arrow,flash and jla earth one....that would be great.

Posted by Dark_Vengeance_

@Onemoreposter said:

@cacarl said:

@Onemoreposter: Awful! AWFUL! Batman Earth 1 Awful? Sir, I'll ask you to leave my warm home...NOW!

Yeah. Awful. Geoff Johns doesn't understand or respect the character....at all.

No. It was just a different take on the character.

Posted by Onemoreposter

@DarkKnightDetective said:

@Onemoreposter said:

@cacarl said:

@Onemoreposter: Awful! AWFUL! Batman Earth 1 Awful? Sir, I'll ask you to leave my warm home...NOW!

Yeah. Awful. Geoff Johns doesn't understand or respect the character....at all.

No. It was just a different take on the character.

It was a different take on the character. That doesn't change the facts about Johns though.

Posted by Dark_Vengeance_

@Onemoreposter: My opinion is that it was a good story. It gave Batman a different tone, a bit more brutal, how he didn't mind fighting dirty. And the characterization of Alfred is what I personally liked the most.

Posted by Booster_Bronze

Maybe I'm just a big mark for DC, but I kinda loved this book. The part with the cat made me misty eyed, and the whole Superman having sex thing brought great Mallrats flashbacks. Parasite's design was creepy and very sci-fi, and the dictator thing worked for me and for the tone of the book. Maybe I'm just too easy to please, or maybe I'm not nitpicky enough. I can't figure it out.

Posted by JoseDRiveraTCR7

I thought the book was mediocre. I really don't think JMS has a handle on the Superman character. I liked the art, though.

Posted by stu

iam so getting this book!

Posted by tximinoman

I liked the first volume, but this one was way better than that one. Loved the new characters and this new more human Superman. I didn't like how they resolved the dictator situation, but loved the new Luthor and how the army and the media react to Superman (I liked a lot when they started laughing at the talk show, that kind of skepticism about someone being simply a good guy is SO 21st Century).

Looking foward to the third issue, I mean, this are not the greatest stories ever, but they are pretty decent

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

Glad you guys had a chance to review this =)

Posted by davidgrantlloyd

I'm a bit of a fan of Parasite, so obviously I'll check this out -- I didn't particularly like the way Parasite was portrayed in Secret Origin, he definitely looks a lot cooler here!

Shane Davis' artwork is great, I think. Hopefully he'll be drawing Volume 3.

Edited by LaserLambert

this sucked, I don't like the notion of a Superman that is more selfish and more "human", may sound neat, but that just makes him come across as an asshole for thinking he can judge people and serve as an example when he is guided by the same hateful desires. and the whole hooker with the heart of gold cliche, give me a break. also why was Parasite a serial killer before mutating? and not just an ex-con? Serial murder is not a very "Parasitic" act, in any kind of metaphor, which is the usual route for the character (make him a metaphorical parasite before becoming a literal one). it just came across as the writer trying too hard to convey that he was evil.

....Art was good though...

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Have my copy right here and can't wait to read it :) A must I say for any Supes fan and its especially fun since its not in continuity with New 52.

Posted by danhimself

these books are the exact reason why we didn't need the New 52....why not just do a few of these and then start up a few ongoings set in the Earth One reality? NOOOOOOO We need TWO "fresh new takes on the DC Universe"

Posted by ComicAddict2814

Will definitely be buying this soon. I'm sorry, but the the New 52 Superman and Action Comics just haven't been doing it for me. I enjoyed Earth One Volume One and hopefully will enjoy Volume 2. I'm in need of a good Superman story, because the writing in the New 52 Superman titles has been poor in my opinion. I can't comment on the quality of Earth One Volume 2 yet, but I"m 100% giving it a chance. I think this is a good approach prior to knocking the book before even reading it.

Posted by LaserLambert

@danhimself said:

these books are the exact reason why we didn't need the New 52....why not just do a few of these and then start up a few ongoings set in the Earth One reality? NOOOOOOO We need TWO "fresh new takes on the DC Universe"

why not do a few of these? I don't know, maybe the 2 years between the two volumes of this?

Posted by modunhanul

@Jonny_Anonymous: What I mean to say is, do they usually take 2 years to make one book?

Posted by sethysquare

@danhimself said:

these books are the exact reason why we didn't need the New 52....why not just do a few of these and then start up a few ongoings set in the Earth One reality? NOOOOOOO We need TWO "fresh new takes on the DC Universe"

Because why have 1 good thing when you can have 2 good things?

Posted by sethysquare

wanted to hear what you guys thought about this.

Posted by Lvenger

I haven't read it but I've read reviews of it. Clark's new love interest was a step in the right direction and a far superior thing than what the New 52 has with the forced Wonder Woman and Superman romance. However, this Superman's reaction and way of dealing with a dictator is not something Superman should do. He's supposed to represent the best of us, an ideal of law and order and what he does with the dictator is in stark contrast to that.

Edited by Zeeguy91

I'll definitely check this out. I like the Parasite and really think he should get more of a spotlight as a Superman villain in the main universe as well. Hopefully Diggle will find a way to utilize him in his upcoming run on Action Comics, which I am really looking forward to.

And, hopefully this is not just my opinion, but I think that Straczynski should be given another chance with an ongoing title in the main DCU. Shane Davis should also get an ongoing. That art just looks incredible.

Posted by danhimself

@sethysquare said:

@danhimself said:

these books are the exact reason why we didn't need the New 52....why not just do a few of these and then start up a few ongoings set in the Earth One reality? NOOOOOOO We need TWO "fresh new takes on the DC Universe"

Because why have 1 good thing when you can have 2 good things?

I don't look at the New 52 as a good thing

Posted by sethysquare

@danhimself said:

@sethysquare said:

@danhimself said:

these books are the exact reason why we didn't need the New 52....why not just do a few of these and then start up a few ongoings set in the Earth One reality? NOOOOOOO We need TWO "fresh new takes on the DC Universe"

Because why have 1 good thing when you can have 2 good things?

I don't look at the New 52 as a good thing

I do... so.......

Posted by butters911

I didnt really like the first one. I only bought it cause JMS was signing copies at my lcs

Posted by druzod2501

Maybe I'm just a DC whore, but I enjoy both this take on Superman and the New 52 together. This Superman is the more human version, while the Ultimate Boyscout version is equally relevant, I also got a big kick out of the Super-Aggressive-Man from when the New 52 first started. The only version of Superman I can unequivocally say I hated is the Smallville version, and I'm still reading season 11 to try and find SOME kind of redeeming qualities about him

Posted by thespideyguy

Hey look it's Abe Lincoln.

Posted by JayJayCAW

personally I loved Volume 2, my only complaint is that it took so long to make.
 
Volume 2 while it had its flaws, seems to me like it was done simply as a stepping stone to launch Volume 3 which will involve the Lex twins (HA) and possibly Batman.

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