Clunky Story, Clunky Art
COMIC VINE'S TOP 100 SUPERMAN STORIES reviewed!
This issue of 'Birthright' has a number of things that just don't work. Superman is now a paraiah overnight. Lex sets off some bombs on a bridge and although we can clearly see Superman helping people, we're supposed to believe that they believe he's destroying the bridge. If this is the idea the creators were trying to sell, the writer and artist should have depicted it in a way where the readers too could see things from the crowd's point of view.
All of this is followed by some flashbacks to when Clark was in high school, and friends with Luthor. That alone is kind of an irksome concept, but to have Luthor always having been a misanthropic jerk just sort of takes away from what makes Luthor so great. A guy who was normal, but whose ego and power lust pushed him further and further throughout life.
Finally, Luthor somehow exposed Clark to the kryptonite when they were kids, but doesn't remember it. Now as an adult he just comes up with a theory, out of nowhere, that it can hurt Superman. Superman: Kryptonite handled the introduction of kryptonite into the Superman canon much better. Later, Lex bemoans having to lose a piece of kryptonite to take out Superman, but he never did - it was attached to his vehicle, and the bridge, as far as we know never collapsed.
Add to all this, the artwork by Leinil Francis Yu is still awkward, with people shown with giraffe necks and people in the background having just dots for eyes.
The issue is somewhat less annoying than past issues, but with so much good Superman material out there, 'Birthright' hardly makes the grade.