O.K., Let's Talk Specifics...
COMIC VINE'S TOP 100 SUPERMAN STORIES reviewed!
O.K., having gone into some of the 'big picture' reasons why I'm not a fan of 'Birthright' either for its story (erases most of the great things John Byrne and retcons things back to the Silver Age), or its art (terrible distortions of human anatomy), I now want to talk about another reason I don't like the story and art in this series: lack of knowledge or research about the subject matter.
Take the story in this issue. It opens with a copy of an event that occurred in The Man of Steel - Lois arriving too late to interview Superman at accidents and crime scenes until she puts herself in harms way to get the story. Except in the case of this issue she's in a mobile meth lab aboard the Giacomo crime family's yacht. O.K. but then the crime family decides to kill her by shooting her (don't worry Superman intervenes) many, many times (somewhere between 8 and 41 shots judging by the bangs and bullet holes!).
Does anyone else see a problem with this? They are shooting IN a meth lab! These are guys that supposedly meth experts - nevermind they aren't wearing face masks - they're discharging ammunition in an area prone to explosions! And it's on a boat no less! How dumb could they (or the writer) be???
But if they're dumb, Superman's even worse - he first saves Lois by letting all these bullets ricochet off him - and then proceeds to destroy the meth lab (while everyone including Lois is still in it - with, you guessed it - HEAT VISION!!!
There are other instances where it seems like Mark Waid was just being lazy too - Clark and Martha Kent talk openly by email about his origins. Sure, the email is encrypted, but Clark does all this from his cubicle at the Daily Planet where A) his emails can still be monitored, encryption or no, and B) anyone walking up behind him (like Jimmy does in this issue) can read what he's written, plain as day.
I'd be willing to cut a bigger break to the science fiction technology in this series - like Luthor's hi-rez jpgs from beyond time and space, if a little more attention to detail was given to real world technology like email and meth labs.
And speaking of lack of research or attention to detail - the same goes for the art too. For example, this issue makes a lot of Superman's fight with the U.S. Army... but in the very first panel they're depicted in, a soldier's insignia is upside down. This is particularly egregious since it takes but a second to go to the defense.gov to get the proper uniform info.
I could go on, but I'll close by saying, while I have no expectations of Leinil Yu, we know Mark Waid is capable of better (Kingdom Come), so with 'Birthright', either his attention was focused elsewhere, or he's just being lazy - either one is a disservice to the comics.