Writer J. Michael Straczynski
Art Shane Davis
Inks Sandra Hope
Colors Barbara Ciardo
When I said “Pull this book!” about Superman: Earth One, I was expecting something new, fresh and exciting. But now that I’ve read it, all I’ve got to say is “What’s the point?”
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good read. It’s a well written story by Straczynski, and Shane Davis’ art is absolutely gorgeous (aside from Clark’s really creepy smile towards the end). But it’s the same story we’ve seen time and time again whenever someone tries to revolutionize The Man of Steel. Clark Kent shows up in Metropolis, except he’s less aww shucks and more teenage wangst, and after trying his hand at several dozen jobs that would earn him plenty of money, still winds up as a newspaper reporter for the Daily Planet (not the Daily Star, as Earth One Superman has traditionally worked at). And that’s my one major complaint about this story.
After all the hyping, after these great hopes that we were getting something new and unique, we’ve basically gotten the same Superman story that’s been told for decades, but with a younger cast and more angst. Why isn’t there something new presented here? There are plenty of other DC Multiverse Earths to use as a basis for Superman stories, so why the one that is identical to ours? Then we get a swerve as Straczynski introduces the story’s primary villain Tyrell, who claims responsibility for destroying Krypton. Now, credit where credit is due: this is, at least, different. The problem is Tyrell is a boring villain. There’s some attempt to give him a technological slant, but really all he does is provide some big ships for Superman to bust up.
While Superman: Earth One is still a decent story, it feels pointless and repetitive, like ground we’ve already treaded long ago. It feels like an attempt to create a DC styled Ultimate Universe in the wake of the mostly failed All-Star line, but fails at this too. The attempt to create a younger, edgier Superman in such a similar world is a good one, but the lack of any real difference from modern continuity renders this book ultimately pointless.