Superman: Earth One

Superman: Earth One

Superman: Earth One is an original graphic novel series written by J. Michael Straczynski and penciled by Shane Davis. Superman: Earth One is the inaugural title of the new ongoing OGN series DC: Earth One, which, similarly to the Ultimate Marvel universe, allows creators to tell stories free of cumbersome continuity and reintroduce classic characters for a new generation.

DC: Earth One is a series of graphic novels published by DC Comics. Each graphic novel is set in its own universe, separate from DC’s mainstream universe. DC Comics has announced two titles in the Earth One series, Superman: Earth One and Batman: Earth One. DC Comics has also announced that more titles are forthcoming.

Writer J. Michael Straczynski described the project as a dream come true, as writing Superman was among his intended plans which also included Babylon 5. Now on contract with DC he can re-introduce people to Superman and begin the legend all over again.  As a journalist, Straczynski placed his past experiences within the environment of the Daily Planet, in order to make it more real. He wanted to retell the beginnings of Clark Kent coming out as Superman, but bring in the thoughts of what-if Clark thought of becoming something else instead of being a superhero. He could do anything be the greatest athlete, researcher, any number of things, he could have been rich, famous, or left alone it was his choice.

There’s a flashback scene to when Martha Kent finishes his uniform and gives it to him as a gift, hoping he’ll go that way as a superhero. He looks at it and says, “Shouldn’t there be a mask?” She says no, that “when people see how powerful you are, all the things you can do, they’re going to be terrified… unless they can see your face, and see there that you mean them no harm. The mask… is that what you’re going to have to wear the rest of your life. Jonathan Kent saw on the uniform what looked like an S and coined the name “Superman.” Aliens attack the earth actually looking for the last Last Son Of Krypton and threaten to destroy the planet, Clark decides to become the hero Superman and protect the earth.

The approach is fresh and new very well written as you would expect from Straczynski. The art is outstanding and wonderfully different enough to make you experience the story as a new revelation of Superman for the first time. Shane Davis’s artistic approach was to remove all the stereotypes associate with the design of Clark Kent, both in his civilian and superhero identities. As a 21 year old male in the book, Davis had Clark wear layers of clothing, showing that he is trying to blend in; “he doesn’t want to stand out” as said by Davis. This of course strayed away from the classic Clark Kent look, wearing the suit, tie, and glasses, since it “didn’t make sense” to Davis.

This is not a John Byrne re-write of the Superman from the eighties it is a new version of legend and it only remains to been seen how good it will be. I will be checking out the chapters of Earth One and the Batman: Earth One to be released later written by Geoff Johns with artist Gary Frank. I will be seeing you at the comic shop. Stay tuned comic faithful for more. 🙂 Walt