REVIEW: “Superman: Earth One” Graphic Novel

(DC COMICS, 2010)   -   Reviewed by Feral Fang

For some reason or another, it took me quite a while to find this graphic novel.  I searched, completely excited and curious about finally reading what is likely one of the most successful and beloved graphic novels of the 21st Century.  Though I really try not to, I tend to build up some expectations to something of this nature, and more so when it is difficult to get my hands on a copy.  It obviously tells me people are buying and reading it and, unlike the many graphic novels and trade collections that just sit on the shelves, this thing was really moving.  So, when I finally got it in my hands, I had really high hopes for this.  My love for Superman has grown over the years from interested, to picking at things here and there, to finally outright loving the character.  I blame the Animated Series for most of this (damn that was such a good show from a team of geniuses!), but there have also been some very good Supes stuff out there, both in print and in some of the amazing animated films DC puts out.  As I read this book, however, I slowly started feeling my expectations shatter.  Sad to say, I really did not enjoy this graphic novel.  J. Michael Straczynski’s altered version of Supes is an annoyingly basic and dull character, barely speaking and mostly just floating around landscapes.  While he is busy doing so, a few flash back scenes are stretched longer than they should be, mostly through text placed over the stagnant, uninteresting artwork.  Shane Davis’ art is wooden, boring, and has a heavy 90’s Marvel “X” titles/Image Comics feel to most of the detail work.  Some of the more ugly attempts at detail are almost saved by the modern coloring, but that’s a strong ‘almost’.  As a matter of fact, the coloring is the best part about this.  Some panels actually look pretty good at first glance, but at closer inspection it’s almost always the color art that gave the impression. Overall, I felt this was not only a waste of time, but also a significant waste of money. Not to mention the poorly paced and seemingly out of nowhere end ‘battle’ and ‘villain’ make this one confused, lazy attempt at re-telling a powerfully classic story.  And now Book Two is out.  Frustrating.

— 1 out of 5 boxes of $1 X-Force comics.



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