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Superman Earth One Volume 2

Superman Earth One

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#1 Virgil Vox

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:59 PM

I liked Superman Earth One a lot. I thought it was a good origin story for Superman and I love Shane Davis's artwork. So I've been eagerly anticipating the sequel. I got to the comic book store just as it opened because I couldn't wait to read this book. It did not disappoint.

Vol. 2 picks up shortly after the events of the first OGN. Clark is settling into life in Metropolis. He has a crappy new apartment that comes with an attractive new neighbor Lisa LaSalle. He's also trying to do good as Superman even though he's facing a planet of people who don't trust him. He's also trying to establish himself as a real reporter at the Daily Planet and not just be a one hit wonder. Little does he know he's about to encounter a big threat in the form of Parasite, a villain that can drain him of his powers and leave him as weak as a human, or even kill him.

There's lots to love here. The artwork is amazing. Shane Davis can draw the hell out of Superman. It's also nice to see the classic costume with the red trunks and not the armor from the New 52. Oh, and if ever wondered if Superman wears underwear under the suit wonder no more. He apparently doesn't. Though he might start now.

Parasite is a great villain here. This is the Raymond Jensen Parasite, not the Rudy Jones. Raymond is a serial killer even before he becomes the Parasite, and we're given glimpses into his past to see that he's basically always been a horrible person. The redesign for him is great. He's a creepy villain and when he gets juiced up on Superman he grows into a huge threat. Literally. Using him also allows JMS to write Superman as human, something this Clark has never really experienced before. He's without his powers for a while and it leads to some bad(and also good)experiences.

Clark does have a love interest that is not Lois Lane but shares her initials. Lisa is a good character. She's basically a free spirited, happy young woman who has the hots for Clark and isn't afraid to show it. This leads to a funny trip down memory lane for Clark when he remembers the sex talk he had with Pa Kent. Except here it's even more awkward because Jonathan isn't sure if Clark can have sex with a woman because of his powers. He even uses the line, "Man of Steel, woman of tissue paper."

Lois does get her time to shine though. While she has almost no interaction with Clark/Superman she does prove that she has good investigative instincts. She thinks it's strange that Superman would give an interview to someone who isn't even officially a reporter yet and who doesn't work for any newspaper. She investigates Clark and finds that he was basically an average student who went to school and did nothing else. She believes he's hiding something. Which of course he is. But it shows that she is a smart woman who is believable as one of the best reporters out there.

Her search also serves to give us some more background information on Clark and we learn just what a lonely existence he has led. It doesn't seem like Pete or Lana exist in this universe. He did have one friend though. A cat he rescued when he was young. Maybe it's just because I'm a cat person, but Clark telling Lisa the story about Fuzzball was oddly moving.

JMS also introduces Lex Luthor to this universe though it'd a different take on the character and one I'm eager to see explored in the third volume(which JMS is all ready writing). There's also a small bit that ties the Superman Earth One OGNs with the Batman Earth One OGN. Maybe down the line we'll see a cross-over between these two.

There were some things I wasn't a fan of. We pretty only see the perspective of people who don't trust and don't like Superman. Lois is really the only one who seems to be on Superman's side. I wish JMS had shown that there are some people who trust Superman. I get that the government and military wouldn't trust a man with that amount of power and would work on a way of neutralizing him. I just wanted a little more balance.

I'm also not sure how I feel about Superman's response to a dictator who won't let Superman help save the dictator's people from a tsunami. He basically arms the rebels and helps them march into the dictator's palace. The dictator needed to go but I can see this harming Superman in the long run as governments become fearful that Superman might overthrow them if he doesn't believe they're doing the right thing.

Vol. 2 is a great graphic novel and a good sequel that builds on what has come before and also sets up the next trade quite nicely. If you're a Superman fan or a fan of the first Earth One trade you need to pick this up.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#2 Themis

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:25 PM

Sounds intriguing, but most comics are priced beyond my range now.  Can kids even afford to buy them?!  I may have to live with the memories of "my" Superman and the last reinvention I followed, which was over ten years ago.   So in a nutshell, how many Supermen are there now?  Is there an Earth Prime for the New 52 and this alternate version for Earth One?  Are there more Earths?  May pop into the comic shop and flip through this...
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#3 Virgil Vox

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:48 PM

Quote

Sounds intriguing, but most comics are priced beyond my range now.  Can kids even afford to buy them?!  I may have to live with the memories of "my" Superman and the last reinvention I followed, which was over ten years ago.   So in a nutshell, how many Supermen are there now?  Is there an Earth Prime for the New 52 and this alternate version for Earth One?  Are there more Earths?  May pop into the comic shop and flip through this...

Okay. So we have Earth-0, which is the main Earth populated by all the DC characters. These come out every month for $2.99 or $3.99. This is the "main" Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.

The Earth One line is a series of original graphics novels that sell for around $20-$25. The first one out was Superman Earth One. It is a separate continuity from all the other comics and the first one is an origin story for Superman. Think of it as a movie in comic form. You get a complete story in one go(though just like in movies some plots are left dangling for sequels). There is also a Batman Earth One OGN.

Then there is Earth-2. It is being explored in a single monthly comic called Earth-2 written by James Robinson and drawn by Nicola Scott. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman exist in this universe but are not the focus. The focus is on the young heroes who will form the Justice Society. It's a great book because Robinson and Scott are able to build up an entire world and do what they please. It costs $2.99 and is worth every penny.

Then there's the Smallville comic which continues where the TV show left off. That can be bought online every week for $1 for each installment, or can be bought as an actual issue every month for $3.99. Which is a little steep but that's thirty pages of actual comic, along with an episode guide for the show, and features variant covers and sketches at the back.

As far as I'm aware those are the only Supermen that are out there at the moment. Hope this helps, though it is confusing keeping up with all the different universes.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#4 Christopher

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:52 AM

The idea behind the Earth One line is to do stories that are in full-length book form to begin with, rather than monthly issues that later get collected in trade paperback. Readership of monthly comics is in severe decline, and the industry is seeking ways to survive. One way they're doing that is by pursuing digital distribution, trying to win a new audience that way; the purpose of the "New 52" reboot was to provide a fresh starting point for the new audience of digital-comics readers they're hoping to bring in. Earth One is another way, an attempt to cater directly to the bookstore audience, the people who only buy comics in TPB or HC book form. The continuity is separate from that of the monthly comics because it's aimed at a different audience, one that probably wouldn't read the monthlies.
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