Superman: Earth One—Volume 1

superman earth one volume 1 cover trade paperback
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Art: 8/10

Shane Davis' art is good but inconsistent

A tired story told in a typical way

Comic Info

Comic Name: Superman:  Earth One

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski

Artist: Shane Davis

# of Issues: One-Shot

Release Date:  2010


Don’t mess with me, I’m hip & cool

Clark Kent leaves his home in Smallville for Metropolis and finds he doesn’t know what to do about his future. Clark questions taking the easy route of fame and fortune by using his powers but discovers all of that has changes when an invasion force comes to destroy him. With full access to his past, Clark discovers it is time to make the jump and determine if he is just Clark Kent or Superman.

Written by J. Michael Straczynski, Superman: Earth One—Volume 1 is a DC Comics one-shot title.  The graphic novel features illustrations by Shane Davis and was met with relatively positive reviews.

Superman:  Earth One is meant to be a sort of real-world relaunch for Superman and the DC Universe in general.  What would it really mean of a man suddenly showed up who could fly, shoot lasers from his eyes, and was an unstoppable force…especially when he is just fighting people like average criminals, etc.  The problem with Superman:  Earth One is that it feels like it has been done so many times (and J. Michael Straczynski has made a habit of that).

This just feels like another version of Smallville to me. I am not a very big J. Michael Straczynski fan, Rising Stars was ok, The Twelve was ok, his Amazing Spider-Man started out strong, but turned to crap. He has a bit of a habit of starting things and not finishing them which also is a problem (I thought Straczynski’s Thor was virtually unreadable at points and he abandoned that series for DC). I don’t know what his big term plans are for DC’s Earth One but his track record isn’t that great in my book.


I’m strong but pretty scrawny

The story itself is pretty ho-hum. Clark learns he’s an alien, Clark debates his future, Clark fights aliens, Clark decides he’s Superman. It is all the same and there was nothing surprising or edgy with it. The Earth One concept is supposed to kind of parallel what Marvel set up with its Ultimate line (and for the most part that didn’t work out too well either in the long run). It is meant to bring the DC Universe together in one format so the story isn’t really meant to be radically different, but more concise. Clark doesn’t feel anymore real in this story than he does in other comics, and as I mentioned, it just feels like Smallville rehash.

Superman: Earth One’s art is good. Shane Davis shows a nice version of Superman, and it almost has a sense of wonder too it at times like the Marvels limited series (at Marvel Comics). The broody, undecided Superman isn’t his fault but he makes the most of it (it almost seems like Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol borrowed the look for Tom Cruise).  It is a bit inconsistent (Superman sometimes looks a bit scrawny).

Superman: Earth One—Volume 1 just feels like more of the same. I’m not exactly sure why people are infatuated with J. Michael Straczynski and his writing, because most of it (with a few exceptions) leaves me feeling empty. Superman: Earth One is the same…an unnecessary retelling of a story that has been retold probably hundreds of times.  Superman:  Earth One—Volume 1 was followed by Superman:  Earth One—Volume 2 in 2012.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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