Superman: Grounded—Volume 1

superman grounded volume 1 cover trade paperback review
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Art: 5/10

Not much

Superman gets slapped by a lady and walks across America...that sums it up

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Superman (Volume 1)

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski/G. Willow Wilson

Artist:  Eddy Barrows/Leandro Oliveira/Wellington Dias/Amilcar Pinna/J. P. Mayer/Walden Wong/Eb Ferreira

# of Issues:  7

Release Date:   2011

superman #705 cover dc comics grounded

Superman (1) #705

Reprints Superman (1) #700-706 (August 2010-February 2011).  Superman finds himself full of doubt after the destruction of New Krypton and decides he has to reassess his belief in America and his role as Earth’s protector.  As Superman begins to cross America, he tries to solve the everyday problems of the average man but finds himself continuously pulled into battles with super-humans.  As Superman travels, he is pursued by a woman named Lisa Jennings who discovered a piece of New Krypton and seems to have plans for the Man of Steel.

Written by J. Michael Straczynski and G. Willow Wilson (Superman #704 and Superman #706), Superman:  Grounded—Volume 1 begins the conclusion to the long-running Superman title before DC Comics’ shake-up series Flashpoint and the New 52.  The collection features art by Eddy Barrows, Leandro Oliveira, Wellington Dias, Amilcar Pinna, J.P. Mayer, Walden Wong, and Eb Ferreira.

I don’t really like J. Michael Straczynski.  I think he’s possibly one of the most overrated comic book writers in the business.  The controversial storyline received media attention and questions the role of superheroes in society by having Superman just wandering around, but it was really not worthy of the attention.

Everything in this storyline feels like retread.  First some woman shows up and tells Superman that he needs to help people with cancer, etc. with his abilities and Superman takes it to heart.  He pulls a Forrest Gump and decides to “just start walking” meeting people like Caine from Kung Fu or David Banner from The Incredible Hulk TV series.  Most issues have Superman dealing with a weighty issue like unemployment, sickness, or child abuse, intermixed with Superman fighting a few superhuman criminals.  It is cliché and written in a style that indicates that Straczynski thinks the broody Superman is deep instead of a just a poor creation.

superman #706 grounded cover john cassaday art

Superman (1) #706

The stand-alone issues of the collection are alright.  The Lois Lane issue is just Lois Lane deciding that she gave up a normal life by marrying Superman, while the Perry White issue involves Perry White trying to modify the Daily Planet to be a competitive media outlet in a world of blogs and instant news.  They provide a nice break to the mundane writing of the mopey Superman.

The art in Superman:  Grounded Volume 1 is all over the place.  There is some very classic feeling Superman art and some underdeveloped art.  It could be the generic story, but the art loses its inspiration.  There are some fun covers throughout the series, but a weak story inside.

Superman: Grounded—Volume 1 is a good example of how an attempt to “make a cool story” takes an interesting character and instead turns him boring. The collection tries too hard to make Superman relevant and explain why he’s a cultural icon. It is presented in a way that tries to make it seem artsy but instead feels like pandering. Superman: Grounded—Volume 1 is followed by the conclusion of the story in Superman: Grounded—Volume 2.

Related Links:

Superman:  Grounded—Volume 2

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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