Monday, November 30, 2009

Comic Book Review: Superman Secret Origin #3 (of 6)

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank and Jon Sibal
Covers by Gary Frank

Superman now enters into adulthood and begins his new life in the big city of Metropolis as the latest edition to the Daily Planet.  There he is introduced to many familiar characters, which have helped define the world of Superman. 

As we descend upon a very new a different Metropolis that we all have come to know, Clark Kent arrives for his first day of work at the Daily Planet and he already has his hands full with sneaking Lois Lane into the new Lex Corps Robotics demonstration.  However, things take a turn for the worst, and Superman must now make a decision to save the one person who we all know will eventually come to love the Man of Steel.

My Thoughts
Geoff Johns, who seemingly has been hired to remap the DC universe, brings to us another fantastic installment of the secret origin series for Superman.  Within this third issue, Johns revamps the Man of Steel in ways that help us understand the point of view from the boy raised on a farm who moves to the big city.

I enjoyed how Johns portrays the persona of Clark Kent as an ACTUAL bumbling idiot.  We’ve all grown to know and love the popular guise, which Superman used to help distinguish himself from Superman, of a nerdy man who can’t see well and seems like a lost child in the big city streets…that it was all an act.  But this issue Shows Clark Kent as a real farm boy who isn’t used to the big city lifestyle and actually does have trouble standing on two feet longer than a couple of seconds at a time.  And the popular catch phrases like “gee” or “golly” or “aw shucks” are not part of any rouse, this is a Man of Steel actually trying to figure out Metropolis.

What stuck out to me the most however is how Johns and Frank are really working together in making this series new and innovative; yet still reflect the Superman world we know today.  Apart from giving Superman the Christopher Reeves look, there is a lot reminiscent of the 1978 film of the busy, fast paced Metropolis where it’s inhabitants are rude and loud and the streets are dirty with minor cases of graffiti.  This is the type of Metropolis I’m sure most people aren’t used too, seeing as how Metropolis now has a Man of Steel to look up to and not a lot of crime to worry about.  No, this is a city down in the dumps with heavy crime and a less than appealing economic status.

But of course we are reminded of the great forceful, in-your-face attitude that Lois Lane has always brought to the table; how she shuns Clark Kent right away as a small town farm boy, and the buddy-buddy relationship that Clark and Jimmy Olsen share instantaneously.  These things and much more brought me back home and reminded me of how much fun the origin of Superman is to read.

Gary Frank is blowing my mind on the originality of his work.  I keep hearing over and over again that fans aren’t particularly happy with the look Frank and Johns are going for, but I’m loving every panel of it.  In my humble opinion, Gary Frank has established himself as the ONLY man who rightfully deserves to bring Superman from pencil to paper.

Now, the big question I probably minor, but important to me!  As I read the last page of this book, I began to wonder what Superman’s take would be on the whole situation.  And I know the quote Superman says on the final panel of the last page is probably a joke, “I think I’ve made a mistake” but what if it isn’t?  I can’t help but wonder, after seeing that dark and frightened look Superman has on his face after remembering what his pa told him, (“Once you let the cat out of the proverbial bag, you wont be able to put it back”) if Johns is going to show us a new side to Superman that no one could have expected.  What if, after this mini is over with, we discover that Superman regrets becoming the savior of Metropolis and only continues to do what he does today for some other reason than to protect the innocent?  Maybe I’m over analyzing the book, but this is what I do!

This is not an issue with huge action scenes; rather it’s more concerned with establishing the relationships in which Superman will have down the road.  But what is brought to light are the new and interesting twists which help the readers understand someone who has never experienced big city life and that even the Mightiest of humans have to learn and adapt to their surroundings.

5 out of 5 stars

Next Issue Coming January 20, 2010
While everyone wants something from Metropolis' first Super Hero, Superman must fight his first Super-Villain – someone who wants everything – the Parasite! Meanwhile, Lex Luthor turns his attention toward The Man of Steel...

Geoff Johns and Gary Frank continue their bold reinterpretation of the origin of The Man of Steel for the 21st Century!

No comments:

Post a Comment