Thursday, January 28, 2010

Comic Book Review: Superman Secret Origin #4 (of 6)

Book Information
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank

The world wants to know more about Superman, but all Lex Luthor wants is to portray the newcomer as Earth’s enemy.  As Superman fights his first real enemy, the Parasite, Luthor plans out his dastardly deed in setting up the Man of Steel.

My Thoughts
After finishing this 4th installment of the revamped Superman origin story I asked myself, “what is the secret?”  It’s legitimate question to ask.  The clues aren’t necessarily coming through for me all that well.  Is this new origin story simply DC’s attempt to legitimize Superman’s first years and throw out the corniness that came from the films and Golden age comics?  We’ve received a lot of new twists on certain aspects of his life and a new look at how the Man of Steel views his life on Earth, but what is the secret?  Green Lantern’s Secret origin story at least followed a set of clues that kept us thinking logically about the events, but this series hasn’t given us (the readers) much to work with.

Currently, Johns is running with things we already know.  Johns established that Lois was a bitchy, head strong reporter who can’t stand the thought of Lex Luthor, yet relishes the chance of interviewing him.  We also have the confirmation that Lex Luthor did in fact hate Superman from the start (as if we didn’t know) and puts on a amazing act for the people of Metropolis, acting as its savior.  The Parasite, in addition is given no new realizations unfamiliar to us, was still accidentally exposed to chemicals which changed him to the purple, energy sucking vampire, still had an unrelenting crave for human energy, still wants Superman the most due to his stamina, and remains one of the dumbest villains in Superman’s repertoire.  The only twist that comes along in this issue is Luthor’s speech, claiming Superman to be an enemy of the people and possibly an invader from a different world…but we expected that right?

With all that said, the story in and of itself is well written.  The dialog between characters is strong a flows smoothly, contains very driven character, and gets at the heart of a single individual.  This week, Johns gave a shinning moment to our beloved pal, Jimmy Olsen.  The young photographer is still a dork, however Johns has given Olsen a more mature look, despite all of his freckles.  No more “golly gee” or “gee wilikers” for Jimmy, he’s more of a socially adapted person rather than socially awkward. 

Like I’ve said before, Gary Frank is THE Superman artist.  DC needs to hire Frank forever and keep the artistry that he is bringing to the pages of Superman.  Get rid of Bernard Chang and permanently put Gary Frank on board.  That was one of the creepiest renditions of the Parasite I have ever seen. Frank just keeps on bringing it home! 

This issue is fun to read, but doesn’t really push the story forward into anything new.  Knowing Johns however, it’s possible that this issue contains hidden importance that will be revealed once the final issue hits stores.  My fingers are crossed.

Rating: 5 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming March 31st, 2010
Superman versus Metallo – for the first time! Witness the origin of one of Superman's most-feared foes, as an attack by Lex Luthor goes awry and gives birth to the evil of Metallo. Can an inexperienced Man of Steel handle a foe with a heart of Kryptonite? Meanwhile, Lois Lane and Perry White are close to revealing Luthor as the monster that he is – but are they willing to pay for that truth with their lives?

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