Literary & Artistic Credits
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Gary Frank
Inker: Jon Sibal
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Steve Wands
Cover Art: Frank and Anderson
My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
Certainly we all can recognize the corny foundation that Superman was built on, correct? When a hero is created as a warrior for the American people, always claiming he’s here to fight for truth, justice, and the American way, and sporting an outfit that greatly resembles out American flag, you can’t help but think corn and cheese. Within the last few years, however, Superman has evolved into a much more sophisticated character with writers delving into his darker side, having him question himself and the people he saves. Once “Superman: For Tomorrow” came out, I’ve continually said that it IS the best Superman Story in history. However, what Geoff Johns has done with Superman: Secret Origin could possibly kick For Tomorrow off the “Greatest Superman Story” bookshelf and replace it with this latest edition in the Superman folklore.
I can only assume that the reason for this timely delay in publication of this issue is due to the remapping of the DC Universe Johns is currently doing. So knowing that, I can forgive DC for making me wait so long for the proverbial sixth and final issue of this series. But good grief! Please, don’t make us wait that long ever again!
The most appealing aspect of this comic for me was how Johns gave Superman that corny edge but not forget about the more serious character that has been established today. Too many times I think fans forget that Superman is here to protect the people within the comic book world and simply think of him as an awesome, all powerful superhero. Johns reminds us that Superman, among all his cheesy and corny inspirational speeches, has chosen to protect the people because he can. Interestingly enough, Superman isn’t taking all of this punishment to save his own life, but rather for the people since General Lane and John Corbin decided that causalities among the Metropolis inhabitants is a minor concern next to killing Superman for the sake of national security. And it’s within this fight that we see the people of metropolis come to a new realization of Superman; they don’t just accept Superman right off the bat, but they do recognize they have a hero among them and are willing to embrace that and give Superman a chance at their trust.
Like I’ve always said, Gary Frank is THE artist for Superman. He researched the bright and chipper feel that was in the old, campy Richard Donner Superman films. But Frank takes an extra step in reminding us of what Superman looked like when fighting after being dragged through dirt and hiding in a sewer system. The level of detail put into this series on the part of Frank was an incredible achievement.
My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
I couldn’t help but ask myself at the end of #6, “What was the secret?” Nothing really very new was revealed except the addition of
General Sam Lane in the story. What I think Johns was going for with this series was to reestablish Superman with very little things; There’s a reason for Clark being a stumbling mild mannered reporter, Metropolis seems to be a REAL big and congested city with rude citizens, and the relationship Superman developed in the early years seem much more rooted in realistic terms. But with that I can’t seem to wonder if “Secret Origin” was a weak title for this fantastic series. I was anticipating some extraordinary secret to be revealed that would cause us to look at Superman in a new light, possibly bringing in new readers and showing the world that Superman isn’t just corn and cheese. But sadly, that did not occur. However, this series was a great success and I may have to purchase this when it comes out in TPB.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Incentive Points: 2