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He’s the man that upholds Truth, Justice and The American Way. He was the first, and is the most recognizable hero. Just seeing his symbol alone can give hope and make you believe that anything is possible. He is the Kryptonian: Superman. Honestly, I always try to give this guy a chance, (maybe because I was awed as a child) so when I heard of another revamp I picked this up with much enthusiasm. I was not completely let down, but neither was I awestruck with this book.
This book starts with the beginning. It follows Clark Kent moving to Metropolis in search of something to do with his life. After trying his hand at a few things and passing expectations with all he does he is still unsatisfied. Whilst discovering his past from his ship, Earth is invaded by a fleet of alien ships commanded by alien Tyrell, claiming he is searching for someone and is holding the planet hostage and Clark must decide to save or hide.
Writer J. Michael Straczynski had a weight upon his shoulders trying to open up such an old character to a new audience, aimed at teenagers (and I had read somewhere also for Twilight fans). Straczynski’s main way of doing this was to remove Superman from being the ultimate Boy Scout and having him heavily influenced by emotion, almost brooding upon them at points. This both works and fails. It works in the way that Straczynski wanted to focus on the “man” and less on the “Super”, this would make it easier for people to relate to. Though there is a “but” and this is because it does not feel like Superman and what he is. To me he felt a little like Spider-Man (but wait, Straczynski did write Amazing Spider-man).
Straczynski gives a slow start, but at the halfway mark drives things into a quick conclusion. He fills the entire book with either flashbacks or with Clark just remembering what his parents have told him. Although this is to quickly show his past and explain why Clark makes the decisions he does so as to not interrupt the flow, (which it succeeded in doing) it was more of an annoyance feeling as though it was too “wordy” for no reason whatsoever.
Shane Davis is the man behind the artwork in this graphic novel. His artwork differs from his work on say, Green Lantern. This artwork had less of an animated feel and more like a drawn photograph. Davis did two things that are really worth noting and that is his work on the people, in proportion and looking realistic (even makes the hair look good) and his job on the background art, simple but near perfection.Barbara Ciardo did a magnificent job as the colorist, using a wide-ranged palette bringing Davis’ artwork to beautiful life.
Wrapping up this graphic novel, whilst it has flaws, but it was a decent read. It is the beginning, so I will definitely give the rumored sequel a chance in hopes that it picks up from a slow start. I do recommend giving this book a look, you may like this new spin on the character even more than I did.