I pity the people who boycotted this book, because those who didn’t grab a copy are missing out royally. No, I’m not gonna preach that this is the new status quo Superman origin like the marketing for this book might claim, certainly because it isn’t even over yet, but just on how much occurs here I can certainly say we have a new classic set for us.
For a black label book there’s not a lot of gratuity, which is nice. We all know Frank Miller is capable of it so the fact that he didn’t run a spree is a surprise, but there’s a fair share of mature themes and an edge that encapsulates a downright dramatic story that might not be ideal for an underage reader only interested in guys in tights fighting bad guys, so the rating is merited.
The book tells of the destruction of Krypton and Clark’s rise to manhood as he tests his mettle against the might of high school bullies. He courts Lana Lang, learns from the Kents, and seeks out his place by enlisting in the navy. It’s all woven together in that smooth Miller prose, and for the amount of pages contained here I was extremely captivated, and came away from it feeling like I experienced something akin to watching a movie. Comics don’t always deliver that kind of material, folks!
I’m also one of the lonely few that loves John Romita Jr. As the years go by his art becomes more refined and exceeds what comes before. Honestly, I think this is a crown jewel for him; one of the most gorgeous books I’ve ever read.
This story doesn’t trample on the Superman we all love, but simply takes on a unique scope that showcases a teenage Clark Kent in one of the more grounded versions of the character. Time will tell if that keeps in the coming installments, but for me I think this is gonna be one of the greats when it’s all said and done.
TL;DR: The cover might look a little skinny, but it’s simply a masquerade for the vast story within. (Also, he doesn’t look THAT slim, come on, people!)