Superman: Secret Origins #1
Written by Geoff Johns. Art by Gary Frank and Jon Siball
DC Comics, 48 pages, $3.99
This is what, the third or fourth time that DC has attempted to update or revamp the Man of Steel’s origin? Is it just me or does that smell like a bit of desperation on DC’s part, like they really don’t know how to get more people to read the Superman books and are madly flinging stuff to the walls in the hopes of getting as wide a readership (within the comics-reading public of course) as possible. “Maybe it will work this time!” Either that, or they just really don’t care and wanted to throw Geoff Johns a bone seeing how he’s a fan favorite and all these days.
Whatever the case, the word “unnecessary” is what kept cropping up into my head while reading Secret Origins. It’s certainly a decent enough comic — competently written and drawn — it’s not littered with glittering flaws that are ready to pick and demolish like low-hanging, overripe fruit. Oh, I could pick nits, point out that Jor-El and Lara look more like trailer van hippies than beings from another world, that having a tornado suddenly appear at the state fair just so Clark can save Lana is a stupid idea, that trying to make Clark look like a young Christopher Reeves is downright creepy. You know the drill.
But, really, the worst thing I can say about this book is it’s not needed. Everyone knows Superman’s origin by this point and — Superboy or no Superboy, Legion or no Legion — you’re not adding or taking away anything here that will make this comic stand out from the hundreds of other variations on this story. This isn’t a bad comic. Just a forgettable one.
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