Monday, 27 August 2012


The Unmissable Action Adventures of Young Superman: a slightly edited Amazon 5* review.

Of all DC's New 52 titles, this, after reading the first issue in that massive collection of all first issues, was the collected edition I'd been most looking forward to. I mean, it's written by Grant Morrison who wrote the best ever Superman series in All-Star Superman which is recommendation enough alone. This is the story of how the young (around 22 years old) Superman became SUPERMAN.

Set five years earlier than the rest of the New 52 continuity, superheroes are just beginning to emerge and we come across a Superman whose only been around a few months. He's lacks a proper costume -just ordinary workman's boots, jeans, t-shirt with logo, and a cape- and he has it in for corrupt capitalists. This a Superman for ordinary people. He's brash, confident and cocky and having a great time getting up the collective nose of authority and Lex Luthor has been hired to bring him down. When he first appeared, bullets bounced off him; now he can, just, withstand shells from a tank. He can leap tall buildings and his maximum speed is about 600mph. All this is about to change.

Meanwhile, young Clark Kent is a low-paid, sloppily-dressed crusading journalist, working for a dying small-circulation Metropolis paper, who lives in a cheap apartment, and is best friends with Lois Lane's pet photog, Jim Olsen. Perry White wants him for the Daily Planet but he won't go because he believes his integrity would be compromised. He's also getting secret information about a corrupt capitalist from an unknown source.

When Superman is captured after Lex Luthor has had him hit by a train which knocks him unconscious, he's tested in a secret government lab overseen by Lois Lane's father and where government scientist John Henry Irons is working on a super-suit. Irons gets angry when he discovers Luthor torturing the prisoner and about then everything explodes. Which is where I'll stop with the plot summary as I don't want to spoil it for you.

This is terrific stuff. Great dialogue and a nifty plot from Morrison which reinvents the character while remaining faithful to his origins. Terrific dynamic art from Rags Morales which threatens to burst out of the page; plus some inventive Krypton sequences courtesy of Gene Ha. There are four backup stories by Sholly (who?) Fisch which are okay. Toss in all the variant covers, and a nice piece in which Morrison and Morales write about the art and story to complete the package.

If you're only slightly into DC comics, this one is essential.

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