J. Michael Straczynski is a decorated comic writer and a personal favorite of mine. One of his original creations, Midnight Nation, was the comic that got me back into comics as an adult. I appreciated his thoughtfulness and insight into how people tick. I was excited when he got to co-write the story to the first Thor MCU movie, and I was a big fan of Superman: Earth One Vol. 1.
That book gave us a young Clark Kent, an outsider who wanted to do good but didn’t know where he fit in the world. The book was a #1 NYT bestseller, and deservedly so. The DCEU kind of took that version of emo Superman and amped maxed it out, effectively losing the soul of Superman in the movies. I don’t think this book was much better.
I wanted to like this one, but I just didn’t. The characterization, the art, and the story didn’t come together to be a Superman book for me. It was like if Superman started listening to Elliot Smith and also loved Axe body spray.
This books picks up where the first book left off. Young Clark Kent is working at the Daily Planet. He lives in a rundown building and befriends a homeless man and a woman who immediately seems to be very sexually into him. He flashbacks to growing up as a loner. There’s a bad guy who looks confusingly like Clark Kent. Actually, there are three or four guys with Clark Kent looks in the book (white guys, kind of spiky, ear-length hair, square jaw). I couldn’t tell who was who. It becomes easy enough because the bad guy turns into a giant monster that’s flying around throwing Superman through Metropolis skyscrapers, and vice-versa. The city isn’t sure if Superman is good or bad. Neither is the military. If this sounds familiar to you, skip the book and read Secret Identity. Or Astro City #1. Or watch Captain America gifs. All are awesome versions of Superman.