DC Comics
Review: Superman Year One #1
By Philip Schweier
June 19, 2019 - 05:52

DC Comics
Writer(s): Frank Miller
Artist(s): John Romita Jr.

When I first saw DC house ads for Superman Year One, claiming it to be “the definitive” origin story, I was skeptical. It seems like they say that every five to ten years, so I expect I’ll be skeptical again within the next decade.

The cover features a young Superman emerging from what appears to be his Kryptonian vessel. Taken literally, one might expect he arrived on Earth fully grown, as he did on the old radio show. But metaphorically, it’s simply a young Kryptonian metaphorically coming into his own.

The story doesn’t dwell much on the destruction of Krypton, depicting it as perhaps through the eyes of the Star Child. It focuses primarily on Clark’s childhood in relation to the values he formed as a youngster. Note that I say HE formed, rather than those taught to him by his parents, which is not to say they are uninvolved in shaping his sense of morality).

There are a few changes along the way, some subtle, some less so; some agreeable, some less so. I try to keep an open mind when publishers make changes to familiar lore, bearing in mind that after 80+ years, these characters absolutely must evolve. Also, there are many elements that have been added over the years, so it would be unfair of me to accept some and challenge others.

The chapter ends in a surprising manner, one most fans would NEVER expect, but to Miller’s credit, it makes TOTAL sense. It bodes well for me that this is in fact a key re-telling of the original Siegel & Shuster story, but with refined layering to address the sensibilities of 2019.

Rating: 10/10

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