Review: Superman Earth One Vol. 3

I’ll be honest, that I don’t recall anything about the first two volumes of Superman Earth One. The main reason I wanted to check it out was the write up this Earth got in the Multiversity Guidebook, and the readability of Batman Earth One and Teen Titans Earth One.


(W) J. Michael Straczynski
(A) Ardian Syaf, Sandra Hope
(CA) Ardian Syaf
$22.99 / In Shops: 2/4/2015


Who will save Superman? He may be invulnerable – but he’s also alone! In his brief career as a costumed hero, Clark Kent has run a gantlet of the world’s most deadly and monstrous villains. But his most dire threat may come from two powerless humans who happen to be the two smartest people on the planet. Lex and Alexandra Luthor have been paid to find a way to cancel Superman’s powers – and the man who destroyed Krypton has been welcomed by the world’s governments to complete his mission – with the murder of Kal-El! Betrayed and at his most vulnerable, there’s no place to hide and no one Superman can trust!
Don’t miss the follow-up to the New York Times #1 best-selling graphic novels SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE VOL. 1 and 2!


Like I said, I don’t know a whole lot about the Earth One Superman. It’s obvious from the beginning that this is a Clark Kent that is younger and facing life in Metropolis on a seriously tight budget. My real problem came with Straczynski choosing as the villain General Zod. In both of the previous volumes, the villain was someone that could battle Superman physically, and by adding Zod to the mix, we’re presented not with a different story but the same one. Superman has one of the most varied rogue’s gallery with Toyman, the Prankster, Brainiac, Intergang, Metallo, Mxyzptlk, and the Ultra-Humanite, not to mention Lex Luthor, whose appearance here is refreshingly different, but for the most part, it reads as an alternate script to the Man of Steel film.

The artwork seems horribly average. It’s detailed and anatomically accurate, but every major character is in peak physical condition, with the only exception being Perry White. Zod’s design is so obviously villainous that it baffles me how his plan to isolate Superman actually works. The artwork just comes across as banal and boring despite being two incredibly powerful men beating the crap out of each other.

The conclusion is adequate, with Superman finding closure to his crisis, but I don’t believe for one second that this is a world much like ours before Superman came. Of all the Earth One books I’ve read, this is the worst. I hope for Volume Four that the threat of Lex Luthor actually takes center stage. Unfortunately, I think we’ll get Bizarro so the Superman can fight something.

Should you buy this? Nope, not at least in its original hardcover. I would suggest a cheaper, digital format or waiting for paperback, but it’s banality makes me suggest giving this one a pass.