Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Superman: Secret Origins 1 and 2 quick impressions

Yet more evidence that I post too much here.

Anyway, not a real review, just some impressions.

Gary Frank's a good artist but he needs to tone down the "I'm INSAAAAAANE" expressions he uses for characters. I can handle it on Lex Luthor, cause, well, he's Lex Luthor. It's just weird looking at a picture of Lana hiding in a cornfield when the expression on her face says "They'll never find the bodies."

Also, so far Gary's trying way, way too hard to draw Clark Kent/Superboy to look just like Christopher Reeve. There are a few panels in this comic that approach pure mastery... the full page spread where Superboy catches Lionel Luthor's truck as it prepares to go splay is really well done all told... but it's detracted significantly when I look at the next page and I see teen Chris Reeve staring out at me.

The plot tries to incorporate pretty much every Superman as young boy scenario out there, from Byrne's football playing popular jock kid to the classic Silver Age bookworm version to Smallville (complete with heat vision whenever Lana Lang kisses him) and as a result, it's kind of messed up. It doesn't help that it's Geoff Johns so I expect everyone to die horribly on every page. Lex Luthor's story works pretty well so far, however, and I liked seeing Lena Luthor again.

The Legion of Super Heroes appearance worked pretty well. I liked that Lightning Lad alone was more concerened with young Clark as a person rather than a legend or a fundamental part of the time stream, and his manipulation of Brainiac 5 worked elegantly enough. I was happy they didn't include the original "The Legion fucks with his head first" aspect of the story, as Clark comes off as more shy and timid in this version and it would have seemed like kicking a puppy.

In fact, one of my main problems with the story is that they're overselling the shy and timid aspect. At one point Clark asks Saturn Girl what he did wrong in a way that makes him seem rather slow witted. This isn't a major concern, but it's still kind of weird.

And there's a Krypto appearance in issue #2. Can't say anything bad about Krypto.

Clearly, this is a re-retcon of the retcon of the Silver Age origin when Byrne took over the book. That origin was itself built out of many previous Golden and Silver Age tweaks to the story. Since it's Geoff Johns, I'm honestly relieved at how much it doesn't deviate from what you might expect. I'm cautiously willing to read more.

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