Sunday, August 28, 2011
Superman: Secret Origins HC
A long time ago, in 2009, Geoff Johns had some ideas on how the origin of Superman should work. We know these ideas are clearly outdated and old-fashioned, clearly written for old-timers and hardcore nerds. The hardcover isn’t that old, but it’s all thrown out at this point. The New 52 origin for Superman looks quite different, making this an odd little relic that doesn’t really mean much.
Johns, as always, has some great ideas. I liked the concept that Clark suffered from premature firing of his eyebeams when he got excited. I don’t think Lex Luthor needs to hail from Smallville, but I suppose that doesn’t wreck any concepts. I am not a fan of Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes. The Legion stands well on its own, and having the gangly, big-headed Superboy hanging out with them (and them deferring to him) sort of made the Legion seem a bit more geeky than I ever thought in the past.
The Metropolis era of the story is pretty strong. It should come as no surprise that Johns’ best makeover is on the classic Superman villains Parasite and Metallo. Parasite in particular is a gross, nasty guy (and that’s before he gets his powers)! Metallo’s design is odd, I’m much more comfortable with the Terminator-style design John Byrne used in the ‘80s, but I loved the pig-nosed John Corben. If anyone deserves to be smacked around by Superman, it’s that guy.
I just hope that the new Superman origin doesn’t have Christopher Reeves’ head slapped on a kid’s body! Man, that weirds me out! I usually love Gary Frank’s artwork, but wowza, I kept getting jolted out of the story by Reeves’ uncannily familiar mug! It worked at times, especially when the adult Clark is bumbling around the Daily Planet, but in general, this veered too far into photo-referencing for me.