Page 45 Review by Jonathan
'Who has the guns makes the rules'. And since you have the guns you think they give you power. You have no idea what power is. Let me show you.
Cue Superman disintegrating the despot who has just presented him with a severed arm and informed him they will keep on coming, unless Superman leaves his country immediately. He hasn't melted the dictator with his heat vision, of course, but that's exactly what he's wishing he'd said and done when reflecting upon the confrontation later on. Superman would never do that, though, would he? Well, this is Earth One, where things are... different. Except with the ever suspicious generals who are paranoid that they need a plan to stop this apparently benevolent alien, in any dimension, alternate or otherwise of course! Cue the entry of one resplendently hirsute Lex Luthor...
But, but, that is all merely a very small sideplot to set up what will presumably be volume three of Straczynski's variation on a theme of ole big blue. I must say, I was actually expecting a direct follow on to the events of book one, given the legend on the front cover -'The Sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller' - and especially given the ending of said volume which was practically screaming sequel itself. This however, merely continues the adventures of Clark in Metropolis and introduces the new Earth One version of a classic villain, the Parasite. I shouldn't say merely actually, because it is a great read in its own right, but I hope JMS will return to that initial storyline at some point as it was brilliant.
It is everything about the differences between the mainstream and this world's Clark Kent that really makes this book though. It just works and feels natural and up to date in the way that Morrison's recent reboot of ACTION COMICS also does. They both really focus on the struggles of Clark Kent the person in trying to act, if not feel, human, when he knows deep down he's anything but. Which is why, of course, he finds his own unique solution to the dilemma of the despot, and it's probably not one that the mainstream Clark would approve of but, hey, that's what Earth One, when it's done well, should be all about.