Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"I have spent the last twenty years searching for something. More accurately someone.
"My journey has taken us to a dozen worlds, but I still have not found the target.
"If he is hiding here, I will continue the attack until he is provoked into revealing himself...
"If it turns out he is not here, then I will leave your world and try elsewhere.
"But only after several million of you are dead, so that I will know that I have done everything possible to provoke a response...
"To my target, if you are listening, those are the terms. Reveal yourself and surrender. Or watch your world die around you."
Free from the constraints of mainstream continuity J. Michael Straczynski has turned in a genuine epic with SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE. This work most definitely has the feel of a blockbuster film, in all the positive senses one can mean that, in stark contrast to the last actual Superman film, which began with a fine action set-piece and then was utterly boring drivel throughout its remainder.
Here we start with a familiar premise, Clark Kent leaving the comfort of Smallville and the bosom of Ma Kent and heading for the big smoke that is Metropolis. But then we're presented with a rather different story to the one we're used to, as instead of immediately assuming the persona of a mild-mannered reporter Clark investigates a number of different career options from American football to research scientist, and seems rather less reticent about using his abilities in everyday life, even in a low-key manner, than we've become used to. He does visit the Daily Planet, but leaves initially rather unimpressed with the bullpen and its cast of characters including the paternal Perry white, a rather abrasive Lois Lane and a somewhat more genial shutterbug Jimmy Olsen. Good to see Straczynski hasn't changed everything! We even get the revealing information that Ma and Pa Kent always saw their adopted son as a hero that could inspire the world, even providing him with his costume, yet this Clark Kent seems very reluctant to consider, never mind embrace his eventual destiny. Or even try on his tights. So what's going to change that then, I wonder?
Well, here again Straczynski takes a completely different route from the time-worn approach. No low-key introduction to hero-dom here for our reluctant youth, instead we're thrown into the middle of a full-on alien invasion of Earth. It seems the invasion force is looking for a certain individual, the last survivor of Krypton, to complete their genocidal assassination contract to wipe out the entire Kryptonian race. What follows thereafter is an epic finale that would worthily grace any cinematic adaptation of old red-and-blue, as the villains get spanked and vanquished, and Clark realises that taking a considerably more low profile approach to civilian life, and a somewhat more flexible job, might be rather useful in maintaining a secret identity. Now, if only some genial editor had offered him a job as a reporter...