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Superman: Earth One Hardcover – November 2, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 294 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Superman: Earth One Series

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Amazon.com Review

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Looking to Marvel’s Ultimate line, DC launches its Earth One series with a modernization of the world’s first superhero. With 72 years of various “imaginary stories” behind him, if you’re going to reimagine Superman again, you’d better distinguish yourself. It’s all quite recognizable: Lois, Jimmy, and the Daily Planet are all here, though the menace of Lex Luthor is replaced by an alien armada hunting the last son of Krypton. Torchbearer of the Todd McFarlane–Jim Lee aesthetic of modern comics art, Davis provides sleek figures, intense detail, and subtle integration of current hairstyles and fashions (including a nip and tuck to the old supersuit itself) that do the lion’s share of the contemporizing. Ultimately, though, it’s Straczynski who distinguishes the work, humanizing the dynamic between characters and adding a compelling twist of melancholy to young Clark Kent’s search for purpose. This is not a revelatory reexamination of a great American icon but the script and storyboards for a great Superman summer blockbuster, and one with a lot of heart, at that. Grades 9-12. --Jesse Karp

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 136 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401224687
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401224684
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.4 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J. Michael Staczynski was born in Paterson, NJ in 1954, from a lower-middle-class blue-collar family that moved 21 times in his first 18 years. He began writing in earnest and selling at the age of 17 and hasn't stopped since. He graduated San Diego State University with degrees in Psychology and Sociology.

As a journalist, he has written over 500 published articles for such periodicals as The Los Anglees Times, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Penthouse, Writer's Digest, San Diego Magazine, the San Diego and Los Angeles Reader and TIME, Inc. He has also published numerous short stories in Amazing Science Fiction Magazine, Pulphouse, and various anthologies.

As a television writer and producer, he has written over 200 produced episodes, including workj on The New Twilight Zone, Nightmare Classics and Murder She Wrote. He also wrote, created and produced the series Babylon 5, Crusade and Jeremiah.

Moving from TV to film, he wrote Changeling (directed by Clint Eastwood), Ninja Assassin (produced by the Wachowskis), provided the story for Thor (directed by Kenneth Branagh), wrote Underworld 4 (starring Kate Beckinsale), and has written numerous other films that are currently slated for production.

He has won the Hugo Award (twice), the Saturn Award, the Eisner Award, the Inkpot Lifetime Achievement Award, the E Pluribus Unum Award from the American Cinema Foundation, the Space Frontier Foundation award, the Ray Bradbury Award, the Christopher Award, and over a dozen others.

He was also nominated for a British Academy Award (BAFTA) for his screenplay for Changeling.

He writes ten hours a day, every day, except for his birthday, New Year's Day and Christmas Day.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Superman: Earth One presents Superman the way you've always known him--and yet radically different. His story is entirely familiar: Rocketed from the doomed planet Krypton while still an infant, he lands on earth, to be found and raised by the kindly Jonathan and Martha Kent, who instill in their adopted son the best values and sensibilities the world has to offer. But Earth One (part of a larger series from DC focusing on iconic characters in more "real-world-like" settings) has a gravitas and a sense of place that anchors it more solidly in the world we know than practically any Superman comic in ages. Even better, it's a "mature" comic that kids, teens, and adults can all read and enjoy.

Writer J. Michael Straczynski is a comics veteran, so it's no surprise that he crafts a story that draws you in immediately, even as it covers the most familiar aspects of Superman's life. Straczynski is also a regular TV and movie scribe, so he naturally imbues his story with a cinematic pace and scope. It works amazingly well. Even a long-winded voiceover from the late Jonathan Kent, a plot device that could have gone horribly wrong, or at least been unforgivably cheesy, succeeds and inspires the reader just as it inspires Clark Kent to live up to his full potential.

Artist Shane Davis does a remarkable job not only with Metropolis but also with the legendary core cast. His Clark Kent and his Superman are young and vibrant (both recognizable but still different enough that you almost believe a pair of glasses and a nerd act are enough of a disguise for the most famous man in the world), and his Lois Lane is beautiful and lifelike. Jimmy Olsen and Perry White shine under Davis's pencils as well.

One thing the story does not have is Lex Luthor, and thankfully so.
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Format: Hardcover
This graphic novel is everything I had hoped for, and much more. I've been a fan of Superman for 10 years, but I've never been able to completely relate to Clark Kent / Superman; it always seemed like he was too perfect, too removed, too different. Well, Superman: Earth One has changed all that for me. This is a story about a young guy trying to find his way in his world, wrestling with temptations and fears, and striving to do the right thing by the people who have adopted him as one of their own. There are many moments in this novel that touched me, but two stand out: Clark "visiting" Pa Kent, and the truth behind Krypton's apocalypse.

J. Michael Straczynski's writing is full of conviction, hope and realism. Superman's world is our world, and his trials and triumphs are ours, too. Shane Davis' art is gorgeous throughout, depicting Metropolis and its citizens with a cinematic flair not too often associated with comic books. I won't spoil the story, but trust me when I say you won't be able to put it down until you reach the last page.

Do yourself a favor and read this book. And if you know a kid or a teenager lend them your copy or give them one. We all need better heroes nowadays, and Superman is the greatest of them all.

I can't wait for the sequel!!!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent story with fluid movement and a smart plot. Does not talk down to the reader or expect us to know Supes history ~ as a 51 year - old reader of the Kryptonian Mythos I thoroughly enjoyed this new twist on an old story.
I expect great things in this line of Earth One stories and especially enjoyed the Jimmy Olsen angle presented.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a longtime J Mike fan, having enjoyed his work on Real Ghostbusters, Babylon 5, Rising Stars, Squadron Supreme, Thor. . .and I'm a longtime Superman fan, too. I had high hopes for this book, thinking it'd be a case of two great tastes that taste great together. Imagine my surprise after reading it this morning and discovering that, no, J Mike fundamentally doesn't understand the character of Superman.

I know he loves the character, I know he's a longtime fan (longer than me, given the difference in our ages). But reading this comic, I got no sense that J Mike knew what that special magic is that makes Superman so very different from all the other comic book superheroes on the market today. Absolute All Star Superman did a much better job with Superman than J Mike is doing, and Grant Morrison is really much better as a Batman writer.

Overall I have to say this book is "good enough. . .I guess." The scenes involving the Daily Planet and its cast are top-notch material. Much of the rest of the story is recycled from other, often better stories into a patchwork quilt of Superman-like ideas without Superman-like heart. The art is very good, though in some places the artist trips over himself.

So what specifically went wrong with this book? (SPOILERS AHEAD)


There are a lot of great touches in Superman: Earth One. There is a scene wherein Clark buys a newspaper even though the newspaper machine is broken and he could have simply taken a Daily Planet without paying for it. The scenes with Perry White, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen working at a dessicated husk of a Daily Planet are no short of brilliant.
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14 Comments 101 of 135 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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