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Superman: Secret Origin Paperback – December 13, 2011

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$12.65 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Geoff Johns is an award-winning writer and one of the most popular contemporary comic book writers today. Johns is the author of The New York Times bestselling graphic novels Aquaman: The Trench, Blackest Night, Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War, Justice League: Origin, Superman: Brainiac and Batman: Earth One which hit #1 on the bestseller list. He is also known for transforming Green Lantern into one of the most critically and commercially successful franchises in comics.
 
Johns was born in Detroit and studied media arts, screenwriting, and film at Michigan State University. After moving to Los Angeles, he became an assistant to Richard Donner, director of Superman: The Movie. He and his mentor Donner later co-wrote Superman: Last Son featuring the return of General Zod.
 
Johns has written for various other media, including episodes of Smallville, Arrow and Adult Swim's Robot Chicken, for which he was nominated along with his co-writers for an Emmy. He is the Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment and resides in Los Angeles, California.


Gary Frank, a native of Bristol, England, began his comics career working on various titles for Marvel UK before entering the American comics scene as the penciller on Marvel’s Incredible Hulk. Frank then came to DC Comics where he was the original artist on BIRDS OF PREY and pencilled the adventures of SUPERGIRL. He has also worked on WildStorm’s GEN 13 as well as his creator-owned series Kin. Frank, along with writer Geoff Johns, has worked on the bestselling titles SUPERMAN: BRAINIAC, SUPERMAN AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. And the New York Times #1 bestseller, BATMAN: EARTH ONE.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (December 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140123299X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401232993
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Geoff Johns originally hails from Detroit, Michigan. He attended Michigan State University, where he earned a degree in Media Arts and Film. He began his comics career creating and writing Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. for DC Comics.

His first comic assignment led to a critically acclaimed run on the The Flash and JSA for DC Comics. Since then, he has quickly become one of the most popular and imaginative writers in comic books today, working on titles including a highly successful re-imagining of Green Lantern, The Flash: Rebirth, Superman: Secret Origin, Action Comics, Adventure Comics, Teen Titans, Justice Society of America, Infinite Crisis and the experimental breakout hit series 52 for DC with Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid. Geoff received the Wizard Fan Award for Breakout Talent of 2002 and Writer of the Year for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 as well as the CBG Writer of the Year 2003 thru 2005 and 2007 and 2008 and CBG Best Comic Book Series for JSA 2001 thru 2005. Geoff penned the acclaimed "Legion" episode of SMALLVILLE. He also served as a writer for the fourth season of ROBOT CHICKEN. Geoff is currently working on film projects with Warner Brothers to be announced soon.

Geoff recently became a New York Times Bestselling author with the graphic novel Superman: Brainiac with art by Gary Frank among many others.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Haslach on May 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Superman for years. Ever since I was a kid, I remember watching old Superman shows including the Tim Daly Superman. So I have seen a lot of different versions of Supes in different forms of media. This comic takes all of the most well known versions of Superman and brings them together. And that includes elements from the Superman movies starring Christopher Reeves.

Now Superman has had many retcons in his long run in DC comics. There was the Man of Steel origin which emphasized Clark Kent as more than just a disguise and as a person. There was Superman Birthright which gave insight into the relationship between Superman and Lex Luthor. This brings Superman into an amalgam of them both, emphasizing Superman's childhood as Clark Kent and his relationship with Lex Luthor as being one of envy and contempt.

Geoff Johns takes us into Clark Kent's childhood where we see as a teenager attempting to adjust to his developing powers and how they frighten him more than amaze him. We see his reaction to being an alien as one of disbelief and anger at the revelation that he can never be "normal". But we also see his adjustment and his meeting with the Legion of Superheroes and the idea of helping others that begins with the rescue of his childhood sweetheart, Lana Lang.

The Superman/Luthor relationship is as old as Superman himself. We have seen many versions of Luthor, a straight up criminal, an 80's Business man, and a despicable villain. This version of Luthor embodies the scientist and the business man. His motivations for hating Superman are a combination of envy and suspicion. Johns presents a Luthor who can't understand why, with all his power, does Superman not want anything in return.
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32 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Axel on December 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Superman Secret Origin is yet another (possibly unnecessary?) re-hash of Superman's origin, with still further claims by DC that it is the "definitive" origin for now. There have been several in the last 20 years alone and though all have their charm and attraction, SSO was billed as an ultimate intimate portrait of what made Clark Kent into Superman. Written by the prolific Geoff Johns and drawn by the definitive Superman artist of the last ten years, namely Gary Frank, SSO promised a lot.... and mostly fails to deliver. You can usually tell when a collection of stories doesn't quite hit its marks - look for a foreword or introduction by a famous person that mostly avoids talking about the actual work or makes the barest mention of the pages that follow.

Although ostensibly about Superman's "origins," Johns, in a genuine surprise, wastes no time going over where Superman is from or how he got to earth. Rather, his initial interest is in the "secret origin" if you like, of Clark Kent. To that end, much of the series is dedicated to some of the smaller moments that help Clark eventually become Superman, and in his early days, that help Superman claim his place in Metropolis. When we meet Clark, he's a young boy about to learn a crushing secret that changes his life forever. With the support of his adoptive parents, Clark quickly, (actually faster than a speeding bullet) adapts to his new status in life, gains acceptance in the form of his friendships with members of the Legion of Superheroes, and eventually moves to Metropolis, where his personal alienation from his co-workers and ordinary people is eventually eclipsed by his widespread acceptance as Superman by the people of Metropolis, although not without some significant support from Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. A. Piccolo on October 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a terrific retelling of the origin of the Man of Steel! Definitive, and concise without missing a beat, it clarifies the "why"s of this American icon. The artwork is stupendous, with a wonderful resemblance to the Christopher Reeves version (even Lana looks like Annette O'Toole). Very well designed, without a single loose end. Two thumbs up.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this rendition of Superman's origin story. On the whole I think that Geoff Johns and Gary Frank really hit a home run with this one! I am a long time Superman fan, since I grew up watching the Animated Series on Saturday mornings every week, and I have been a strong supporter of Smallville since the first season as well. There have been a lot of origin stories in the last 20 years about Superman, and let's face it, a lot of people are sick of them, at least long time fans are. I have to admit though, I am a sucker for a good origin story, and after hearing that Geoff Johns and Gary Frank were going to be writing the new "definitive" one, I was ecstatic. I loved Johns run on Action Comics, and I was glad to get more of that magic in a Superman story again. Not to mention that Gary Frank is, in my humble opinion, one of the BEST artists that the character has ever had.

When I read this story, I was not disappointed in what I read. To me, it was one of those stories I literally couldn't put down, and after reading it in its entirety, I had to sit back and reflect on what I had read. There has only been 2 other Superman books that have been able to do that to me, "For all Seasons" and "All-Star Superman". I felt that this version of the origin is true to who Superman is, a man gifted/cursed (whichever way you see it) with powers far beyond those of mortal men, who uses those powers to help his fellow man however he can, not expecting reward or compensation. Now, a lot of the origin stories do that, but I think that what drives that home for me is Gary Frank's Art. His Superman captures the look of Christopher Reeve in the original 1978 film, heroic, genuine, modest, and compassionate.

One of the things I like best about this story is how simple it is.
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