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Superman: Secret Origin Paperback – December 13, 2011

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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: 10.1 x 6.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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

Also Clark/ Superman in here feels like a version of Christopher Reeve's Superman, which is fun and awesome to see.
Jack Preston Marshall II
Considering the New 52 invalidates this book as well as any other origin story prior to 2011, I think this is a worthwhile read just for the fun of it.
Just ME
Superman has the most known origin in comics and another version is pointless unless its leads to new developments overall, which this didn't.
S. Penrose

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 42 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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jon Webster on August 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
You have got to hand it to Geoff Johns. He has become the guiding light and voice of DC comics over the past decade. With JSA, Green Lantern, and the Flash, he breathed new life into the characters. He also attempted to do this with Superman.

This was the official origin of the Post Infinite Crisis Superman. Six issues that took him from Smallville to Metropolis. The problem is that we've seen this all before, mostly in his Action Comics Run. It's not to say that he's a bad writer, but the story lacks the heart and passion of many of his other efforts. It reads like he is going through the motions in addition to having a shopping list of things that will foreshadow the New Krypton folly. He reintroduces the Legion of Superheroes for 10 pages, but the flashback is nearly identical to the one in an earlier story. Very little new ground is covered.

The art by Gary Frank is nice. His Superman looks like Christopher Reeve and there was obviously some time for him to work at his own pace.

I think the biggest problem I had with the story was that it felt just like Superman: The Movie with a bit of Smallville thrown it. Scenes have been lifted from the source material in a patchwork fashion and it feels like it. I'd rather but on the original film than read this.
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