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Superman: Birthright Paperback – October 1, 2005
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"...a rich retelling and revamping of Superman's origin."—The Fourth Rail
Top Customer Reviews
What makes the Man of Tomorrow take his stand? What goes through a young boy's mind that causes him to don tights and a cape and a big red "S" and stand up to fight for truth, justice, and the American way? These are questions that get asked when the real question is, "Why should we care about a man who cannot be hurt?"
These are the questions that Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu set out to answer in Superman: Birthright.
This book was the big effort from DC to bring the Man of Steel into the 21st century, and it was the job of the writer, artist, and the rest of the collaborators to accomplish this while keeping true to the spirit of the character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster. A new view of a familiar origin was needed, a new perspective on characters that had been loved for over six decades, and Superman Birthright accomplishes all that and more.
We first see Superman as Kal El, infant son of Jor El and Lara during Krypton's last dying hours. The familiar elements are there - his parents will send him to earth where his Kryptonian biology will gain incredible powers from the radiation of Earth's yellow sun, but before he goes, he is wrapped in the Flag of Krypton and given a recordings of its history. This is where Waid and Yu really start to dig into the mythology and explore some new motivations. The "S" symbol is not just the El family crest, not just a sign on a blanket sent with the last son of Krypton to his new home - it is a reminder of his heritage, a symbol of his people and what they stood for, and something that Clark Kent will always carry with him.Read more ›
The writing is outstanding. Mark Waid, author of my favorite comic Kingdom Come, has a firm grasp on the character of Superman. Additionally, he can portray the whole cast of Superman characters, from Lois to Lex, with wit, energy, and engaging dialogue. The story is very linear, despite it literally crossing continents. The chapters are not broken up by issue covers, which is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the story flows without stopping. On the other hand, I find these natural breaks allow for material to be digested. This is minor, and doesn't reflect the quality of writing, but I felt is important enough to make note of.
The plot is extraordinary, and respects the history of Superman while also creating something new for the reader to enjoy. There is humor, tragedy, and adventure in Birthright, exposing the reader to several flavors of Superman stories. The origin of Lex Luthor is especially enjoyable, as it both humanizes and demonizes the megalomaniac. This is an origin story, but it's refreshing and deep. Superman's origin was given for years as just one page containing all the essentials. It takes skill to expand on this and make it interesting. Waid does this with ease.
The art is great, though it took some getting used to.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing! Really love the more in depth look on superman and his struggle with his purpose on earth. A definite read for any superman fan. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
After more than 60 years, DC Comics decided it was time to revisit the origins of Superman. For this, they turned to the Golden Ages biggest fans, Mark Waid. Read morePublished 1 month ago by James B.
This Comic is well written and well drawn. I have just started to read superman comics and this is a really good one. Read morePublished 4 months ago by vincent
After more than 60 years, it is time to retell the story of the origin of Superman, and this book is it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by The Reviewer Formerly Known as Kurt Johnson
Amazing. This book should be a movie. I just spent two hours reading this graphic novel. Man, I was so impressed. Read morePublished 13 months ago by John R. Gigliotti