Superman: Secret Origin #1

Besides being an excellent author, Geoff Johns must be one hell of a chef. Able to take even the most stale ingredients and make a mouth-watering buffet of brain-steak. Superman Secret Origin shouldn’t appeal to me in the slightest. I’m not a Superman fan (except for the films and a handful of extraordinary graphic novels). I, like most of the general population, am aware of the origin of Supes. And yet here Johns takes elements from the Smallville television show, the Superman movies and the original origin story and cooks up something that tastes different then I was expecting.

The pencils by Gary Frank, one of my fave artists working today, are quality as always, and he’s pulling the same trick that’s been getting me for the past couple years, in that he’s drawing Clark to match the facial features of Christopher Reeve (the most well-known actor to wear the tights on film), which is even more impressive this time, owing to the fact that he’s attempting a TEEN version of Christopher Reeve. He slips a time or two and makes our young Kent look a little too old, but not so much that you get pulled from the story.

I won’t give too much away since it’s still wednesday, but the story follows a trail through all the different versions of the origin, keeping a red-headed Lana Lang, the correlation between sexual arousal and heat-vision from Smallville, pulling a cornfield save from Superman 3, the pre-original Crisis relationship ‘tween a still-follicled Lex Luthor and Clark and the fact that he develops powers before reaching adulthood. I like that Johns has given Clark a confused,  frightened reaction to the emergence of his new powers. I’d be freaking out too, kid. One tiny thing that made me chuckle though was the sequence where we’ve established that someone running into Clark would break bones, and yet as young Kent runs through a cornfield, he trips on foliage? Seems like he would blow right through flimsy plant life, while running, but whatever. That’s just me being picky!

Best moment of the issue is the last page which has a Christmas Story-esque scene that was also so rooted in the reality of the situation that it made me laugh out loud.

Only 5 more issues of this? Bummer.

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