The Asgardian Trade Commission 11/7/10

Posted on November 7, 2010. Filed under: Reviews |

By Erik Lewis, Lead Blogger

So, it’s Sunday afternoon, and I hope you all remembered to turn your clocks back last night.  If you’re having trouble thinking of something to do with your extra hour, why not start off by reading this week’s Asgardian Trade Commission?  It won’t take you a whole hour, I know, but it’s a start.  This week, we have a book that’s been getting an awful lot of press, so why not throw more wood on the fire?

Superman: Earth One HC

DC Comics, $19.99

J. Michael Straczynski, Shane Davis, Eddie Berganza, Adam Schlagman

Superman: Earth One has been called the “Superman book for the Twilight crowd,” and it’s essentially an update of Superman’s origin story to fit a more modern setting.  Throughout the book, we get to see a younger Clark Kent trying to make his way through life, trying to decide what he wants to be.  He visits a lab to try and help out with his incredible mind(which an awful lot of Superman writers forget he has), and tries out for a football team to show his athletic prowess, and initially rejects the idea of being a news reporter.  Straczynski takes us through what amounts to a day(or week, or so) in the life of Clark Kent, and it’s all very interesting, if a bit too introspective and emotional for some.  He takes us through all of that and what makes it worth reading, what makes it more than just a retold origin, is that he makes it mean something with simple characters, which is not to say one-dimensional characters, but simple characters who inspire the greatest among us without even knowing it.  It’s a story that’s good enough just based on the characters that I was actually a little disappointed when Superman was given something to hit.  That’s right, when the planet was threatened and it was time for Superman to do what he’s know best for, saving the human race, it was a bit of a let down.  I’d be interested to read more stories in this world, and I hope this isn’t the last one that DC has for us.  Shane Davis is someone I recognize from his work on some recent Green Lantern stuff, notable the Rage of the Red Lanterns, and he absolutely turns in his best work here.  Every shot in the book is believable, for the first part, yet stunning.  Each action sequence flows seamlessly, and there was not a single part that I had to reread for lack of clarity.  Altogether, as a story, Superman: Earth One is a very capable book.  If you’re not willing to shell out the $19.99 for it, at least get it when it comes to paperback, as I’d imagine it would be cheaper, or borrow it from a friend.  New readers and longtime Superman or DC fans can definitely enjoy this book.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

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2 Responses to “The Asgardian Trade Commission 11/7/10”

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I can’t get over my JMS problems to even consider this. And I say that as a guy who rather liked Babylon 5 and JMS’ early comic work (Rising Stars and Midnight Nation). I didn’t like how JMS handled Spidey. And I’m no where near the fan of Spidey that I am of Superman.

That said, I’m glad to read this review and know that JMS didn’t do something horribly offensive like reveal Lois made babies with Lex or something. Yet. Or maybe he’s saving that reveal for the regular Superman title.

I do find it odd that DC has published several Superman origin stories in the last few years. Granted, you state it’s more than that, but I find it fascinating that Superman stories can’t move past this tale. Whatever your feelings are about All Star Superman, at least there is a tale that breaks new ground rather than rehash the ‘old faithful’ of Superman stories.

Maybe that’s what bugs me the most about this. I’d rather see JMS break new ground with his own creations even. Let’s see more Rising Stars-type stories where he isn’t restrained by what’s come before or what has to happen later.

A lot of what you said about JMS’ run on Spider-Man were editorial mandates, not his actual ideas for the story, but even so, I get what you’re saying and I totally agree that we need something more like Rising Stars.

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