Rating: 5/5 – A Super Story Focusing on Clark Kent’s First Days in Metropolis.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
In his forward, Marv Wolfman says: “I may be totally deluded, but I truly believe this story is arguably the best Superman story I ever wrote.” You’re not deluded, Marv. This is a pretty awesome Superman story. One of the best I have ever read.
Wolfman also gives some history to the story, originally written for the Superman Confidential series between 2006 and 2008, and drawn back then by artist Claudio Castellini, that series was cancelled before the story ever saw print and it has been sitting complete for over a decade. This is 4 full issues of content and since the Superman Confidential series had a price tag of $2.99 per issue, we would have had to pay $11.96 for the 4 issues 10 years ago…. so paying $9.99 for all 4 issues as one giant 100-page Spectacular is a pretty good deal. Even better considering the normal price of a comic is now $3.99 which would put 4 issues at $15.96.
On to the story. Wolfman deftly zeroes in about what makes Superman special to me. It is the MAN more than the SUPER. He has all these powers and he chooses to do good. He chooses to do the right thing. Superman is an inspirational hero and represents the best parts of humanity even though he is the last son of Krypton (for which we can credit his upbringing in Kansas). He is what heroes should aspire to be. Is is this core that I find attractive and Wolfman spends that vast majority of the four chapters focusing on Clark going through the key transitional period when he has arrived in Metropolis but has not yet donned his uniform. He is going through the final bits of character building that get him ready to don that uniform, and what better to help shape that decision than initial encounters with Lois Lane and Lex Luthor (and by the way, Wolfman cuts to the core of these iconic characters as well, emphasizing what makes both of them tick). We don’t see Superman in the familiar red-and-blue much at all, which may disturb some readers, but the whole of the story builds to that final moment where he transitions from being the “flying man” to truly becoming Superman.
What about the art? Claudo Castellini did a fabulous job of keeping my interest despite the lack of big super-hero action and splashy costumed battles. The storytelling is carried by the the characters as they move through their world and interact with one another. Wolfman’s words and Castellini’s art blended together to carry me through the tale, keeping my rapt attention from start to finish. I loved how Clark has to buckle down and show the determination to win a job at the Daily Planet. This is a top newspaper, and he’s usually shown as just walking in the door having been given a job. There are also some nice moments as he realizes that he really needs to be a bit more careful about concealing his identity. Wolfman fills in some blanks in the Clark/Superman backstory for us admirably, and Castellini steps up and beautifully renders each and every moment.
This 100-page 4 chapter story is well worth finding, though I understand it is selling out at many stores. Hopefully it will get a second print or be added to some collection. It deserves to stay in print and available to fans who would like to read a really nice “behind the scenes” story about Clark Kent as he transitions to his more famous identity. I also appreciate that no attempt is made to shoehorn it into current DC continuity. It’s a nice tale that stands on its own outside of the shackles of a continuity that changes fairly regularly anyway. This is highly recommended for all fans of the man behind the Superman.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
http://comicspectrum.com/ By Fans who Love Comics For Fans who Love Comics