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Superman: Earth One, Volume 1 (Superman: Earth One #1)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  14,263 Ratings  ·  663 Reviews
Forget everything you know about The Man of Steel and brace yourself for a staggering new take on the world's most popular Super Hero.

Best-selling, Hugo Award-winning writer J. Michael Straczynski (Thor, Babylon 5) and red-hot rising star artist Shane Davis (Green Lantern, Superman/Batman) team up for this exciting launch of the Earth One graphic novel series. Set in an al
Hardcover, 134 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by DC Comics
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Will M.
Jul 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Maybe they should've made Geoff Johns do this series, because the Batman Earth One series is among my favorite graphic novels ever. This story arc of Superman was not bad just to be clear, but nothing was interesting on the other hand. Forgettable at best.

Actually the whole thing felt a bit rushed. It's like Stracyznski didn't give Superman the proper introduction that he deserved. I'm not a huge Superman fan, but I'm not among the haters. I don't think I've ever read a Superman graphic novel, o
mark monday
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comikon
the art is gorgeous: a vivid palette, expert linework, by turns visceral and delicate, super stylish overall. but for some reason, Shane Davis gives us a short, slender, eerie, vaguely asian Superman.

the writing is smart, the pacing works well, the ideas are compelling, the mysteries are intriguing. but J. Michael Straczynski gets it all wrong too. this is not Superman. (and it is also not Earth One - but I'm not going to go there in this review.)

many years back, Mark Gruenwald's ingenious Squa
Aria the Blue Fairy
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read a lot of Superman comic books so I can't really compare this to anything, aside from the movie adaptations that is. But I absolutely love how they showed this side of Superman.

Superman, for me, was unstoppable force. He was the person we all would never be. He is strong. Has superhuman strength. Is also super smart. What else is there? What more can this guy want? He was basically a god. But of course, that wasn't all this was.

Kal-el has a lot of weaknesses. And this story actua
Nov 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Ugh. I really wanted to like this. I love Michael Straczynski's stuff. Usually. Unfortunately, the only thing I really liked about Earth One was Shane Davis' artwork. I thought he did an awesome job updating Clark's looks. He was actually quite a hottie. Unfortunately, at the end when Clark put on the familiar costume, he ended up looking a bit like a boy playing dress-up. He seemed too short or something to be Superman. Sort of like they cast Tom Cruise to play The Man of Steel. Urp! *retching ...more
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I may be a fan of stracynski because I really enjoyed this.

Superman used to be my favourite hero and he's been written over and over so badly so many times. Each time they try and make him human to relate to the reader more because stupid batman fans keep saying "he's too strong" or "he's unrealistic" - fools! He's an alien and I love that he's really fucking strong and I love what he stands for.

So stracynski writes him as a superior here. Another origin story! Another one! However, this one w
This is a focus on Super Boy right after he leaves to “find himself” at Metropolis. He has a lot of options with his knowledge and isn't really interested in being any type of superhero. However, cataclysmic circumstances force him to become one and that really isn't much of a surprise so not a spoiler, people.

The story had its moment but it was a bit too predictable for my tastes and didn't have any interesting small moments. The artwork was absolutely beautiful and primarily done by Shane Davi
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was ok

The synopsis says it all. Superman doesn't know who he is, and that's because he's nobody but a surface version of his Golden Age self. Football star, scientist, baseball player. Which will he choose? All to buy Martha Kent a new Cadillac. He moves to the city to, I don't know, mope, creep on girls in diners, and jump into any career he wants to with only a two year degree. That's the Superman I know and love.

The "aliens attack the world" trope has become so tiresome, sudden belligerent aliens
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: superhumans, comics
This felt very much like the Man of Steel movie. That isn't really a good thing. I get that this Earth One books are supposed to be new, fresh takes on the origin stories of familiar heroes, but this one just felt off to me. And there are plenty of aspects of the story that don't make much sense. Since when is Clark enough of a genius that he can effortlessly solve equations that trained and experienced scientists have been struggling with for years? Did it never occur to Clark that putting in a ...more
Sam Quixote
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
I love Superman as much as anyone and hey I'm open to new versions of the character, so if a new Superman origin story has to happen in today's world with a twentyish Clark Kent moving out of small town Smallville to big town Metropolis, I'll go along for the ride. What people said to me about it was that this was an "emo" Superman but I didn't see that here. Sure Clark is 20 and wears a hoodie but so what? That doesn't make him emo.

No, what made me dislike this book was how booooring the story
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Don't listen to the reviews on this one. It's not terrible. From what I'd gathered, Straczynski and crew presented some emo-modernistic version of Superman with anger problems. There's nothing of the sort. Deep down there's not much different about our beloved Man of Steel. The changes to character and the origin story itself is very minor, with one significant change, which I enjoyed to tell the truth.

Clark Kent is newly arrived in Metropolis and looking for a job - a means to strike it out on
Nicolo Yu
Dec 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Superman, the original and seminal superhero, has undergone a lot of reboots ever since he leaped off the pages of Action Comics number one in 1938. It is understandable that he needs to be re-imagined every time a new generation of comic book readers comes of age. Especially, the generation whose first exposure of the character came from the television show Smallville.

This project to revitalize the character had a lot going for it. It had a capable writer and artist team with proven track recor
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Yes this *is* fresh, a very modern telling of the Superman origin story - and yet it doesn't feel *forced*, doesn't feel like you're reading or seeing things that were rammed into the story to make you think "yes, I see they took great pains to update the story - look at the cell phones! Look at how we finally drop the stupid planet-exploding-for-no-reason..."

Instead this is a very well-crafted story - JMS really has the *craft* of storytelling down, and he makes it clear it's about telling a gr
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love all the story of the young Clark arriving to Metropolis and looking for what to do with his life. However the climax, it was good but not exactly what I would expect, also they include some elements changing the reason of how Krypton exploded and that affected how people could look the staying of Superman on Earh in a whole different way. Not that I don't find creative but it wouldnt be as I would so thrilled about it. Still, it's a very good book recommended to any Superman fan. ...more
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
A baby is sent to Earth from his dying home planet, Krypton. Years later, the baby is now a young adult named Clark and moves from Kansas to Metropolis, searching for a way to fit in. He inadvertently triggers a series of events that brings an associate of his former world's destroyers to Earth, committed to hunting down the last survivor of Krypton.

It feels like the film Man of Steel was largely based on this, with the film's Zod taking the place of the verbose alien hunter Tyrell. Man of Steel
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

I'm not the biggest Superman fan in the world, but I've seen the original movie, "Man of Steel", and "Smallville" and am familiar with the basic storyline. The two biggest reason I read this were A) I had recently seen "Man of Steel" and heard this comic was used as inspiration for the movie (I can totally see the similiarities), and B) I've been on a comic book kick lately and really wanted to find a good entry point into possibly reading Superman. (The biggest problem to a newbie
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
I've read most of JMS' comic work, both DC and Marvel so I had some expectations, and to me this was 'meh'.

Superman's origin has been tweaked a few times over the years and this does the same mainly by adjusting why Kal El was sent to Earth. JMS gives a deeper meaning for his arrival, the reason for Superman's first conflict, and lays the groundwork for future stories all in one fell swoop.

There's also quite a bit more discussion between Clark and his parents regarding who he is, what he should
M. Ashraf
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I haven't watched the movie yet,but I can say from the trailer if that movie was based on a graphic novel this would be it, just remove Tyrel and add Zodd, the same everything else appear here, the whole wandering around trying to figure out what to do after school, trying everything from a football player to a scientist - maybe this note bother me but O.K -, to the invasion of alien race to find only him and the world message that broadcast all over the world with unclear image and sound as ev ...more
May 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics-manga
(This review also covers Superman: Earth One, Vol. 2)

I am still searching for a story about Superman that will make me like him, that will make his acceptance into society make sense. Based on the fact that several origin stories, along with two questionable movies, have popped up over the past decade or so that find alternate ways to give me this, I suspect that DC and its writers are still trying to figure that out as well.

You see, the reason why I don’t like him is because my thinking falls i
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Straczynski, whom I first read when he wrote some superb Thor graphic novels, re-tells the Superman origin story in Superman: Earth One. It is very similar to what we know, with some subtle differences. In this telling, apparently a young Superman (in his early 20's) moves to Metropolis for the first time to provide for his Ma Kent. Pa Kent has apparently passed away and Clark is looking for a job to provide for his mother. Now, in this storyline he already knows his powers, but not where he is ...more
Ariel Acupan
Nov 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted at PINOYPETERPAN

If you would ask a group of kids who’s their favorite superhero, I know that more than one would say Superman. He’s an icon. No need for further introduction, just Superman would suffice because everybody knows he is the Man of Tomorrow. But still, knowing how he looks like, the symbol, or the red and blue costume does not justify why he had been loved (and still is) by people . DC was right on their decision to make a “re-imagining” of Superman.

A different ta
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
From the press release for Superman: Earth One --

"Forget everything you know about The Man of Steel and brace yourself for a staggering new take on the world's most popular Super Hero."

Well not exactly. Much of Superman's back story and origins have not been altered for this new outing as much as they've been updated. Same Superman, but new packaging is the best way to put it. Or as a friend put it, "Different clothing, same hero."

Superman: Earth One is a good story, not a great one. Here we hav
Jason Bergman
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Let's be totally clear here: I am a HUGE Superman nerd. I'll read/watch anything with that shield on it. So when DC came out with a new graphic novel written by J. Michael Straczynski that let him start over from scratch, I was all over it.

This book is essentially an origin story. And in that respect, it's not bad. Straczynski picks and chooses from various depictions of Superman that we've all seen before. You'll recognize events from the comics and the Richard Donner movies here, but it's all
Mar 15, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This was between 3-4 stars for me, really. I liked many things about it, but some of it was kinda emo for my tastes. I mean, I like depth in comics, it's so hard to accomplish, but I guess it's pretty hard to humanize a character that is, by definition, closed off from everyone. Superman is unto himself, and since he had no real deep relationships in this book besides his mother, it was hard to root for him. There were some cool parts, and the art was great though. Would recommend the read!
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
You can find my review of this comic at:

Yours truly,


Lashaan & Trang | Bloggers and Book Reviewers
Official blog:
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: man-of-steel
3.5 rounded up to 4/5 Based on the reviews I've read, I was not expecting to like this, but I actually quite enjoyed it.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I got this because JMS is a hero of mine. When Babylon 5 (JMS' masterpiece, IMO) began in 1994, JMS started a forum on CompuServ which I was on. He was the first celebrity I'd ever interacted with online. He still actively interacts with his fans through a variety of forums. An amazing, creative man.

I grew up with Golden and Silver age Superman and Superboy, so this book was a bit of an eye-opener, being the 1st modern Superman I've read. I can't honestly say I like the modern take on Superman's
Reev Robledo
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
There are a lot of reboot origin stories of well-known superheroes both in the Marvel and DC camp. Some are faithful to the canon, some veer way off. Superman: Earth One is somewhere in between.

The premise:
The first part deals with a young Clark Kent looking for a job...looking for his identity..."My place in this world" crap—it's not the central theme that's crappy, it's how it developed that was. Somehow after all these superhero remakes both in comics and the movies, you begin to realize that
Rory Wilding
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
“Too vague, too fuzzy, too cute.”

Having been around for over seventy-five years, the origin story of Superman has always been revisited, with writers and artists providing their own revision to the point that everyone has their own idea of what the Man of Steel should be. Following terrific reinterpretations such as Mark Waid’s Birthright and Geoff Johns’ Secret Origin, Superman: Earth One by J. Michael Straczynski and illustrated by Shane Davis was the inaugural title of the new, ongoing OGN se
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I’m nearly at a loss for words.

I recently finished reading the trade paperback for Superman: Earth One and without a doubt, it’s one of the best Superman comics I’ve read in a LOOONG time. Regular followers of my blog will recall my prior complaints about Action Comics Vol 2 and how it had essentially “dumbed down” the story behind the man of steel; force-feeding insincere and contrived dialogue that just didn’t fit. Earth One is the complete opposite. It stands on it’s own as a near-perfect exa
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  • Green Lantern, Volume 6: Secret Origin
  • Superman: Birthright
  • Green Lantern Corps, Volume 6: Blackest Night
  • Superman Unchained #1
  • Superman: Action Comics, Volume 1: Superman and the Men of Steel
  • Superman/Batman, Vol. 7: The Search for Kryptonite
  • Superman/Batman, Vol. 2: Supergirl
  • Green Arrow, Vol. 1: Quiver
Joseph Michael Straczynski (born July 17, 1954), known professionally as J. Michael Straczynski and informally as Joe Straczynski or JMS, is an American writer and television producer. He works in films, television series, novels, short stories, comic books, and radio dramas. He is a playwright, a former journalist, and author of The Complete Book of Scriptwriting. He was the creator and showrunne ...more
More about J. Michael Straczynski...

Other Books in the Series

Superman: Earth One (3 books)
  • Superman: Earth One, Volume 2
  • Superman: Earth One, Volume 3
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