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Superman: Birthright

(Superman: Birthright #1-12)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  10,453 ratings  ·  437 reviews
The entire modern day retelling of Superman — from his early days in Smallville with Lana Lang and Lex Luthor, to his first meeting with Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White in Metropolis — is recounted in this lavish hardcover collection by writer Mark Waid and artists Leinil Francis Yu and Gerry Alanguilan! SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT collects the best-selling, critically acc ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published October 2005 by DC Comics (first published September 2003)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  10,453 ratings  ·  437 reviews

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Sean Gibson
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I think it’s safe to say that Mark Waid loves Superman like I love my children. And, I REALLY love my children. So, there’s that.

Look, I’m a Marvel zombie. As a general rule, I’ll take a mediocre Spider-Man book over a good Green Lantern book any day. To trot out a hoary old chestnut that’s not necessarily true anymore, Marvel heroes are human, fallible, and relatable, whereas their DC counterparts are godlike, perfect, and aloof. They’re just more interesting.

But, here comes Waid, his writing
Sam Quixote
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow, where do I start? The short review of this book is: Birthright is the ONLY Superman origin book you need to read, it’s the book Mark Waid was born to write, and it is a true literary masterpiece.

That’s the short version. The longer version that will now follow will read like a firebrand preacher babbling on about the Saviour, etc. because reading this book and being an atheist, I had the same reaction and feelings that I imagine religious people do when they hear stories about Jesus or who
Paz R.M.
4.5 Stars
Let it be known that this was the book that made me a Superman fan.
This modern retelling of Superman's origin story is everything I never knew I wanted.

Granted, this is my second time reading a Superman solo book, so maybe I'll find better stories (looking at you All Star. The hype is real.) But the fact is, I connected to this story, I smiled, laughed, I even got emotional. Mark Waid takes this invulnerable character and humanizes it in ways I wasn't expecting. At the end, this book
David Schaafsma
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
A superman origin story, and a very good one, fleshing out what you already knew, maybe, with some interesting twists, such as that Lex Luthor at one point knows more about Superman than Clark himself does, using this info against him in an epic Metropolis take-over attempt. It actually early on has a scene in Africa, with some social justice background for Superman's future work as journalist and superhero. We get to see background on how Luthor got to be the way he is, too; they were once sort ...more
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The last son of Krypton. Let him never forget.
Superman: Birthright ~~ Mark Waid


I grew up reading Superman. I loved his stories of truth and honesty and goodness. In “Superman Birthright” we have a story worthy of Superman's greatness. There are some truly great Superman choices out there these days, but for me, 'Birthright is one of the best. It's a must read story if you love Superman. It's a must read story if you want to learn about Superman. And, last but certainly not least, it's a must rea
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was what I was hoping for from Superman for All Seasons, but didn't quite get. One reason Birthright was such a good retelling of Superman's origin, was that it made his story much more modern and relevant. And it did this without changing the core of his story or personality.
Johnathan and Martha Kent helping Clark come up with his disguise was definitely one of my favorite parts of this book! Also, you can really see why Clark falls so hard for Lois in this one. Awwww! I'm such a sucker fo
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

There were some creative changes I dug - like Clark Kent being an established reporter long before Superman came into Metropolis and the journalist donned his hat at the daily planet. This makes more sense of him passing his dual personas off without people catching on. His parents help him make the costume, even with a joke about the glasses not fooling anyone.

I like the connection with both parents living and the e-mails back and forth through the crisis's in The Daily Planet. After the intro
Definitely my new favorite Supe's origin (ever-so slightly ahead of Superman: Earth One, Vol. 1).

So here's the rundown. Luthor knows more about Superman's origins than he does.

And he proceeds to go out of his way to use all of this knowledge against Superman. It's actually quite genius. But just when everyone thinks Superman is going to throw in the towel?

Of course he has a little help from his greatest friend/admirer.

My favorite part was probably Perry's list of reasons to keep or fire Lois.

Dec 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Terence by: Sam Quixote
"Here it is, the support group for people who hate fictional characters."

I walk in, sit down, and patiently wait my turn.

This is your first time here, right? Why don't you stand up and introduce yourself.

"Hi I'm Terence and I hate a fictional character."

Hi Terence the group says in unison.

"Hi, so the fictional character I hate is Superman."

Gasps, shocked faces, and the rustling sound of people sucking air sharply through their teeth is all I hear.

"Oh come on I can't be the only one. I mean yes y
One of the best origin stories of Superman I've read, maybe The Best. Beautifully written, thoughtfully characterized and intricately detailed updated origin of Man of Steel appropriate for the 21st century. With proper amount of cynicism and fear reflected from the people when Superman showed up, which is a realistic take for this post-9/11 modern world if ever a superpowered alien suddenly came zipping through our sky. Contrastingly we get a perfect idea of why Superman is the icon of hope and ...more
Rory Wilding
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After my disappointment with Superman: Earth One, Volume One , I felt the need to revisit other titles featuring the Man of Steel and what better way than to reread Superman: Birthright by Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu. I have previously discussed in a number of reviews about creators’ fascination at reinterpreting Superman’s origin and despite terrific revamps by Mark Millar and Geoff Johns, Mark Waid – who has written for many superheroes for DC and Marvel – shows he has the biggest fanbo ...more
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There is a little over a decade of comic book writing I need to catch up on. I loved comics and collected religiously from my early teens to my mid-twenties, then I drifted away from comics for a long time. Only now, now that my kids are discovering comics, have I found my way back to this world I love so deeply, and now that I am back in comic book land, I get to come to fantastic works I missed out on the first time around. Enter Superman: Birthright.

With the possible exceptions of Batman, Spi
Jonathan Terrington

Let me clear all the baggage out of the way in one bold claim: this is the best Superman story I have ever read, period. End of story. Sure, Geoff Johns wrote a pretty solid reimagining of Superman with Superman: Secret Origin and I've been told the Grant Morrison Action Comics, Vol. 1: Superman and the Men of Steel is meant to be grand but I don't care, I've encountered Mark Waid's vision and it is amazing.

For those who are new or have no clue in regard to the world of graphic novels, comic bo
Gianfranco Mancini

You'll believe a man can fly

When Mark Waid writes at his best, he is one of the best authors in the comics industry.
This 12 issues retelling of the Man of Steel origin is a real masterwork, a well done reboot for the new generations of readers and diehard fans too.
All classic characters and storyline elements are here (escape from dying Krypton, growing in Smallville, Pa and Ma Kent, Lex Luthor, Perry White, Jim(my) Olsen and Lois Lane) with some twists that make Waid's origin tale his tale:
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was a modern day retelling of Superman's origin set during the modern time well modern time circa 2003 so not to modern as it's 2019 now and the updated time is already 16 years past but still a fun fun read and it was fun read about Supes start in the modern times and we have almost all the major points like his journey as a secret superhero, his initial journey to earth, his search for his truth, creation of his dress, Louis Lane, Jim, Mr. White, Lex Luthor etc. and this deals with Clark's ...more
Mark Waid's classic graphic novel was an attempt to update Superman's origin for a modern audience, and it's considered one of the best Superman stories and the definitive origin tale. It was even used as inspiration for Zack Snyder's Man of Steel movie. And reading it, you can totally see the influences. But I wasn't as smitten with this book as many others were. I found it a bit plodding and at times, actually boring, which is a real crime for a superhero book. I really disliked the art as wel ...more
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wow, ANOTHER Superman origin story, because we really need one of these don't we.

I just don't get it. Superman's origin is boring AF. Why keep reimagining it, when instead like All-Star superman the writer could expand on his current universe. Yes we fucking know he's from a planet called Krypton that blew up. There are starving children in undeveloped countries that probably know that.

Why keep boring us with this same material. Here is a list of just some of the retellings of supermans' origin
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Superman Birthright is a Mark Waid retelling of the Superman origin story. In a 12 issue series it starts with the destruction of Krypton. Though mostly the same as in other Superman origin stories, it has subtle differences. Then the story jumps to Clark Kent on Earth. He is now in his 20's and a reporter, covering some African backwater ethnic conflict. During this reporting he gets the idea to "do something" to help others. The story then goes through with him returning to Smallville to enlis ...more
James DeSantis
Aug 10, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a great book for someone who's never read Superman before.

This book goes through Clark first starting his Superman persona and getting the city to learn who he is (and what he stands for). Watching Superman save people, go head to head with Luther, and of course dealing with the inner turmoil of who he is and what he should do. It has all the elements to make it one of the best comics ever.

Except I read better Superman stories this year. Both had a deeper look into life as Clark. Both
Jesse A
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good. Not my favorite Superman origins book but still good.
Bryan Nyaude
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I Still don't get how metropolis cant tell that Clark Kent is Superman. I mean, he is not even wearing a mask or something, just a pair of glasses and suits. Still a great read, nonetheless.
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This got 5 stars from me because I generally just don't care about Superman. Thus, like with the novel be Tom DeHaan, "It's Superman!" when a Superman story can interest me to a major degree, it's impressive. Of course, it's hard to tell that from what I've reviewed, but to be fair, All-Star Superman is also widely regarded as a masterpiece of Superman stories.

Birthright does a new origin story and yet isn't boring. The updated Daily Planet, the Smallville-esque way of incorporating Lex into Cla
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Another Superman Origin story, after Secret Identity, which I tremendously enjoyed. Mark Waid's Birthright is a very solid reboot for the 21st Century/Post 9-11/Terrorism Age. This Superman isn't accepted right off the bat, people aren't sure what to make, and it's there that Lex Luthor takes full advantage to try and destroy Superman before he really gets started.
This is great because it has Superman/Clark admit fully that while he can read fast, Lex is a genius of unparalleled levels. This is
Jedi JC Daquis
Jul 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Superman: Birthright is an excellent origin story. If you get the impulse to know how exactly Supes started, then this is the only comic book you need. The subplots on the other hand are just ordinary. It touches on so many points of Clark's life that it doesn't really go deep on most of them.

Birthright's story started strong. The Africa story is a heartfelt and a convincing anecdote in Kent's life to don the red cape (and underwear) and carry the great moral responsibility. After that, the Cla
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is probably the best origin story of Superman because it doesn't waste any time getting into the story, by that i mean half of this trade isn't just farm boy Kent learning that he has powers and how to deal with um, there's no angst and the usual origin drama. The beginning sees Clark in Africa and how it leads him to become Supes which is different take and it works well.

It's probably one of the first trades of Supes i've read where i liked how all the characers were written, Lois has a p
Garrett price
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
An interesting Superman origin story that inspired Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Superman's origin. Again... At least it looks pretty too, though the artwork started to tire me out half-way through. The insight into Lex and Clark's pasts are the best. Current day events seem to be there just to provide a frame for the flashbacks. Clark is the goody-two-shoes who wants to help people, but needs to hide among the regular people to do so. His behavior is perhaps too successful in hiding him in plain sight, since nobody notices or befriends him, making him feel utterly alone. Le ...more
Jan 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphicnovel
In some ways, what Waid is trying to do with this graphic novel is the exact opposite of what Tom De Haven was attempting in his (prose) novel It’s Superman. That book returns Supes’ origin story back to the 1930s, the era when the character was conceived; Birthright updates it to modern times with things like an internet-savvy Martha Kent and a Lois Lane who’s striving to break stories on The Daily Planet’s blog.

While it did not blow me away quite like It’s Superman, Birthright was still really
May 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
This is another reread and once again Mark Waid proves that he can write a good story. All of the main points of Superman's origin are there: leaving Krypton, living in Smallville, becoming a reporter in Metropolis, but Waid focuses more on who Clark is and why he decides to finally put on the cape and boots. He tweaks the smaller stuff, such as having Lex living in Smallville for a short time, to help drive some of the drama in the second half.

Halfway through reading this I realized that I was
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've been reading both a fair amount of Superman books and various titles featuring the involvement of Mark Waid this year. Superman: Birthright is a great combination of character and writer. With nodding references to the 50's TV series and '78 blockbuster (among others), this updates the Man of Steel's well-known origin to the 21st century. From the scenes on the Kent family farm to Perry White's pros/cons list on keeping/firing Lois Lane, this had the right amount of heart and humor to mix i ...more
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Mark Waid (born March 21, 1962 in Hueytown, Alabama) is an American comic book writer. He is best known for his eight-year run as writer of the DC Comics' title The Flash, as well as his scripting of the limited series Kingdom Come and Superman: Birthright, and his work on Marvel Comics' Captain America.

Other books in the series

Superman: Birthright (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Superman: Birthright #1
  • Superman: Birthright #2
  • Superman: Birthright #3
  • Superman: Birthright #4
  • Superman: Birthright #5
  • Superman: Birthright #6
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  • Superman: Birthright #8
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  • Superman: Birthright #10

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