The first volume of SUPERMAN EARTH ONE had some interesting aspects to it. The whole notion of the Earth One universe is to give us a different look at these characters. It's an opportunity for writers to give a slightly different take on characters that have existed for decades. The basic origin of the characters is known but this is where we can see some updates and have a story be completely accessible to new readers.
The problem is, is it really necessary? Everyone knows Superman's origin. Krypton was going to blow up, his father placed him in a spaceship and sent him off to Earth. He later found that Earth's yellow sun gave him extraordinary powers and he became a hero. Some of this is even being touched on in the New 52 in ACTION COMICS.
Where the EARTH ONE stories have an advantage is being able to look at a younger, less experienced Superman and place him in a modern, slightly more realistic world. This is where my interest lies in the whole idea of EARTH ONE stories. I want to see Clark/Superman as a little more human. Clark here isn't a perfect boy scout as often portrayed. He's a little less in control of his powers and emotions. That's what you would expect for someone raised to believe they were just as human as everyone else until the day they found out they were from a different planet and now had super powers.
Continuing from the first volume, Clark has a position at the Daily Planet after his exclusive interview with Superman. Now it's a matter of finding the next big story while Lois Lane can't help but be a mixture of annoyed and suspicious with him. Clark finds a place to live, it's not in the greatest part of town. He meets and gets close to a neighbor while getting settled into things.
As for a villain, Superman does have a couple confrontations with others. One is dealing with a dictator in another country. This brings up the topic of how involved Superman should get in worldly affairs. With all his power, does he have the right or responsibility to try to police the world?
The main threat is the coming of Parasite. If I'm being honest, I've never been the biggest Parasite fan. He does provide a good threat against Superman. For a character that is so incredibly powerful, a villain that can drain that power and use it against him is a good way to go. Parasite has a slightly different look which is better than his normal pink appearance. He still isn't the coolest looking villain but does the job of being the big threat in town.
Just as with the first, this was a book I really wanted to like. The problem is, I found myself not really caring too much towards the end. As much as I enjoy the opportunity for Clark, Lois and Jimmy to be portrayed differently, the fact that they're a little difficult to like makes it harder to want to stick with their story. Even the appearance/tease of Lex Luthor for what I assume will be a third volume wasn't enough to get me cheering as I read.
The story has good art. Shane Davis does a great job in clearly establishing that this is not the regular Superman/New 52 world. These are the same characters yet they are completely different. The battle scenes and tiny bits of detail make it nice to look at.
Would I pick up a third volume of SUPERMAN EARTH ONE? That's a tough question. I didn't hate this story. I just didn't love it. I was left feeling pretty ambivalent about it all. I was hoping for more and a little let down. I love the idea of a younger, more arrogant and even slightly more selfish version of Superman. I just wasn't 'wowed' by this story enough to immediately scream out how much I dug it.
If you enjoyed the first volume, chances are you've already picked this one up or are planning to.