Note: We talked to J. Michael Straczynski about this book HERE.
I was always on the fence with the Earth One books. When the first came out, I didn't really understand the point or need to re-do Superman's origin, especially with the New 52 about to start up. There is something to the concept. With the Earth One universe, there is some flexibility to tell a different kind of story with the familiar characters without having to be tied down to years of continuity or other characters. J. Michael Straczynski gave us a younger and more brash Superman. If I recall correctly, he could even be a bit of a jerk. But we did see him become a hero in a world that wasn't sure what to make of him. The second volume continued that journey with some still not sure what to make of Superman.
This third volume is probably my favorite of the three. Superman has become somewhat established and Clark Kent is working on making his way at the Daily Planet. We're seeing his relationships form with Lois and Jim (it's weird not thinking of him as Jimmy). We also have the new character, Lisa Lasalle, who adds a different feel to the book as well.
With the story here, Superman has two battles to fight. There are elements of the government that are obviously concerned with him. When another character comes up, we have the perfect foe for Superman to battle. What we want in a story like this is an opponent that can go toe to toe with Superman that has a mix of brain and brawn. There some layers to the character that makes him a big problem for Superman. Compared to the a similar story we've recently seen, I found the conclusion here more satisfactory.
Ardian Syaf takes over the art duties in this volume. He adds a nice touch to the characters, keeping the feel we've seen in the other volumes as well as creating some new looks on other characters and concepts we've seen in the previous stories.
Some parts of the story feel a little like we've seen it before. It's not too much since there is the "Earth One" feel to the world.
The art is good but there are some points it falters a bit. In some panels, you'll notice inconsistencies. For the most part, it's all pretty slick but the few moments things shift a little, it becomes slightly distracting.
The more I read Earth One books, the more on board I become. The first Superman volume had an interesting beginning but the second
felt a little lacking. This third volume kicks things up in a nice big way. Straczynski is taking a familiar conflict and adding his touch and the Earth One feel to it. Ardian Syaf handles the art and adds some nice touches with some new character designs. SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE is Superman story anyone can jump into. You don’t have to worry about any baggage and it’s a refreshing way to get a different sort of Superman story.