Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Above: Artwork from the cover to SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGINS #1.

DC Comics is retelling Superman’s origin… again… with SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGINS. Major Spoilers has an excellent review of the first issue:

While the changed universe following the most recent Crisis is probably a good enough reason, that nagging lawsuit concerning the title character and his younger self seem more likely a reason to retell some of the events in a way that is similar but uniquely original. So is this new telling really a derivative work?

That’s a question that is best left to the lawyers and the judges who are much more knowledgeable regarding these issues, but from what I see, there are plenty of attempts to do something original, but it just doesn’t come off quite right. On the plus side, Johns avoided all mentions of Clark Kent being rocketed to Earth to escape an exploding Krypton – no really, read the Jor-El segment again, and you’ll see no mention of an exploding planet was made. Likewise, the young Christopher Reeve doesn’t have superpowers from the moment he reaches the planet’s surface, but instead starts to gain powers near puberty.

In SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGINS, the young Clark Kent does look like a young Christopher Reeve. Kinda creepy.

I don’t have a problem with the Jerry Siegel family owning the Superman property. They already own half of the copyright to ACTION COMICS #1. They may end up owning Superboy, as well. And I think they own Krypton, too, now, don’t they?

Anyway, this is all unnecessary. I think John Byrne did an excellent job with the MAN OF STEEL mini-series from the 1980s. Other than what was mentioned in the Major Spoilers review, I don’t see the purpose to SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGINS. This new series seems as pointless as the previous Superman origin retcon, SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT.

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