Early reviews for the first entry in the DC Comics brand new line of graphic novels, Superman: Earth One by writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Shane Davis, are out and so far they’ve been pretty mixed, but one specific write-up stood out amongst the others.
In an article in The New York Post yesterday, the writer refers to Superman’s new look in Superman: Earth One as “more Robert Pattinson from the Twilight movies than Christopher Reeve from the Superman films.” I have yet to read the book yet, but oh boy… there’s so much wrong with this.
The article focuses a lot of attention on the different approaches that JMS has taken with the character in this new universe, basically calling Superman a moody hipster, which is kind of hilarious if you think about that for a second. My main problem with the article is not necessarily what is reported in the news, but what they chose to focus on. This piece is nothing more than a modern fashion article with references to hoodies and skinny ties, but DC Comics has always attempted to keep fashion relevant when updating a character (in an alternate universe in this instance).
He wears hoodies, has smoldering eyes and, as a lanky Clark Kent, wears low-cut pants and hipster skinny ties. Artist Shane Davis also made him less physically imposing — shorter and less beefy — than he has traditionally been depicted.
But you know what, I and countless other comics fans that pay attention to upcoming releases, which most of us do, knew that DC was approaching Superman in a modern era, so to me, this is not shocking at all, the changes they have made are exactly in line with what they’ve been saying all along.
What is shocking, however, is a lot of the fan reaction to this article, which basically labels the book as Superman for the Twilight age. No, this is not the Superman you’re accustomed to, this is a re-imagining of the character, and if you’re familiar with Smallville at all, it seems to be a very similar take on the character. So, don’t freak out, Superfans, keep an open mind, and let the work stand on its own. Don’t let The New York Post’s opinion of fashion determine whether you like the book or if you’ll give it a chance . But honestly, what else would you have Superman dress like in street clothes, while staying relevant? Also, if they chose not to change Clark Kent/Superman’s attitude, how would it be different than Secret Origins? No matter what, I’m looking forward to forming my own opinion of this book.
If the preview /Film is any indication, I don’t think we have anything to worry about.
Superman: Earth One will be released in comic book stores tomorrow, October 27, 2010, and in stores everywhere on November 2, 2010.