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Old 10-24-2013, 07:36 PM   #239
Cain
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Default Re: The Official Superman Thread - Part 5

Birthright is much better than Secret Origin if you ask me. It's a lot more inventive and it resonated a lot more with me. I'll put it this way I haven't read either since they were first published yet I still recall a lot from Birthright like I last read it yesterday. I can't seem to really remember anything from Secret Origin and that was 3 years ago compared to 9 for Birthright.

I suppose Secret Origin has good art but it has no heart and felt very disingenuous. At the end of the day pretty pencils and inks aren't everything. I would buy posters instead of comic books if that's all I wanted. It felt like Johns was really playing it safe. Rushing through it with no sense of organic cohesion while still giving every single type of Superman fan what they want so they won't be mad.

Trying to cater to everybody while ironically only catering to a few in the end anyway. Simply because he didn't want to have detractors like the other previous 2 origins did and sacrificed originality and interesting subversions for it unlike Waid and Byrne. In the end it becomes a cluster**** with no real identity.

It was just pastiches of better Superman works being spread across a few issues. Birthright felt more personal. Really felt progressive and like a new take on a familiar story that wanted to add something more to the formula. It didn't just rehash old tropes and spend it's time winking at the audience.

It had guts and even when it made a call I didn't really identify with I could still respect it for it's inventiveness and sincerity in execution. It stood by it's own convictions and did it in plausible and logical ways. It was smoother writing. Also Birthright was more impactful, we had almost a decade with it as a backdrop who's details got subsequently tweaked. Secret Origin was outdated and and superfluous within a year of publication.

I think Johns did much better work with origin concepts in things like Action Comics #850 and Action Comics Annual #10. Those felt more creative and inventive and more personal while still paying homage. Those issues gave new layers to familiar concepts something Secret Origin didn't really do since it just felt like Superman: Greatest Hits.

Superman: Earth One is harmless to me. Nothing completely god awful (though sociopath Parasite's origin was kinda cringe inducing with it's cliches) but nothing really all that special either. Still interesting enough that I keep buying them because I did end up getting Vol. 2 as well after all.

To me it feels more like what JMS has always wanted to say with the character than Grounded ever did. It's also more inventive and to it's credits has added some interesting new twists to the old Superman conventions too. It feels like this is his take of what Superman would be if he created it for today and that's pretty much the idea anyway so it works well enough. I find it more engaging than Batman: Earth One actually.

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Last edited by Cain; 10-24-2013 at 07:48 PM.
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