Superman: Secret Origin #1 (November 2009)

Geoff Johns’s point seems to be to do another Superman origin retelling, this time integrating parts of Superman (Johns used to work for director Richard Donner), the “Smallville” TV show (Johns occasionally writes episodes for the show) and some of the stuff John Byrne left out of his Man of Steel origin retelling back in the eighties.

The result is about as jumbled as it sounds from that grocery list of intentions.

Seeing Gary Frank essentially draw a young Christopher Reeve in a few panels is pretty neat and having Clark and Lana Lang have a budding romance is cute.

Johns even gets in a Superman III reference, which is surprising (Donner didn’t work on that film).

But does it work? Another modernized retelling of the Smallville stuff? No.

Johns is too specific in his writing… except when it comes to creating a believable Smallville.

It’s cute instead of iconic.


The Boy of Steel; writer, Geoff Johns; penciller, Gary Frank; inker, Jon Sibal; colorist, Brad Anderson; letterer, Steve Wands; editors, Wil Moss and Matt Idelson; publisher, DC Comics.

One Comment

  1. vernon wiley

    Sure, Gary Frank can draw Christopher Reeve and hot girls, but the script? I guess I’m just tired of warmed up leftovers of old DC origin stories updated for the “modern” audience. There’s just not enough content in this comic to interest me beyond Frank’s art. Here, Johns makes the continued mistake so many writers do when handling Superman: there’s nothing really “super” about him. Why can’t writers get a handle on the idea that Supes is a godlike being among mortals, and work with that? The idea of rehashing his origin when you could be telling so many more interesting stories that even today John Straz’ pablum STILL misses the point. Where’s the SUPER in Superman?

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