So for those of you who aren”t keeping track, I”m a huge Superman fan. When I first saw this series being solicited, a few months back, I”ll admit, my interest was piqued. A story where not only does the infant Kal-El arrive on Earth, but his parents, Jor-El and Lara do as well? It was definite food for thought. So when the first issue dropped, I picked it up. It was alright, but nothing in it blew my mind. I”ve read a lot of Superman stories, and I”m one of the first to admit, the good ones are few and far between. He”s a difficult character to pin down. As you can see, it takes a lot to impress me when it comes to the Big Blue Boyscout.
The first issue reads like you”d expect. The El”s arrive on Earth and make their presence known. Some people are hesitant to accept these aliens, while others become infatuated with their every move. They become the most watched celebrities on the planet. This leads Lara to send young Kal-El off to be with a normal Earth family, the Kents, so that he can have a normal childhood. Essentially, everything they write in the first issue is a contrivance to get Kal-El onto the Kent farm, so he can ultimately become Superman. The one area where this story differs from what you expect is in Jor-El. This character has been explored before, so it”s not as though they”re establishing him in this series. Previously, he”s been depicted, most famously in the films, as a thinker first, and as a benevolent scientific genius; Kind of the opposite of Lex Luthor. But in this story, he”s depicted as more of a driven man than a genius. He devotes all of his time to bettering mankind, and in the process seems to neglect his family. This is not the Jor-El we know, and I personally don”t like him. Maybe that”s the point, I guess, but it makes the first issue difficult to read.
Now, issue #2 is a litte different. With Kal-El a little older, the story focuses online casino more on his story, while also expanding on the El family with the introduction of his twin siblings, Bru-El and Valora. The idea of Superman having a younger brother and sister is interesting, but in my opinion is a little underused in this issue. I guess we”ll see what they have in store for the third issue. By this point, Kal-El is now fully entrenched in his Clark Kent persona, and wrestling with his place in the world. By the end of the issue he reaches the inevitable moment where he becomes Superman. Again, this aspect of the story seems incredibly contrived, especially considering he wears the same costume and ends up once again being called Superman. But it”s at this point that we see the whole reason why someone wanted to write this story; the interaction between Superman and his father. Jor-El seems to be disappointed in Kal-El for becoming Superman, and that”s an interesting storypoint, but it”s hardly a story.
With so many things going on, and so many sub-plots, this Elseworlds series is a bit of a mess, but at the end of the day, there are some interesting points worth exploring, so if you”re a die-hard Superman fan, it”s worth your time. Maybe wait for the Trade Paperback though, as three issues at four bucks a piece is pretty much the same as buying the TPB anyways.