Superman: Earth One

While I'm a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and many of their recent comic runs as well, I grew up as a DC Comics fan.

Their heroes are iconic, easier to wrap your kid-sized brain around, and held a spot in popular culture (especially in the 90s) that nothing else could touch. Sure, the X-men animated show was fine, but it was nothing next to Batman or Superman (The Animated Series). Add to that list the Justice League shows, Batman Beyond, and Static Shock? Marvel didn't stand a chance. To this day, I still prefer the DC Animated Universe more than anything they've done live-action.

But that doesn't mean I've read a whole ton of the comics, or kept up with recent storylines. I've tried DC Universe (and Marvel Unlimited), but the delay in publishing new comics to their subscription service means I get tired of waiting... and reading a backlog forever can only last so long before I lose interest. On top of that, as with any media franchise that's been going on as long as DC, their history is also a bit intimidating.

The "New 52" reset helped, and served as my catalyst to start reading them again. And the work done since then has been some of my favorite, tbh (the Nightwing series is especially great). But nothing has captured me as quickly as the idea of the Earth One imprint.

What is Earth One? It's part of the DC multiverse, and it's telling stories with their characters as if they started today in our modern setting. The artists and writers are big names, working on the schedule they want to set, and therefore putting out amazing volumes of work per release (vs weekly or monthly installments). That version of Earth currently has a Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Teen Titans group (without Robin). There have been no cross-overs yet, no collaborations between the series, and you need zero history with them to get started. Just pick up volume 1 and start reading.

This past week I dropped $20 for the "Superman: Earth One (Vol 1-3 collection)" on Comixology and quickly poured over it. If you're familiar with the characters, you get the references to other versions of the character and their world. And all the tentpole characters are there in one way or another. But again, if you're new, what a perfect way to dip your toes in the water.

One of the challenges with Superman is making his enemies interesting, because he's basically the biggest and baddest hero around (and has like every power imaginable). So far, they've picked great villains for Supes to go up against and one's that make the conflict between an alien and this planet feel like a big point of conflict that has to be addressed soon. But they have also spent a lot of time in Clark's head, following his struggle, and making sure to really build-out his feelings and intentions. He isn't just out there fighting aliens and accidentally destroying cities in epic fights, he's figuring out a career, trying to build friendships, discover what a love life might look like, and sort out what responsibilities he has as the world's first Superhero.

It made me excited for the character for the first time in a while, so I'm stoked to get the chance to revisit others in a similar way. I just grabbed Batman's Earth-One series (vol. 1-3) and plan to dive in this week.

Once I do, I'm sure you'll hear about it.

05.04.2022 / milwaukee, wi