Monday, July 16, 2018

Superman: Birthright | A Man of Steel Story

07.16.2018 – Action Comics has made monumental number reaching issue #1000 a couple of months back and bringing back the red tights that he’s been known for.

The comic book that introduced this character revolutionized the industry still continue to fight for truth, justice, and not only the American way but representing the world.

Whenever in other mediums like animation, television, movies or video games “The Man of Steel” has been an icon and what shape him are these stories.

There have been many origins, but “Superman: Birthright” was those you might forget.

Published originally as a 12-part series from August 2003 to September 2004 features a 21st-century retelling of Superman’s origins, though you may have read already a previous origin b John Byrne post-Crisis on Infinite Earths with the “Man of Steel.” This one is more grounded in reality where Clark Kent traveled the world and saw different cultures where he faced a tragedy that would push him to the path of the hero he would become.

Earthbound Superman

The new origin of Superman in this series shows how modern technology has changed ever culture around the world. A modern teenage Clark Kent traveling the world trying to find his place on this Earth was something new to the perspective how he deals with politics and conflicts that a would-be news reporter that he will become.

His parents are modernized too with Martha Kent being into an alien conspiracy, while Jonathan Kent was the old school that who tries to raise a young Clark to have a normal life as their adopted son. This also sets up the relationship with Lex Luthor and Clark as fast friends, which shows beginnings of a would-be madman villain for Superman that you may find it interesting during the original publication Smallville was still being aired at that time.

This also introduced Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Perry White as well as Superman’s birth parents from the doomed planet of Krypton. The build-up to the conflict between Lex and Superman was somewhat Earth shattering, no pun intended. Some elements of this book became an inspiration to the 2013 film Man of Steel, where Clark traveled to find his origin where he came from.

This Clark Kent was actually a writer since his days in Smallville, not the clumsy character and explains why took the job at the Daily Planet ‘being close to the action.’ For those who have forgotten how this book was a phenomenal good read.

Iconic Scenes from the Past

There are some interesting works Leinil u has done with this mini-series. The inks Gerry Alanguilan has done for Leinil enhances his work of art. You can never go wrong with the iconic scene from the very first cover of Action Comics #1 and it was re-interpreted by several artists but this one splash page by Leinil simply unforgettable throwing down with the Turaaba tribe that wants the Ghuri tribe wiped out.

This origin story also takes inspiration from Smallville when it was currently aired back then on the WB network. Its more like the focus of the story is Clark Kent’s journey as a young adult is one of the elements that made the character fresh.

Erased from New 52

Though for its grounded origin story this was erased as part of the canon when DC Comics decided to relaunch their brand with “The New 52”, where all 52 titles went back to issue #1. This was one of the best origins of Superman had come out in years since probably “Man of Steel” by Byrne even though its no longer officially an origin it's still one series worth the read.

DC tried to ‘correct’ some of the mangled timelines with “Rebirth” it still doesn’t say if it is included back as canon. But some elements of Clark’s upbringing and traveling around the world certainly made it an inspiration to the 2013 film.

The Creative Team

Before writing great stories for Marvel’s Black Widow, Captain America, and Daredevil to name a few of the most recent works he did wrote an origin for Superman and this one of the highlights of his career.

Leinil Yu did the artwork prior to becoming an exclusive for Marvel, where he also did Highroads for the former Wildstorm publishing along with master inker Gerry Alanguilan, who claims one of his favorite projects to work on in his decorated career in the comic book industry. Today all three of them are now working at Marvel with Leinil and Gerry recently working with Ta-Nehisi Coates for Captain America #1.

Mark Waid re-teamed with Leinil and Gerry for Indestructible Hulk. Currently, his writing stories for “Ant-Man and The Wasp” and “Doctor Strange” series.

Reacquainted like an old friend

Personally, I owned the hardcover edition signed by both artists as a gift from Gerry Alanguilan back during the original Toy Con 2006 in the Philippines. I’ve only read the book a few times since being the only hardcover edition in my personal collection I’ve kept it pristine condition. I came across a copy again that was available to borrow in Adelaide City Library and I didn’t hesitate to get my hands on reading it again getting it through Marion Library, which transferred the book for me to pick it up.

Re-reading it again is like meeting an old friend why I appreciate reading graphic novels and comic books. Superman: Birthright was not just a graphic novel for me to read but something to appreciate about one of the characters growing up reading about.

Special acknowledgment to Marion Libraries, for the opportunity to read this book again and less than two-week wait, was all worth it. You can get more details of other graphic novels that you can also take home just LIKE Marion Libraries on Facebook and follow on Instagram or visit the website at:

No comments:

Post a Comment