This week sees the release of the much-anticipated, rather-delayed and slightly-censored, Superman: Year One #1 by Frank Miller, John Romita and Danny Miki, the second new release from DC Comics' Black Label line, intended to be for mature readers superhero comics but, in the wake of Batman Damned, going through a bit of a change right now.
We've talked a bit about the first couple of issues, about how tying it in with the Dark Knight Returns in terms of continuity changes Martha Kent's message to Clark, and how his new powers suggest a very different Superman.
But something really sticks out after reading the first two issues regards Clark Kent, Superman, and women. And how he is really awful boyfriend material. This goes back to the 60s, which seemed to have Superman all but torturing Lois Lane with the romantic-triangle-with-two-people schtick. And while Lois Lane's appearance is saved for the third issue of this Year One series, Clark's attitude to Lana Lang and Lori Lemaris is rather surprising.
The first issue has Lana Lang and Clark Kent growing up together in Smallville with an unspoken bond. One that gets a little more spoken after Clark rescues her from an attempted gang rape from their fellow Smallville high school students. Though getting roughed up by Clark seems to be their only punishment. And yes, it feels rather awkward that it reads as if their subsequent romantic relationship can be cast as a 'reward' to Clark, but you know how Frank Miller likes to write about prostitutes. He leaves Smallville to join the Navy, leaving behind his sweetheart, who has hand-made him his super suit, with declarations from both to their love for each other. Love that will not fade, as each make promises to each other.
The second issue, out in a two months, with Clark going through basic Navy training? She never gets mentioned once, not even in Clark's stray thoughts. Clark discovers mermaids off the coast, heads to Atlantis, where he falls for Atlantean princess Lori Lemaris, and we get the tale of two people from different worlds, falling for each other with a society – and all-powerful father – that does not approve. We've all read that story.
But with the first issue going on and on about how in love Clark is with Lana, that he'll never forget her, and will keep visiting… and then in the second issue not a single mention or stray thought about her…
The only question is… how will Frank and John top this weirdness with Lois Lane in Book 3?
Superman: Year One #1 is out on Wednesday.
Superman: Year One #1 (of 3)
(W) Frank Miller (A/CA) Danny Miki, John RomitaJr
From the burning world of Krypton to the bucolic fields of Kansas, the first chapter of SUPERMAN YEAR ONE tracks Clark Kent's youth in Kansas, as he comes to terms with his strange powers and struggles to find his place in our world. DC BLACK LABEL is proud to present the definitive origin of Superman as rendered by the legendary comics creators Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.!
In Shops: Jun 19, 2019
SUPERMAN YEAR ONE #2 (OF 3) MILLER COVER (MR)
(W) Frank Miller (A) Danny Miki, John RomitaJr (CA) Frank Miller
Clark Kent's journey of self-discovery continues in the second installment of Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.'s remarkable reimagining of Superman's origin story. This chapter takes young Clark to the Pacific coast and beyond, as he discovers a place as sensational as he is…Atlantis! There he meets new people, finds love, clashes with gargantuan beasts and discovers the man he's meant to be.In Shops: Aug 21, 2019