Comic book writer Frank Miller and artist John Romita, Jr. continue their retelling of the early days of the Man of Steel in Superman: Year One book 2. It is not an official origin story but is a new take presented through the DC Comics Black Label.
At the end of the first part, Clark Kent has joined the Navy and though he tries to not show off, his excessive strength, skill, and accuracy get the attention of his superior officers and he is transferred to SEAL training on the West Coast. There his super-hearing detects the calls of a mermaid and he descends into the depths of Atlantis where he meets a world of people who are different, like him.
While I enjoyed the previous entry, I found this sequel to be a bit confusing. It seems like the first part does not exist. The first part made such a big deal about the relationship with his parents and his Smallville high school sweetheart Lana Lang. Now, they are barely mentioned and Clark immediately goes to showing some love to a mermaid from the land of Atlantis. Granted, Clark is still a young man so his view of morality may be developing, but common decency would at least have Clark sending Lana a ‘Dear John’ letter or something.
That is not to say it isn’t well written. It is. Miller has a way of making the reader feel Clark’s connection to his comrades and his obvious desire to use his powers for good. It connects him to the story of Atlantis. This is unique and something other writers have not explored. It just felt disconnected from the first part.
I did enjoy the twist of Clark being in the US Navy before his heroics in Metropolis. I know this decision faced a lot of criticism, but what better way for the future Superman to test his limits than to face the intense training that makes the United States naval forces so great?
As for the art, normally, I enjoy John Romita’s work. While it is somewhat of an acquired taste, I still feel that he has a unique style, but his work on this publication felt incredibly rushed and not up to his usual form of excellence.
One final note, the title is still confusing. While it does show Clark in costume, I am confused why it is a ‘year one’ story. ‘Early years’ or even ‘Young Superman’ would make more sense as a title than ‘Year One,’ an obvious reference to Frank Miller’s origin story for Batman. Perhaps the title was meant to be different, but for these issues, it is just a wee bit confusing.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my Top 10 Comic Book Writers To Take Over ‘Batman’ After Tom King and my review of Batman Universe issue 2. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.