Review: Superman — Birthright

Superman: Birthright by Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu

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To me, one of the most important elements of the Superman mythos is that Clark Kent is a journalist. It may not shock you to learn that I came to Superman through The Adventures of Lois and Clark, which focused heavily on its newsroom setting, but it’s more than just allegiance to the series that cemented my view of Big Blue. (Make all the Dean Cain jokes you want, he’s still “OH MY GOD IT’S SUPERMAN!” to me.) Rather, it’s an indicator of who Clark is at his core. Supposedly, Marvel’s heroes are the relatable ones and DC’s heroes are the aspirational ones (or used to be, before DC fell down Grimdark Canyon and came back wrong), but Clark’s interest in journalism means that, even if he didn’t have unimaginable power, he would still be out there, fighting for the greater good. Because that’s his greatest superpower: empathy for all humanity.

I have been disappointed again and again as of late when it comes to this integral part of Clark’s character for me: see Man of Steel (or It Came From Grimdark Canyon) and the new 52’s Superman/Wonder Woman (or Mortals Aren’t Good Enough). So opening up Superman: Birthright was a welcome relief, and not just because it was actually and willfully colorful.

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