Superman: Earth One Vol. 3
The follow-up to the NEW YORK TIMES #1 bestselling graphic novels SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE VOL. 1 and 2 is here! Written by J. Michael Straczynski with art by Ardian Syaf, SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE VOL. 3 follows a young Clark Kent as he continues his journey toward becoming the World's Greatest Super Hero.
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Cover date: November 1999
Writer: Mark Millar
Penciller: Aluir Amancio
Inker: Terry Austin
"Clark Kent: Public Enemy"
Reviewed by: Michael O'Connor
On Mars, Superman helps out a STAR Labs project by saving a probe that would have been destroyed due to planet tremors.
Arriving home, Supes immediately changes to Kent and is quickly arrested. As Lois urges Kent to give them an alibi for where he's been, Clark realizes that by doing so, he would also give away his identity.
As Clark is hauled away to jail, Lois and Jimmy take it upon their selves to find the identity of the fake Kent. Before Lois knows it, Jimmy pulls off his face and reveals himself as Multi-Face, who has kidnapped Jimmy, orchestrated the framing of Clark and plans on killing Superman. (Multi-Face was a criminal from issue 19 that attempted to assassinate the president but was thwarted by Superman when he saw Clark Kent in the audience)
On the television, Multi-Face interrupts a broadcast to inform Superman that Lois and Jimmy will be killed if he doesn't show himself in 15 minutes. Clark watches this broadcast from prison and immediately starts a fight with the other inmates so that he can be dragged off to solitary confinement, where he is able to fly to his apartment to get his costume. After grabbing his costume, he soars off, following the signal on Jimmy's watch and finds himself in a warehouse. As he enters, he sees a vault in the middle of the room where, as an intercom reveals, Lois and Jimmy are being held.
Rushing to the vault, he opens it only to find that Lois and Jimmy are not inside and realizes that the walls are too thick for him to break through. Finding he has been trapped, he soon notices that "red sun generators" are draining his powers and that there are remote controlled bombs surrounding him.
Outside, the building explodes and as Multi-Face is about to get rid of Lois and Jimmy, Superman shows up and wraps up Multi-Face, explaining to the criminal that he just entered the vault inside the warehouse to save himself from the explosion.
Story - 3: There were some clever parts to the story and I enjoyed the trapping sequence at the end, but overall, the story seemed like it had been done before... a lot... Multi-Face is not exactly one of the better villains anyway, and even though Superman Adventures #19 was well done and a very good story, I didn't see Multi-Face as an enemy good enough to make a return appearance. Also... the "Trust No One" quote with Clark in the prison? Sounds kind of like... I don't know... X-Files? Finally, the Superman diving into the safe was a good idea, but I've seen it done before. Oddly enough, it was in a Batman: The Animated Series episode, where Batman's trapped in a warehouse for a toy fair and the Riddler sets the building to explode. Batman immediately runs into the safe. For some reason, with Superman doing it this time around, it just didn't seem very original to me. I don't know if Mr. Millar saw that episode or not, but it seemed so much like it, that the whole sequence didn't do anything for me. Oh... one more thing: why not leave Lois and Jimmy in the warehouse? Superman wouldn't have been able to get them out and Multi-Face wanted them dead anyway. What better way to totally destroy Superman then to have him watch his own friends die at the same time as he does?
Art - 4: Amancio's art remained strong in this issue, but nothing to knock the reader out. The scene where Superman is running into the warehouse is done masterfully however and really builds some suspense, but besides that, not too much to comment on this month.
Cover - 5: Great cover! I know I've seen it before... or at least one very similar. In a pre-Crisis "imaginary" story with a Curt Swan cover, Luthor is the superhero and Kent's the villain and on that cover, Kent's got a machine gun, just like here, that he fires at the super powered Luthor. Behind Kent, there is a poster of Luthor much like the one of Superman on this cover.
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