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.
Cover date: April 2001
Writer: Mark Farmer
Penciller: Alan Davis
Inker: Mark Farmer
Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A man named Marla and Mr. Brande find the pod on a scavenging run, along with some Kryptonite, which they identify and discard.
Science Police under the super computer Universo rule over the citizens of Earth.
Superboy flies on foot through the streets, late for a meeting with his father. He is attempting to make amends by grabbing ice cream for his father. He tears up the street, and a Science Police person fines his father and berates Superboy.
Mr. Brande is being warned by a head Science Policeman, Leeto, that his company will be shut down if Superboy goes off on another unauthorized interstellar flight. Superboy arrives. Mr. Brande, his father, attacks him verbally, and Superboy flies off into space in despair.
Flying near Krypton's remains, Superboy runs into a member of the Green Lantern Corps. Talu-Katu is his name. Superboy asks to join the Green Lantern Corps, but Talu refuses him, citing the need for a monitor for the SP (Science Police). Superboy decides to form a superteam.
Rokk and Imra, crew members aboard a space luxury line, relax on the dance floor. A big blue Blister Beast (phleah!) attacks the ship. Rokk tries to contain it with a magnetic field he generates, and Imra uses her telepathic powers to read its actions. Superboy bursts in when the situation seems impossible and saves the day.
Rokk and Imra join to help him form Superboy's Legion as Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy.
At tryouts, they meet Dirk Morgana and Gim Allon, also known as Sun Boy and Collosal Boy. Sun Boy can generate heat and Collosal Boy can grow to any size. And shrink, presumably.
Other new recruits: Jan Arrah, Element Lad. A non-aggressor who can atomically restructure himself and others. Salu Digby, Shrinking Violet. She can shrink to subatomic levels. Chuck Taine, Bouncing Boy. He can inflate himself and his body is invulnerable. And Bouncy. Tasmia Mallor, a blue woman who controls dark magic.
Superboy demands proof of power from Tasmia, who attacks him. Superboy is shown to be vulnerable to magic.
Marla and Mr. Brande talk about the downfall of the heroes of the 20th century.
A woman berates three girls named Lulu to stop arguing about the tryouts.
A man and two women, one of them named Ayla, suggest that they ought to later try out.
(Reviewer's note: These last two scenes are more than likely references I did not catch. Same with the scene after the scene with Brainiac 5, described below. I am not very well read in the Legion. Maybe someone can straighten me out in the message boards...)
Brainiac 5 and Lyle Norg pledge to themselves to join.
Two odd looking aliens lament the way Hykraiuans are not welcome. At the post tryout party, Chuck runs into Val and Andy, a martial arts expert and a man who can control iron. They talk about how Val and Andy should not have been rejected.
The reporter for the tryout warns Superboy of an asteroid heading for Rimbor, a planet of rough and tumble villain-types.
The team takes off.
Jo and Tinya, aka Ultra Boy and his girlfriend who has her own powers but no super hero name mentioned, are trapped on planet when ruffians beat them, shoot at them, and take their ship, which carried a bomb to destroy the asteroid.
Frustrated, Jo throws a chair. The chair cries out in pain. It's a shapeshifter named Reep Daggle, sent by Tinya's mother to keep her safe. He can change into anything he wants, so they ask him to change into a space ship.
In Space, the Legion is hailed by Lyle Norg and Querl Dox of Colu, one of the last survivors of his race. They wish to join the team, and anticipating their failure in destroying the asteroid, have dispatched Cosmic Boy, aka Thom Kallor, last survivor of Xanthu, to save the day. Cosmic Boy increases Superboy's mass a hundred times so that he will be large enough, and hurls him into the asteroid, which explodes.
Ultra Boy attacks him, saying that all he did was create smaller, more damaging meteorites. But Superboy shows him the other members of Legion, mopping up the larger pieces.
The Legion rescues people on the surface.
SP read a Universo note that this addition of members changes their previous policy of letting the heroes do what they do best.
The Fatal Five appear on Rimbor.
They include: Emerald Empress, a magic lady. Validus, a huge man-like monster. Persuader. Tharok. Mano. Powers unknown.
The Emerald Empress traps Superboy in magic. Tasmia tries to stop her but is repelled.
Shrinking Violet kicks the Empress, distracting her.
Persuader chops off Rokk's right arm, cauterizing it. He goes into shock.
Mano slaps a tranquilizer on Mano and the Fatal Five run away. Collosal Boy is dead, from fighting Validus.
With Brainiac Captured, The Fatal Five await word from their leader, who steps out of the shadows to reveal himself as:
Story - 2: There were a lot of problems with this story. Like most Elseworlds books, the writer just doesn't seem to give a crack as to whether or not the reader knows the history behind the idea or not. Note my confusion even in the review. The reader is very, very hard pressed to keep up with all of the odd things going on, though an older, more knowledgable-to-the-characters reader would probably get a lot more out of this book.
Technical issues: Brande and Marla know what Kryptonite is pre-Superboy... that's not normal, is it? Superboy, knowing that he would end the job of millions and ostracize his father, goes straight off on another interstellar flight after being warned not to. Not in character. Superboy and Talu have a nice long conversation... IN SPACE. Hmmmm.
Non-techncal issues: solid plot or not, I really can't tell with so much going on, the book is just plain hard to read. With all of the names, all of the actions that seem arbitrary and contrived at the same time, and with the slightly cheesy take on the future, this book plooooodeeeeeeed haaaaaaarrrrrrrrd. There is a really good side, however. All things imply that next issue we will see Luthor and Brainiac against Superboy, with Luthor having killed all of the heroes from the twentieth century. I like that idea.
Oh, yeah. One more thing. Because I had to keep track, and this is funny. Characters: Mr. Brande. Marla. Superboy. Universo. Tony, the vendor. Leeto. Talu-Katu, the Green Lantern. Rokk, aka Cosmic Boy. Imra, aka Saturn Girl. Dirk Morgna, aka Sun Boy. Gim Allon, aka Collosal Boy. Lucy Lastic. Jan Arrah, Element Lad. Salu Digby, Shrinking Violet. Chuck Taine, aka Bouncing Boy. Tasmia Mallor. Ayla. Hykraiuans. Brainiac 5. Lyle Norg. Val. Andy. Rimbor. Jo, aka Ultra Boy. Reep Daggle. Tinya. Querl Dox. Colu. Thom Kallor, of Xanthu, aka Cosmic Boy. The Fatal Five. Emerald Empress. Validus. Mano. Persuader. Tharok. Lex Luthor. Any more you want to throw at us in 48 pages, Mr. Farmer? Man oh man, you almost gave me an art attack. Speaking of which:
Art - 5: Convolution of the story aside, the art was consistent, vivid, and strong. No really big, really annoying splashes, and it wasn't hard to tell who was who despite oh, oh, oh so many characters. Kudos.
Cover Art - 4: Very interesting compositionally, and eye pleasing. And it depicts the people in the book. It's not misleading. It's not a scene, but it doesn't have to be. It's nice. My only complaint... Superboy looks a heck of a lot like the Beav this one. But, eh? What can you do? Fuggetaboutit.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2001.