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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Whatever You Want: Superman for all seasons

Superman For All Seasons

By: Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale with Bjarne Hansen

I'll admit that I am a big fan of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale when they work together. You've seen my post on Spider-man Blue to prove this fact. This book is broken up into the four seasons. I ate it up, ask Rob. I finished the first two chapters in under an half hour. I think that might be a new record for me, but I could be wrong.

This book takes you back to the beginning of Superman's career, back to when he was just a man's son trying to make his way in the world. Back to when he wasn't anything super to his friends. He wasn't Superman yet. He was just a teenager helping his father in the fields (lifting a boulder out of the dirt one handed) and sneaking his dog scraps from the table at dinner time. When a tornadoe hits Smallville, he's wracked with guilt that he could have done more. This seems to be a common theme for Superman. There's always something more that he thinks he could have done. Other than his family, he lets one other person in on his secret, Lana. And then he goes off to Metropolis and becomes Superman.

But he's still the same boy we see in Smallville, the one that doubts he's doing the right thing. The one who worries about who he is or where he came from. And I think that's the magic of Jeph Loeb and Time Sale. When they collaborate, you get to see the inner workings of the characters. Superman isn't all powerful, he's a young man with serious self doubts. It's nice to see him constantly returning to Smallville to work through his issues and how he gives a nod to his mother for making his costume.

We get to see the world through Lex Luthor's eyes as well, how the seeds of hate are sown towards Superman. He tries very hard to mold Metropolis into his own image, not caring that the people don't want him to. He makes his own super bots to try to take over Superman's job, not that it works. But he does suceed in sowing a virus that makes Superman doubt that he's human. And that only Luthor has the cure for.

All in all, I have to recommend this book to any Superman fans, anyone who likes origin stories, and anyone who likes any of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's other books. I'll be adding this one to my personal collection.

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