Alastair: So, DC doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to movies. Sure, The Dark Knight trilogy is a high point (though I have serious beef with The Dark Knight Rises), but most other (live-action) attempts have been sub-par at best. (Opinions on Man of Steel are divisive to say the least.) So, when local comic sage Darren told me that Superman: Earth One was what Man of Steel should’ve been, I was cautiously optimistic – the comic stories are inspirational for a reason, after all. I definitely wasn’t disappointed.
I’m not usually a huge fan of Superman, and I generally avoid buying trades that feature him as the central character. Until now, the exception had been All-Star Superman, and while Earth One isn’t as high quality as Grant Morrison’s Superman masterpiece, it’s still a damn good read. It’s an alternate dimension origin story (what is it with good comics and origins?) featuring Clark Kent’s first public outing as Superman.
Written by J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, The Amazing Spider-Man) and drawn by Shane Davis (Batman), Earth One sees Clark Kent arriving in Metropolis to decide on a career. While weighing up his options, ships from a distant planet arrive, their leader threatening to destroy the planet unless the fugitive he is hunting reveals himself. Torn between maintaining a quiet, normal life and defending the planet he loves, Clark has to make the most important decision of his life.
Earth One is most definitely a modern Superman story. Leather-clad and brimming with potential, Straczynski’s Clark Kent isn’t the Boy Scout we’re all used to. Earth One is a comic that makes the most of being outside the current continuity (much like the Marvel Ultimate universe), and I’m excited to see where the Earth One series is headed.
Cameron: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I kind of dig horror. I also rather dig comics – and this year Vertigo heard my pleas for some new horror comics. Some have pointed out that Vertigo does this on a regular basis without my input, but I disagree. So let’s thank me (and Vertigo) for their newest series, Coffin Hill.
Written by urban fantasy novelist Caitlin Kittredge (the Iron Codex & Nocturne City series) and drawn by Inaki Miranda (Fairest, Judge Dredd) this series is a breath of fresh air … Also of dank, musty air with a scent of archaic tomes and the foulest of magics. I had heard of neither of the women involved in this comic but gravitated towards it due to Dave Johnson’s incredible cover for issue #1. Thankfully its innards are as beautiful as its … outtards? Whatever the word I meant to use was – it’s incredible.
The comic follows two periods of time in the life of Eve Coffin, first as a rebellious teenager born into money and experimenting with magic. The second sees Eve Coffin injured as a cop in Boston before returning to her hometown, the after effects of her younger experimentations still being felt in the world. The woods surrounding her New England family mansion have a hunger for flesh, and it all appears to be Eve’s fault when the bodies start stacking up.
It’s gory and thrilling while managing to balance it with backstory and character development. At the moment we’re only five issues in so the first storyline is yet to wrap up, and I gotta tell you, I’m way excited to see how it ends.
Written by Cameron Urqhuart and Alastair McGibbon