By Todd Allen
After announcing Batman: Earth One, DC follows up by announcing the second volume of the JMS/Shane Davis Superman: Earth One graphic novel series. The first volume of this Superman reboot sold VERY well and made a strong case for original graphic novels in the superhero genre. (As opposed to Vertigo’s Sandman and Fables offerings.) While the Batman volume appears to be set for July, no date seems to be released for Superman:Earth One. Volume 1 was released in November 2010, so it would make sense if this were another late fall/holiday gift release.
While nobody’s come out and said it, it probably isn’t a bad idea to leave a little bit of space between the new 52 relaunch and the full-on reboots of the Earth One premise. While the Direct Market will understand the differences, Superman: Earth One V. 1 did killer numbers outside the DM and the general audience for 52 advertising would probably be a little puzzled by simultaneous relaunches/reboots.
The villain for Volume 2? The Parasite.
PR and sample art follow:
One of the most critically acclaimed original graphic novels of the last few years, SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE will be getting a highly anticipated sequel in 2012. Considered by some to be “Superman for the TWILIGHT crowd,” the original was a standalone story which re-examined the early mythology of the classic character. SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE – VOLUME TWO continues the fresh take on the youthful struggles of Krypton’s superpowered survivor.
Featuring the return of the fan favorite creative team of J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis, SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE – VOLUME TWO features an even greater threat.
“The overwhelming success of volume one of SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE – 37 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list for graphic novels – meant we had to ensure that Volume Two was even better,” said Straczynski. “We couldn’t just rest on our laurels. (And does anyone actually rest on laurels? Are there gatherings of laurel-resters? If so, why haven’t I been invited? These are the questions that keep me up at night while the rest of the world dreams.) Thematically, if Volume One was about Clark figuring out where he belongs, then Volume Two is about Superman trying to figure out where he belongs in all this, even as the world does the same at their end. How far can he push his power before he becomes something other than what he intended to become? In the midst of all this Clark gets his first apartment, becoming entangled with a beautiful woman next door, Lois starts trying to figure out what it is about Clark that doesn’t add up, and a new and terrifyingly strong version of the Parasite is born from what was previously a serial killer…and now Superman has to confront someone who is not only as strong as he is, but can drain his power completely. In the aftermath of one of the massive battles that threatens to tear apart Metropolis, Clark for the first time feels what it’s like to be normal, to be mortal, to be vulnerable…to be us. In the end, Volume Two is about power: its use and abuse, and its place in the world, to be used for good or for evil.”
“Working on VOLUME TWO gave me a chance to re-create one of Superman’s villains, the Parasite,” said Davis. “In doing so, I decided to develop the character in stages as the fights progress throughout the book. There are three stages of evolution: going from frail to the strongest villain Superman has ever faced. EARTH ONE Parasite is one of the most complicated and disgustingly beautiful characters I have ever designed! I came at VOLUME TWO in more of a movie sense, choreographing the fight scenes differently from one another, adding a little more muscle to Superman this time around as he is a practicing superhero, while drawing the “Geek” Clark Kent, who loves a sweater! I always kept the old in mind while bringing in the new. SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE – VOLUME TWO is the book of 2012, so save those pennies!”
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.