Superman : Year One - Book Two-Three- Review
Why was this allowed to exist?
When Frank Miller misses, he misses by light-years. I don’t even know if editorial was really involved on this project at all. Surprising if not, since Mark Doyle is a strong editor with a great track record. I suspect this may have been a case of, “Hey, it’s a legend. Let him tell the story that he wants to tell.” That story is a meandering hot train wreck.
Book Two, in a quick summary, involves Clark Kent training to be a naval special forces soldier, getting kicked out, and then spending the rest of the issue suddenly deciding to become Superman and falling in love with an Atlantean princess. Poseidon gets so upset over someone trying to take away his daughter that he implies that he will have intimate relations with her. Yeah, that’s right, incest is implied. Book Three involves Lois Lane showing up out of the blue, in a submarine for no explicable reason. Superman saves her after leaving Atlantis, presumably develops an undying love for her upon meeting her, and then decides to become a reporter at the Daily Planet. Since this is the last book, just shove in appearance from Batman, Wonder Woman, Joker, and Lex Luthor.
On top of all of this, the lettering is confusing. What I thought may have been a one-off from Book One continues in both subsequent books. It is never clear where the omniscient narrator ends and where Clark/Superman’s internal monologue begins. You end up having to backtrack and re-read sections to understand the context of the thing you just read. It’s a mess. Previously mentioned in my review of Book One and reinforced by these issues, this story has ZERO business being a Year One story. Year One stories should be canonical and as a Black Label title, it absolutely is not canonical.
The ONLY reason to read these is for the art team. John Romita Jr, Alex Sinclair, and Danny Miki brought their A-game on these issues. There is a plethora of great panels and splash pages that are gushing great quality. The idea of a Superman Year One story being written by a legend would want to make a legendary art team bring their best. It’s just a damn shame that the writing didn’t support them.