Book: Superman: For All Seasons #1
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Tim Sale
Summary from Comixology: “Book One: Spring! Watch the young Clark Kent grow from country boy into the Superman he’s destined to become–all told from the perspective of the man who raised him, Jonathan Kent!”
Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale have put out some awesome work, and this title is no different. Superman: For All Seasons is one of my favorite comic runs of all time. What sets this book apart, especially from a lot of the other popular Superman tales, is the simplicity of it all. This isn’t a gritty reboot that exists to show that the Man of Steel can be beaten or killed (we get it already, blah blah blah – overpowered – blah blah blah). There are elements of his struggle to find his place in the world (which sort of echo Man of Steel mixed with a smidge the Andy Griffith Show), but this particular issue really focuses on Clark’s transition from shy country boy to savior of Metropolis, and how the Kent’s influenced his morality.
The simplicity of the story is matched by Tim Sale’s artwork. When I was talking about the book to our friend Steve at Comic Collector Live: the Store, we settled on the word “whimsical.” Normally this could be considered a drawback when compared to modern comics, but I think it completely captures the overall feel of the story and it works well.
What sets this book apart from other books might also be a drawback for some readers. The fact that I used the word “whimsical” to describe the art might be an immediate turn off to some of you. Not everyone is going to enjoy the simple tone and aesthetic created by Loeb and Sale. Another pitfall for potential readers is how little “Superman” actually appears in this particular issue (although there are three books that follow this one). This story is almost exclusively about Clark and his maturation. It’s basically an origin story minus Krypton or a childhood.
The Final Say
Thor: God of Thunder is one of the reasons Thor became my second favorite superhero, but Superman: For All Seasons is the reason Superman has remained number one on my list. Sure, it’s not for everybody, but this is a damn good story and you just can’t beat the combination of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. I give this book a 4 out of 4, and recommend it to anyone that wants a refreshing take on the Man of Steel.