It's about time Frank Miller showed the Man of Steel some love, and he'll do it with SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE. The long-awaited companion piece to Miller's seminal comic story Batman: Year One, the series has finally been given a scheduled release date. Not to mention the honors of being the very first comic released as part of DC Black Label, the publisher's new imprint for prestige stories from some of the comic industry's best talent. It's only right Superman should do the ribbon-cutting.
Frank Miller may be best remembered for helping Batman beat the Man of Steel to a pulp in The Dark Knight Returns, but he has reassured fans in the past that his remaining Superman story - if he ever got around to telling it - would see Clark Kent as the hero every step of the way. Now with artist John Romita, Jr. aiding in bringing that story to life (a task covered by David Mazzucchelli for Batman) fans can expect to see this YEAR ONE story being this coming summer.
That's an added bonus for Superman fans already marking their calendars for the arrival of Action Comics #1000, including the first DC story written by Brian Michael Bendis. It may be just one of the coming prestige comic stories announced as part of DC Black Label, and won't have the immediate shock value of a comic starring Wonder Woman's daughter. But for those who know their modern comic history, having a release date for SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE is almost as good as having an official synopsis:
SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE from Frank Miller (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT: MASTER RACE) and John Romita Jr. (ALL-STAR BATMAN, SUPERMAN) A groundbreaking, definitive treatment of Superman’s classic origin story in honor of his 80th anniversary. This story details new revelations that reframe the Man of Steel’s most famous milestones—from Kal-El’s frantic exile from Krypton, to Clark Kent’s childhood in Kansas, to his inevitable rise to become the most powerful and inspiring superhero of all time.
Comic fans who are tired of seeing Superman's comic origin story told, retold, and told once more can also rest easy. While the term "origin story" gets the general idea across (like Batman: Year One before it), it doesn't sound like Miller will concern himself with hitting every one of the classic, agreed-upon origin beats. When artist John Romita, Jr. spoke about Superman: Year One last year (via CBR) he made sure to clarify the focus of his and Miller's story:
"I’ve seen the reactions online about, ‘Oh, my God, here we go, another Superman origin,’ and it’s not really the origin retelling. It’s after the origin, it’s after he lands, what happens between the time he lands and the time he realizes what he is. And this slight slant on the development of Superman is that he’s really unconscious that he’s an alien ’til his parents tell him that he’s an alien. In the meantime, he just thinks he’s special. And he doesn’t appear in costume until the very end. It’s similar to the Daredevil: Man Without Fear back in the ’90s, and it’s the period of time up until he puts the costume on for the first time.
"And Frank has this twisted imagination about what should happen, and we talked about it, and [Frank’s] eyes glow,” he continued. “He said he’s wanted to do this as long as he can remember, since, when did Batman: Year One come out? Was that 30 years ago? He said he always wanted to complete the cycle and do a Superman: Year One. Well, he finally got the chance to do it, and of course it’s a hundred pages and there’s a million people in it."
We'll continue to keep you updated as the future of DC Black Label becomes clearer. Until then, are you excited to see how Frank Miller re-imagines Superman's story? Does his depiction of Superman in The Dark Knight Returns have you more or less interested in his version of this story? Fingers crossed this answer to TDKR is just as good.
Source: DC Comics, CBR