There was never any doubt that Frank Miller's re-imagined origin story in Superman: Year One would prove controversial. Even so, few will have expected his version of Clark Kent to see the world not by becoming a journalist... but by enlisting and training to become a Navy SEAL.
When DC announced its Black Label imprint as an initiative to get the industry's top talent writing stories, out of continuity and with fewer restrictions for a more mature audience, Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr.'s Superman: Year One was a perfect example. With Miller responsible for both The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One--two of the bold storylines that just don't get made anymore--his similar approach to the Man of Steel made headlines. Of course, those who know Miller knew his re-imagining would ruffle some feathers.
Now that DC has released a preview trailer for Superman: Year One #1 arriving this week, readers can start to wonder what kind of Superman would arise, if it was the United States military in charge of his training?
The trailer offers several quick shots of the first chapter, taking Superman--sorry, taking Clark Kent underwater, into battle, into romance, and into Navy basic training. We'll let fans see for themselves, so watch the video below:
It shouldn't really be a surprise to find that Superman: Year One is as politically charged as either of Miller's most referenced Batman stories. But for his part, Miller isn't framing Clark's enlistment into the Navy as a sign that he wants to go to war, or even exercise violence. But if you were as strong as Superman when graduating high school, and eager to test your limits, and see the world... the armed forces might make more sense than a journalism degree. Of course, that's assuming that you're telling a different origin story than most Superman fans will be used to. Miller explains Clark's decision to enlist in an interview with Military Times:
Writing it was an absolute joy. At first, I was a bit intimidated, but I just dove in, and then he started talking to me. There were so many opportunities... His father tells him if you’re going to protect the world, you need to get to know it. It seemed natural, a kid from Kansas who joins the military. It’s fun, seeing him lifting weights in boot camp that feel like air to him.
There's no question that these details (and others sure to arrive in the coming days) will spark debate among fans of Superman. Especially those wrestling with the idea of what it means for the Man of Steel to embody 'the American way' in the modern world. Readers will need to see the story for themselves, but in the meantime, read the official synopsis for Superman: Year One below:
From the burning world of Krypton to the bucolic fields of Kansas, the first chapter of SUPERMAN YEAR ONE tracks Clark Kent’s youth in Kansas, as he comes to terms with his strange powers and struggles to find his place in our world. DC BLACK LABEL is proud to present the definitive origin of Superman as rendered by the legendary comics creators Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.!
From the creators behind The Dark Knight Returns and Kick-Ass comes a powerful new look at the early days of the Man of Steel. Superman: Year One is a prestige format three-part comic series by Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr. that offers an inspiring testament to the importance of choice and a definitive origin story to the world's first superhero.
Superman: Year One #1 will be available at your local comic book shop on June 19th, or direct from DC Comics.
Source: Military Times