The entire modern day retelling of Superman from his early days in Smallville with Lana Lang and Lex Luthor, to his first meeting with Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White in Metropolis is recounted in this lavish hardcover collection by writer Mark Waid and artists Leinil Francis Yu and Gerry Alanguilan SUPERMAN BIRTHRIGHT collects the best selling, critically acclaimedissue maxiseries of the same name and features an introduction by Smallville television producers Al Gough and Miles Millar, plus a sketchbook section showcasing Yu s development work in addition to notes by Waid Witness the making of a legend, as Clark Kent learns the tough lessons needed to become the World s Greatest Hero Also watch as Lex Luthor comes to Smallville, befriending Clark But it s a relationship that may ultimately spell disaster for Metropolis and the Man of Steel


10 thoughts on “Superman: Birthright

  1. Sean Gibson Sean Gibson says:

    I think it s safe to say that Mark Waid loves Superman like I love my children And, I REALLY love my children So, there s that.Look, I m a Marvel zombie As a general rule, I ll take a mediocre Spider Man book over a good Green Lantern book any day To trot out a hoary old chestnut that s not necessarily true any, Marvel heroes are human, fallible, and relatable, whereas their DC counterparts are godlike, perfect, and aloof They re justinteresting But, here comes Waid, his writing I think it s safe to say that Mark Waid loves Superman like I love my children And, I REALLY love my children So, there s that.Look, I m a Marvel zombie As a general rule, I ll take a mediocre Spider Man book over a good Green Lantern book any day To trot out a hoary old chestnut that s not necessarily true any, Marvel heroes are human, fallible, and relatable, whereas their DC counterparts are godlike, perfect, and aloof They re justinteresting But, here comes Waid, his writing cape flapping in the breeze it s actually pretty dangerous to wear a cape whilst writing, as they tend to snag on one s chair, and you often trip over them when getting up to get some coffee not that I know anything about wearing a cape whilst writing ahem , giving us a Superman with heart, humor, and gasp hipness well, square hipness Sure, he s just as indestructible as ever, physically speaking notwithstanding that kryptonite is to Superman as daycare germs are to my kiddos , but this is an emotionally vulnerable Clark Kent, a man trying to find his place in the world, navigate a complicated relationship with Pa Kent, and reconcile the fact that, for all of his powers, he just couldn t save Lex Luthor from going down a very bad path A few months ago, I attended a comic con at which Waid was the Guest of Honor not sure if we capitalize that sort of accolade, but it feels right, so let s go with it , and during a panel celebrating Waid s career, he was asked a question about Superman And, just like I do on occasion when talking about my kids because I m tough , Waid literally broke down into tears talking about how Superman was always there for him through a rough childhood, even going so far as to cite a ridiculous story from the early 60s in which the IRS tries to nail Superman for unpaid taxes for all of the miraculous treasures he has recovered, coal he has turned into diamonds, etc side note I d like to be reincarnated as a comic writer in the era where one could basically do the gluteal equivalent of kegels while sitting on a typewriter and produce a story someone would publish The upshot of that ridiculous yet ridiculously touching anecdote was that, at story s end, the moronic IRS guy s boss pointed out that Superman doesn t owe anything because he could make massive deductions by claiming everyone in the U.S as a dependent because, well, we ALL depend on Superman just like Waid did as a child.I m never going to feel THAT strongly about the Man of Steel he s not going to supplant Spidey in my heart anytime soon , but after reading Birthright, I get it I get why Superman was a life raft for Waid to cling to as a kid I get how the combination of square jawed heroism and almost pathological need to engage in do goodery is appealing to a kid in search of something to believe in I get how one can get chills just from seeing Big Blue streaking through the sky, and how one might take comfort in knowing that he s out there, always out there, watching over us all, ready to leap into the fray at the first sign of trouble And, now I want to readSuperman stories a compulsion I ve never really experienced before Suggestions welcome and appreciated, incidentally, Supes fans So, well played, Waid.You know, it occurs to me that I ve never seen Mark Waid and Superman in the room at the same time Just sayin 4.5 StarsAt that same con, I also discovered The Perhapanauts, which has proven to be a highly entertaining series Worth checking out if you re in the mood for something different.


  2. Sam Quixote Sam Quixote says:

    Wow, where do I start The short review of this book is Birthright is the ONLY Superman origin book you need to read, it s the book Mark Waid was born to write, and it is a true literary masterpiece That s the short version The longer version that will now follow will read like a firebrand preacher babbling on about the Saviour, etc because reading this book and being an atheist, I had the same reaction and feelings that I imagine religious people do when they hear stories about Jesus or who Wow, where do I start The short review of this book is Birthright is the ONLY Superman origin book you need to read, it s the book Mark Waid was born to write, and it is a true literary masterpiece That s the short version The longer version that will now follow will read like a firebrand preacher babbling on about the Saviour, etc because reading this book and being an atheist, I had the same reaction and feelings that I imagine religious people do when they hear stories about Jesus or whoever their deity of choice is that uplifting inspiration that inexplicably chokes you up and makes your heart beat stronger Yeah, it s Superman I m talking about here guys, which might make some of you roll your eyes but he sreal to me than any world religious figure.I don t want to scare any readers off though if you re not a devoted Superman fan, this book is hugely accessible and you re going to have no trouble reading it Hell, it s basically written so that anyone wanting to read a Superman book can pick it up without knowing a damn thing about the guy and still getting a lot out of it But if you love Superman LOVE Superman then this book will take pride of place on your bookshelves, to be taken down many times over the years and read again and again Basically this is the Superman story we all know the exodus from Krypton, landing in Kansas where the alien baby is adopted by childless farming couple Jonathan and Martha Kent, becoming Clark, realising his powers, moving to Metropolis, and becoming Superman It s the classic origin but it goes deeper than that Waid doesn t simply go through the familiar motions with this character but explains WHY Kal Clark becomes Superman If you re reading this after watching Man of Steel, there s a lot here that ll seem familiar to you Jonathan telling Clark to hide his powers, that he ll scare people if they know who he really is There s even some lines here that were used in the film like you re the answer to are we alone in the universeHowever, unlike Man of Steel, Superman isn t a murderous lunatic flinging his enemies into crowded city blocks with no thought to human life Clark leaves high school and goes travelling from then on, spending the next few years traversing the globe, slowly earning credits for his degree in journalism while filing reports wherever he goes He winds up in an African country where he s reporting on a tribe that is looking for equal representation in the government run by another tribe, and without getting into particulars, learns why he must put his all of his natural abilities to use, that he can no longer hide, and that one man can make a difference all this from an ordinary man fighting an insurmountable system It s a breathtaking and emotional opening to the book that s perfectly suited to the story From there we see the persona of Clark being developed to hide Kal s true identity as Superman, we see a beautiful representation of Clark and Jonathan s relationship in a highly charged emotional scene, Lois is superbly realised and has some fantastic zingers, Superman s introduction in Metropolis is handled perfectly while Lex Luthor also takes a turn in the spotlight as Waid shows us why Lex became the way he did He also writes the tragic friendship between Clark and Lex brilliantly Great Caesar s Ghost, there s a lot to talk about So I ll stop there because otherwise this ll go on forever, and just say this Reading Superman Birthright doesn t just familiarise you with the talking points of Superman s origins Waid writes the character in such a way that you understand him totally You know why he thinks the way he does, you know why he must be Superman, why he does what he does It s an origin story that goes beyond treading familiar territory and revitalises the character for a new generation while paying homage to the many creators, writers and artists that worked on the character, going right back to the teenagers who created the Man of Tomorrow, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster This is the old Superman and the new Superman in one flawless representation.Leinil Yu s art is great as always, Waid s writing is perfect there s no other word for it, he s leaving nothing in the tank on this one Birthright, like I said at the start, is a masterpiece It s a truly brilliant comic with no mis steps, a real emotional core, and a deep and profound understanding and respect of the character that is rarely seen with Superman You ll believe a man can fly I sure do


  3. Paz R.M. Paz R.M. says:

    4.5 Stars Let it be known that this was the book that made me a Superman fan.This modern retelling of Superman s origin story is everything I never knew I wanted Granted, this is my second time reading a Superman solo book, so maybe I ll find better stories looking at you All Star The hype is real But the fact is, I connected to this story, I smiled, laughed, I even got emotional Mark Waid takes this invulnerable character and humanizes it in ways I wasn t expecting At the end, this book 4.5 Stars Let it be known that this was the book that made me a Superman fan.This modern retelling of Superman s origin story is everything I never knew I wanted Granted, this is my second time reading a Superman solo book, so maybe I ll find better stories looking at you All Star The hype is real But the fact is, I connected to this story, I smiled, laughed, I even got emotional Mark Waid takes this invulnerable character and humanizes it in ways I wasn t expecting At the end, this book is the bittersweet story of a young man who loves this world, but who doesn t belong here Of a man longing for answers and never quite getting them, but when Clark sees those images of his people wearing the Symbol, he knows what s missing in his life, is the hope that they all brought, is the hope that he wishes to carry on here, because, as a child of Krypton and Earth, that s his mission, his birthright Damn did I love this book The beginning in Krypton, even though is well known, it is still heartbreaking, but how Waid connects both the opening and the ending of this book is beautiful The first time that we see Clark we re immediately seeing not only the joy and the inspiration he seeks to give everyone he cares about, but his doubts and insecurities too In the midst of Clark s job, trying to protect, write and learn from Mr Asuru, a symbol of revolution, protection and equality in Ghana, there are beautiful illustrations of Clark being free Of Clark, the young man, smiling while flying, laughing while playing with lions and thoughtful while learning about Krypton It is a great introduction to his characters and it gives a great reason of why he isn t Superman yet.Throughout the book, we see him finding his own identity, embracing both Kryptonian legacy, but also, always proud of being a child of Smallville, honoring both Jonathan and Martha Kent And let me tell you, the relationship between that family makes me so damn happy and emotional What a wonderful dynamic to keep Clark human, in the moments where he s lost or defeated he has his parents there Also, what a perfect, positive and intimate way to build both Clark s identity, Superman, and his Clark Kent Daily Planet employee persona.Of course, all the classic names are in this title Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White and Lex Luthor What s new and interesting is Lex s introduction to the story, how he met Clark for the first time and their relationship, their parallel and connection It gave this book another layer of complexity Luthor was the only person who really understood Clark, who understood his pain of not belonging, of being isolated from everyone else A pain that s always there, Clark is always the outsider, just as Luthor still is Great stuff, really.I don t know if I can keep writing about this book because I plainly loved it And I don t have the proper words to explain why I loved it so much Why I connected, why I m so glad I finally gave this character a chance It is never too late to appreciate what Superman means If you haven t read much of this character, I wholeheartedly recommend this title.Also, can I say how beautiful it was reading this book while listening to the Man of Steel soundtrack Best thing ever.Oh man, I just want to go back in time and punch me in the face anytime I thought or said that Superman was boring READ A FUCKING COMIC BOOK I would like to yell Oh well, I m doing it now and I still have fiveSuperman titles waiting on my bookshelf and I can t wait to dive into .I you plan to read this, here I m hoping you can appreciate Clark and his journey as much as I did


  4. David Schaafsma David Schaafsma says:

    A superman origin story, and a very good one, fleshing out what you already knew, maybe, with some interesting twists, such as that Lex Luthor at one point knowsabout Superman than Clark himself does, using this info against him in an epic Metropolis take over attempt It actually early on has a scene in Africa, with some social justice background for Superman s future work as journalist and superhero We get to see background on how Luthor got to be the way he is, too they were once sort A superman origin story, and a very good one, fleshing out what you already knew, maybe, with some interesting twists, such as that Lex Luthor at one point knowsabout Superman than Clark himself does, using this info against him in an epic Metropolis take over attempt It actually early on has a scene in Africa, with some social justice background for Superman s future work as journalist and superhero We get to see background on how Luthor got to be the way he is, too they were once sorta friends, then the arrogant super tech science Lex turns evenarrogant and power hungry and vindictive against Supes It s sort of just a little like the Batman Joker story in that both are remarkable, talented, isolated, and they are the way they are because of their upbringing One turns dark, another light We get to establish a solid Lois relationship which is always pleasant Many of the other characters are sort of annoying Perry, Mom and Dad Kent, the whole office, basically But I think it s really good, a really well written story from Waid and I thought the art was great Some of the full pages are especially and dramatically impressive If you want to read one Superman comic, this has got to be one of the best


  5. Kenny Kenny says:

    The last son of Krypton Let him never forget.Superman Birthright Mark WaidI grew up reading Superman I loved his stories of truth and honesty and goodness In Superman Birthright we have a story worthy of Superman s greatness There are some truly great Superman choices out there these days, but for me, Birthright is one of the best It s a must read story if you love Superman It s a must read story if you want to learn about Superman And, last but certainly not least, it s a must rea The last son of Krypton Let him never forget.Superman Birthright Mark WaidI grew up reading Superman I loved his stories of truth and honesty and goodness In Superman Birthright we have a story worthy of Superman s greatness There are some truly great Superman choices out there these days, but for me, Birthright is one of the best It s a must read story if you love Superman It s a must read story if you want to learn about Superman And, last but certainly not least, it s a must read story if you just want to read a terrific tale It s gripping, beautiful and a brilliant revamp of the legendary character s origin story.Back in 2003, this twelve issue series served as the new retelling of Kal El s origin I know, I know we ve seen Clark s early years and his path to becoming Superman countless times before, but Birthright pulls it off masterfully It s definitely a refreshing change of pace and an excellent way to set him on the right path Honestly, the only thing that s not answered here is why Clark Kent has nary a chest hair while Superman s chest resembles Sean Connery Soon Clark heads to Metropolis and Waid does a first class job creating an engrossing relationship between Superman and Lex Luthor, greatly expanding upon their history and eventual rivalry Additionally, his take on having Clark s career path with the Daily Planet plays out in an incredibly amusing and somewhat unexpected manner It s clear Man of Steel drew some inspiration from this storyline.Waid manages to juggle all of these different plot points quite well, giving this story great pacing and it all builds up to an exciting finale Then there s the ending It s unlike any told in a Superman origin tale so far It s a strong emotional punch after a series of totally thrilling events and it s truly the perfect way to top off this triumphant retelling of the Superman story.The artwork delivers on all of these powerful moments Waid s script offers, too Whether it s a scene driven by an emotional conversation or Superman fighting for his life, the artists beautifully bring these moments to life and make them feel dynamic The artists do create some legitimately breathtaking and cinematic moments everyone involved in the visuals brought their A game to this arc Birthright illustrates why Superman is such an iconic character and someone we should all strive to be like It s heroic, truly inspiring and I loved reading each and every page of it If you love Superman, graphic novels, or a great story, do yourself a favor and read this And if you ve already had the luxury of reading it, go ahead and read it again There s plenty of debate over what the best Superman story is but Birthright may well be the best of them


  6. Anne Anne says:

    This was what I was hoping for from Superman for All Seasons, but didn t quite get One reason Birthright was such a good retelling of Superman s origin, was that it made his story muchmodern and relevant And it did this without changing the core of his story or personality.Johnathan and Martha Kent helping Clark come up with his disguise was definitely one of my favorite parts of this book Also, you can really see why Clark falls so hard for Lois in this one Awwww I m such a sucker fo This was what I was hoping for from Superman for All Seasons, but didn t quite get One reason Birthright was such a good retelling of Superman s origin, was that it made his story muchmodern and relevant And it did this without changing the core of his story or personality.Johnathan and Martha Kent helping Clark come up with his disguise was definitely one of my favorite parts of this book Also, you can really see why Clark falls so hard for Lois in this one Awwww I m such a sucker for stuff like that


  7. Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* says:

    There were some creative changes I dug like Clark Kent being an established reporter long before Superman came into Metropolis and the journalist donned his hat at the daily planet This makessense of him passing his dual personas off without people catching on His parents help him make the costume, even with a joke about the glasses not fooling anyone I like the connection with both parents living and the e mails back and forth through the crisis s in The Daily Planet After the intro There were some creative changes I dug like Clark Kent being an established reporter long before Superman came into Metropolis and the journalist donned his hat at the daily planet This makessense of him passing his dual personas off without people catching on His parents help him make the costume, even with a joke about the glasses not fooling anyone I like the connection with both parents living and the e mails back and forth through the crisis s in The Daily Planet After the intro of the book where Clark as a journalist finds other heroes in human form in Africa, he comes home for awhile to face some issues with his parents It gave credibility to the story and their relationship.I liked the prominent Daily Planet setting, Lois s character, Jimmy, Perry White I enjoyed Lex was focused on quite a bit but I found a lot of that part rushed I do like how they made Superman into a powerful Superman version some wimp him down a bit I disliked him not knowing his origins, no fortress, and the rushed feel with the main story line It makes sense the city wouldn t trust him fully at first, but the story started losing me a bit after awhile I also didn t like the whole hack into Krypton thing, just felt weird for me Lex felt a little hokey.The art was great, I liked so much focus on heat vision They captured most of what makes Superman Superman and Clark Clark Anyone catch the little Batman figurine in one panel when he s in his room Awesome There s a little humor too love the wink he gives Lois as a nod from the movies when they meet, and the Africa selfies e mailed home to mom.It s always interesting to see different interpretations of Superman s beginnings this one took some risks, working with some of them but not pleasing me with others


  8. Jonathan Jonathan says:

    Definitely my new favorite Supe s origin ever so slightly ahead of Superman Earth One, Vol 1.So here s the rundown Luthor knowsabout Superman s origins than he does.And he proceeds to go out of his way to use all of this knowledge against Superman It s actually quite genius But just when everyone thinks Superman is going to throw in the towel Of course he has a little help from his greatest friend admirer.My favorite part was probably Perry s list of reasons to keep or fire Lois.Wel Definitely my new favorite Supe s origin ever so slightly ahead of Superman Earth One, Vol 1.So here s the rundown Luthor knowsabout Superman s origins than he does.And he proceeds to go out of his way to use all of this knowledge against Superman It s actually quite genius But just when everyone thinks Superman is going to throw in the towel Of course he has a little help from his greatest friend admirer.My favorite part was probably Perry s list of reasons to keep or fire Lois.Well done, Mr Waid Well done


  9. Terence Terence says:

    Here it is, the support group for people who hate fictional characters I walk in, sit down, and patiently wait my turn This is your first time here, right Why don t you stand up and introduce yourself. Hi I m Terence and I hate a fictional character Hi Terence the group says in unison Hi, so the fictional character I hate is Superman Gasps, shocked faces, and the rustling sound of people sucking air sharply through their teeth is all I hear Oh come on I can t be the only one I mean yes y Here it is, the support group for people who hate fictional characters I walk in, sit down, and patiently wait my turn This is your first time here, right Why don t you stand up and introduce yourself. Hi I m Terence and I hate a fictional character Hi Terence the group says in unison Hi, so the fictional character I hate is Superman Gasps, shocked faces, and the rustling sound of people sucking air sharply through their teeth is all I hear Oh come on I can t be the only one I mean yes you feel for old Kal El when his parents send him away to save his life as a baby, but after that it s all downhill with Mr Perfect The group stands up and file out of the room as though I said the place was rigged to blow I mean come on, his disguise is glasses and a slumped posture For all the technology available in the comics, facial recognition software apparently isn t one of them Superman Birthright was touted to me as the best of the best Superman comics Unfortunately I am predisposed to highly disliking hating Superman I agreed to give it a try and I found what I always find when I experience Superman, I didn t like itat all Superman as a character has always been disinteresting to me because he s practically perfect It grates at me deep within my soul and I can t ignore my frustration For me the only time I want to read about Superman is when he s fighting Doomsday or Darkseid so that Mr Perfect can have a real challenge


  10. Rizwan Rizwan says:

    One of the best origin stories of Superman I ve read, maybe The Best Beautifully written, thoughtfully characterized and intricately detailed updated origin of Man of Steel appropriate for the 21st century With proper amount of cynicism and fear reflected from the people when Superman showed up, which is a realistic take for this post 9 11 modern world if ever a superpowered alien suddenly came zipping through our sky Contrastingly we get a perfect idea of why Superman is the icon of hope and One of the best origin stories of Superman I ve read, maybe The Best Beautifully written, thoughtfully characterized and intricately detailed updated origin of Man of Steel appropriate for the 21st century With proper amount of cynicism and fear reflected from the people when Superman showed up, which is a realistic take for this post 9 11 modern world if ever a superpowered alien suddenly came zipping through our sky Contrastingly we get a perfect idea of why Superman is the icon of hope and optimism, and why it is sorely needed nowthan ever as even in the face of overwhelming odds and negativity from everyone and all the fucked up situations, he never loses hope in people and in himself As the man himself said, Like hellI once again wholeheartedly understood why Mark Waid is one of the great comic writers of the last 15 years, he was the ideal man to perfectly recreate yet another origin story for Superman, bringing something new to the table, which not only feels fresh but also makes it relevant and stand out as undoubtedly one of the all time greatest iterations of Clark Kent as Superman in his 50 years of publication legacy 9.5 out of 10