Mind's Eye Comics Pick!! -- Superman: Space Age #1
Superman: Space Age #1, DC Comics
Written By: Mark Russell
Art By: Michael Allred and Laura Allred.
One of my favorite writers in comics tackling a historical take on one of my favorite comic book characters? Yes please! Don’t mind if I do! Superman: Space Age is written by Mark Russell and features beautiful art by Michael Allred, with stunning colors by Laura Allred. Set in the 1960’s, with a young and impatient Clark Kent, still on the Kansas farm and struggling with his adoptive father’s notion that he should keep his powers and identity hidden, as the world around them teeters closer to the brink of nuclear destruction. In perhaps my favorite moment of the issue, Pa Kent surprises both Clark, and the reader, telling about his time serving in World War II. Events there inform his desire to retreat to a quiet life on the farm in Kansas. It's only in the wake of President Kennedy’s assassination, as the nation remains stunned and vulnerable, that Clark sets off in search for answers to who he is, where he came from, and what his destiny might be.
As Russell's clever retelling of Superman's origin continues, set against the 1960's era, Clark discovers his abilities and Kryptonian roots, and realizes he needs to learn more about humanity. He then begins working at The Daily Planet, working Lois Lane's old column, leading him to clues to a pending disaster. In a well earned moment, it's great to see how this version of Superman finally decides to first become involved in human affairs. Meanwhile, other forces conspire, including Lex Luthor, Bruce Wayne and Hal Jordan, as destinies are forged and collision courses are set. All of this is set against the backdrop of the nuclear age, and a chilling prophecy from Pariah, a man from another universe, who claims this world will be destroyed in approximately twenty years, assuming humanity doesn’t finish the job earlier. Superman: Space Age is a great, and surprisingly somber origin story, for not only Superman, but The Silver Age DC comics heroes, with an undercurrent of historical and social commentary as only Mark Russell can do, and is well known for.