One of my favorite movies growing up was Superman. This was before the Avengers, Iron Man, and even the X-men made their way to the big screen. When you saw Christopher Reeve flying around in that red cape, you really believed he was Superman. This happy memory is what brought me to one of my most recent reads, Superman: Last Son of Krypton.
It’s made up of two stories, one of which is co-written by Richard Donner. Now, if you don’t know who he is, you need to watch that original Superman movie because he was the director. The first story of this graphic novel is the Last Son in the title. Written in part by said director, it involves a young boy crash landing to Earth (and no, it’s not who you think it is). This boy has powers similar to Superman’s, who suddenly finds himself in a new role as a would-be father. However, this boy (who is named Christopher, in a nod to Christopher Reeve) is not the only one with superpowers to crash land on Earth. What follows is a story that could very well have played as a sequel to the original film, if that gives you any hint as to who appears. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Richard Donner is involved. If you know any of the back story on Superman and its first sequel, you’ll know it was a contentious shoot. Disagreements were aplenty between the director and the producers. This graphic novel, I think, is the Richard Donner version, and it plays nicely and convincingly.
The second story is called “Brainiac.” This one, too, pays a nod to that original Superman film, for if you look closely, you’ll see this Superman looks very familiar. In it, Superman must fight Brainiac to save Earth. He will discover he’s not the only survivor of Krypton, but it’s not in the way he expected. His attempt to save those from his old home will come at a terrible cost to someone in his new one.
What I liked about both stories is the idea that we are not alone in the world. Superman has always felt like an odd man out in many ways because he believed he was the last survivor of his home world and because his powers make him stand out from others. But in this graphic novel, he learns he isn’t alone, not just because he discovers other survivors of Krypton, but because of the family and friends he has gained on Earth. While he may be a man of two worlds, he has chosen to make Earth his home.
Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess