Superman for All Seasons by Jeph Loeb

(No Series)

Similar to the premise of the Smallville television series, this hardcover book takes a look at the life of a young Clark Kent as he begins to develop strange powers. Living in a small Kansas town, the boy who would grow to be the Man of Steel must come to terms with his true origin and his uncanny abilities. In this mythic tale, we witness the experiences and adventures that transform a simple country boy into the world's greatest hero.

This one starts early with Clark/Superman in Smallville, leaving on his epic journey to Metropolis. It's divided into four parts, or seasons, each one told through the POV of a different character in his life.

The first section is told through the POV of Jonathan Kent, who speaks of his son and his abilities, his life in Smallville with Lana and the farm, the small town and how the father knows he may be destined for bigger things. Summer is told through the POV of Lois Lane, the reporter who catches Superman's eye. She's not in a relationship with him or Clark yet, it's still in the beginning stages where he visits the town, speaking of Superman in general as a hero and what he stands for.

Fall is told through the POV of Lex Luthor and is one of the best segments, talking about his views of the city, Superman, and his plans to undo the new hero of the city, chasing him off to reclaim what he considers his. Finally, Winter is told through the eyes of Lana Lang, his childhood and teenage love, who speaks of leaving and returning to the small town herself.

Overall it’s an interesting, if somewhat distant, concept. The artwork for some of the characters is vibrant and colorful, but Superman’s art bugs me to no end. He looks awful, bulky, butch, and just…well, horrible. His facial features seem too small for the massive head they laid on him and his body type is just overly large. He is the worst drawn of the characters. The cover also seems badly printed, almost like a cheaply done self-published work, when instead it was a decently priced graphic novel that set me back about 20 bucks.

I dug the pictures and photo album in the front and back, the nice nostalgic feel, seeing what Superman meant to people from their viewpoints, and the nods to all the beginnings of the hero. The dialogue and text is well done.

Overall I loved the POVs and the history being so involved with Lana, the father, and the town. It felt like it came alive and the difference between the small area and then the large, glamorous feel of Metropolis is powerful. I do wish more in-depth detail may have been gone into, but I guess there’s only so much room. I appreciate the bright colors and artwork for some, but Superman’s art is such a turn off it takes away from his scenes. The writing is well-done with wording choice, so this is recommended for fans of the man in red and blue.

   Book Quotes:

“Believe none of what you hear. Half of what you see. And everything you write.”