Home > DC Comics > Superman: Birthright #12

Superman: Birthright #12

July 25, 2004

Quick Rating: Excellent
Title: Birthright Chapter Twelve

Superman stands against Lex Luthor’s fake Kryptonian invasion… and a Man of Steel is reborn!

Writer: Mark Waid
Pencils: Leinil Francis Yu
Inks: Gerry Alanguilan
Colors: Dave McCaig
Letters: Comicraft
Editors: Tom Palmer Jr. & Eddie Berganza
Cover Art: Yu & Alanguilan
Publisher: DC Comics

Wow.

It is not an exaggeration to say I have been waiting two years to read this comic book. Ever since it was announced at the Wizard World Chicago Con in 2002, I have been anxious to see exactly how Mark Waid was going to reimagine the origins of my favorite hero. Honestly, I never really thought it needed reimagining – I was a fan of the John Byrne Man of Steel version. Along the way, though, this storyline has filled in the gaps, created a bridge to the most popular media property currently featuring the character (namely Smallville), and told an absolutely fantastic story.

Superman, wounded by not out, has gathered his strength to confront Lex Luthor’s fake Kryptonian invasion of Metropolis. Lois Lane, meanwhile, has confronted the villain in his own den, putting herself right in the line of fire to get out the truth.

This is an almost all-action issue, a massive battle scene between Superman and Luthor (or Luthor’s forces). This is your classic “final battle,” which of course is given an interesting perspective since we all know this is really the first “final battle” between these two legendary foes.

Waid adds a few nice little twists in this book, little boosts to the classic origin that make it his own and make it work beautifully. Luthor’s Kryptonite has juiced him up and powered Superman down, evening things out nicely for this really epic fight. The full scheme is exposed, and the depth of Luthor’s knowledge about Krypton really comes to light. It all works wonderfully, fitting together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle.

Leinil Yu and Gerry Alanguilan’s version of Superman is really unique. There are very few artists who can do a “grittier” version of the character without making him seem totally out of place, but they’ve pulled it off perfectly. The fights are well-staged and the sci-fi effects are fantastic.

All in all, I have absolutely loved this miniseries. Fantastic writing, fantastic art – it all came together here, letting Superman finally shine the way he deserves. Comic books, movies, television… this may well be the greatest interpretation of Superman’s origin ever told.

Rating: 10/10

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