SUPERMAN: YEAR 1 #1 review

Superman: Year One (DC Comics)

Superman: Year One #1 is available now where all good comics are sold!


From the burning world of Krypton to the bucolic fields of Kansas, the first chapter of SUPERMAN YEAR ONE tracks Clark Kent’s youth in Kansas, as he comes to terms with his strange powers and struggles to find his place in our world. DC BLACK LABEL is proud to present the definitive origin of Superman as rendered by the legendary comics creators Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.!


Thinking about the history of the DC pantheon it seems crazy to think that Superman the only in 2019 is he getting the Year One treatment.

But here we are celebrating the release of Frank Miller’s first, headline series for the character and what he achieves here is nothing short of revolutionary for the character.

Miller is able to take an origin we’ve all seen, heard and read many times over in just about every medium you can imagine and turn it in to something fresh and new.

Just how does Miller pull off such a feat? Well by showcasing smaller moments from Clark’s past which we may not have seen yet.

In a sweeping generalisation previous versions of the origin have focussed on the death of Krypton, the moment Clark’s ship crashed to Earth, when his powers first manifest and swiftly move on to when he moves to Metropolis, meets Lois and becomes the hero that he is destined to be.

With the acceptation of Smallville this is what we’ve come to expect from a Superman origin.

Instead this issue deals with moments around those which we have come to expect. For instance, though the destruction of Krypton exists the point-of-view is flipped to show the entire experience from Clark. The scene transitions to showing the child, locked in his pod watching the world he is leaving behind, die before his very eyes.

Similarly, seeing Clark gain his powers is often framed by smaller, real life events. So when Clark lifts a truck on the farm it’s to find a missing baseball during a great moments between the elder and younger Kent.

Don’t be fooled though, this isn’t the softening of Frank Miller. A huge twist in the mythology comes towards the end of this issue when Clark decides to enlist in the navy and leaves his family behind.

It’s a huge change which will no doubt reflect heavily in the second issue. It’s pitched as a way for Clark to get out in to the world but could also expose him to many situations which lead him to take on the mantle of hero.

Looking back on it this is a pretty lightning fast issue taking us from the destruction of Krypton right up to Clark around the age of seventeen or eighteen. Yes this is a Year One book but it’s important to lay the groundwork with a hero like Superman.

John Romita Jr. was the perfect choice of artist for this series. His character design work is flawless and the book as a whole features some amazing imagery and depth.

Alex Sinclair’s colour palette is also outstanding. The book is so vibrant and that becomes obvious even from looking at the cover. It’s genuinely a sight to behold and I’m glad that DC chose to release this as a three-issue, premium format series rather than stretch it out over a 12-month period.


Superman: Year One‘s debut issue exudes Frank Miller’s trademark skill for taking well known characters and putting a unique stamp on their story. Whilst there’s plenty of familiar moments the writer highlights so much we didn’t know about the Man of Steel.

The duo of strong writing and incredible artwork make this issue go straight to the top of the reading pile.


Superman: Year One #1 is written by Frank Miller with pencils by John Romita Jr, inks by Danny Miki and colours by Alex Sinclair.

Superman: Year One #1 cover art by John Romita Jr, Alex Sinclair and Danny Miki

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About Neil Vagg 3265 Articles
Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG