Graphic Novel Review: Superman Vol. 1: Before Truth

Superman Vol. 1: Before Truth
by Gene Luen Yang (Author), John Romita Jr. (Illustrator)

Superman is going through some changes. First, there’s his new “solar flare” power, which releases tremendous amounts of energy but leaves him functionally human—fragile, vulnerable, prone to hangovers—for 24 hours.

But an even bigger change is coming. A new company called Hordr has sprung up, and its business is secrets. If you have one that you want to keep hidden, Hordr can control you—and no one has a bigger secret than Clark Kent.

Now, Hordr is threatening to expose Clark’s alter ego unless he does everything they command. Will Superman play into the hands of blackmailers to keep his loved ones out of danger? And if the truth that Superman has been hiding is exposed, will it set him free—or ruin his life?

Since I jumped into this series with this graphic novel, I’m not sure why Superman was drained of his powers and why they’re different now. This, unfortunately, is not explained. For a first volume, it’s really strange. It collects issues #40-44, so it was a deliberate choice. Altered powers aside, this was a really good story.

A confused and depleted Superman leads to more suspense, when he’s not all-powerful. Hordr is an intriguing new villain. And there are quite a few surprises within the story. In this multiverse, Superman is dating Wonder Woman, but his interactions with Lois Lane are great – she’s still the same person. And I’ll always be team Lois and Clark, so I’m hoping his thing with Wonder Woman fails soon. The story and solid artwork will keep me coming back for more in this series.

Collects issues #40-44 and the 8-page Superman story from DIVERGENCE: FCBD SPECIAL EDITION #1.

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