Review: ‘Superman Vol. 1: Before Truth’ by Gene Luen Yang

Superman Vol. 1: Before Truth was written by Gene Luen Yang, with some help from John Romita Jr., who was also one of the artists to work on this volume. This volume collect issues 40 – 44 and an eight page story from Divergence: FCBD Special Edition #1. Be warned that spoilers lie ahead.

This story arc covers Superman trying to regain control of some of his powers. He makes some comments about how much he enjoys eating, which is a thing we don’t usually see him do. During this process, his secret identity is outed by Lois Lane because she thinks it’s the only thing that will keep Hordr from killing him. And apparently “solar flare” is some sort of new power he’s developed where he uses so much energy he’s left naked and needs to spend 24 hours recovering. So this was the main problem he was attempting to regain control of. The downside to this was that I don’t think they spent enough time trying to fix it. We see it a bit with the first issue and the Justice League members trying to help him, but I would have loved to see him go back for more help throughout the arc, especially during his recovery time.

The art, colors, and lettering were all well done, so my main issue was with the story. Lois Lane outing Superman as Clark Kent felt weird and unlikely. It felt rash and I’m not sure Lois Lane would or should have assumed Superman didn’t have a situation under control after what seemed like a few seconds. Hordr as a villain seemed interesting but fell a bit short for me. I’m unfamiliar with the character so maybe that’s why, but I felt there were a lot of unexplained things with him. Overall, the story left the book feeling fairly mediocre. John Romita Jr. was easily the highlight of this with his great art.