For a girl who loves Smallville, I realize it’s really sad that this is the first Superman centric graphic novel that I’ve reviewed. I must admit, though, that I was never drawn to Superman all that much — too noble, too good, no shades of grey. This title, though, by guru Jeph Loeb, is wonderful. It is also, I discovered, a really good place to start in terms of learning a bit more about the Man of Steel’s background and personality. With spare dialogue that never jars or feels too full of convenient, folksy platitudes, Jeph Loeb has created a subtle and complex portrait of Clark Kent, Superman, Lois Lane, and Lex Luthor. For each season, we get a different narrator in Clark’s life, and thus a different point of view on the man. The artwork by Tim Sale veers away from the flashy primary colors so associated with superheroes and instead evokes the story through graded watercolors and flowing lines. All together, this title is not a careening action tale, but instead a kind of meditation on the man, the myth, and the definition of a hero.

Superman for All Seasons
ISBN: 9781563895296
by Jeph Loeb
Art by Tim Sale
DC Comics 2002

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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