Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Classics - Secret Origins #1

   Every good hero has an origin story, and from time to time the comics companies revive the concept of a book devoted to telling (or reprinting) those classic stories.

   In 1986, with the company recovering (readjusting?) from the events in Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC brought back its classic title, Secret Origins.

   But this series had a twist - instead of reprinting the old stories (as previous editions had done), this time around they'd tell those origin stories, redrawn and somewhat rewritten.

    And the first issue had a real treat. Not only did it include the first adventures of the original, Golden Age Superman - it was drawn by the great Wayne Boring, a classic Golden and Silver Age artist on the adventures of the Man of Steel!

   Even at the peak of his powers, Boring's work could be a little stiff, but those weaknesses are mostly eliminated by teaming him up with inker Jerry Ordway! And I admit that Boring is a sentimental favorite for me - some of the earliest Superman stories I saw when I first started reading comics were drawn by him.

   The story, written by Roy Thomas, is a direct adaptation of Superman's first appearance in 1938 in Action Comics #1 - right down to a re-staging of the classic cover of that issue.

   The creative team manages to walk the line between being faithful to the original story and crafting a modern comic story.

   What's most amazing about this issue is: in DC's post-Crisis continuity, the Golden Age Superman no longer existed! Crisis merged the alternate Earths into a single planet, so the modern, redesigned by John Byrne version of Superman was "in" - and the classic version was "out."

   So it was great fun to have one last nod to that historic character! We didn't know that he'd eventually turn up in continuity again - but that's another story.

Grade: A-


1 comment:

Kevin Findley said...

Boring and Ordway were a perfect match for Superman.

I loved Secret Origins and how this version of it gave equal time to the Golden Age as well as the new characters. The origins they told for the GA Batman and The Crimson Avenger are among my favorites.