This is a graphic novel review of ‘Superman Grounded’ written by J. Michael Straczynski of Babylon 5 fame, as well as Chris Roberson.
Before you read what follows, I must tell you I’m a massive DC Comics fan, so with that in mind, this review to many will be a surprise!
The story arc is a depressed Superman battling the question ‘Is there is a need for Superman?’. I can understand the need for depth at times, especially with such a long lasting franchise that Superman is. However once I started to read this graphic novel, I realised it was stretched out and frankly, pretty boring. You see Superman visiting various locations whilst depressed, saving the day, messing up his relationship with Lois Lane and other situations that frankly I won’t bore you with.
In truth the only part of the story that I enjoyed was the ‘fortress of solidarity’ (not solitude) and only because that gave a peek of other Supermen, aka the ‘The Superman Squad’, where descendants or those inspired by him gather. Though even then, I felt it was an opportunity missed, caught up in the question and all too quickly we had moved on.
I should of stopped reading. It was that bad. This is a graphic novel ‘full of itself’, taking advantage of the fan base and legacy. The visuals were excellently created, the story itself was dreadful. Okay let’s get all geeky! Given Superman’s adventures into the future, being aware of his legacy in the various forms that it takes, why bother ask this question? Inside if you are looking for a great Superman story, I recommend looking at ‘Time and Time Again‘.
Luckily I had borrowed this 2011 Superman graphic novel from a local library. I know for many it is tempting to buy all things Superman, but this is definitely a graphic novel to avoid. If you can borrow it from a friend or library, then perhaps give it a read, but I wouldn’t bother.