Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book Review: Superman, Last Son of Krypton

Elliot S! Maggin did right by me back in 1978 when he wrote this! I gave it 4 stars out of 5 on goodreads.com.

So, yes, in my world it deserved the Hugo award more than 'Dreamsnake'.

This novel was recommended by favourite author Mark Waid in a podcast sometime back. Despite the movie tie-in cover it's an original novel set in the Superman comic book world of 1978.

Here Superman can zip across time and space under his own power, and Clark Kent is a TV news anchorman. It features his reluctant team-up with jailbird genius (and hero?) Lex Luthor.

I thought it was a fascinating look at the history of their antagonistic relationship as they struggle to save the entire galactic arm from an alien corporate takeover together. Also starring Albert Einstein and very possibly God.

It's funny and moving. It's a realistic take on arguably the most outlandish version of Superman: the Pre-Crisis Superman. Go big or go home, I say!

I've read or seen Supes' origin story so often that I feel this novel deserves special mention; it has something original to say with what must have seemed (even then) like tired, dated characters.

I started the sequel 'Miracle Monday' right afterwards, and I hope to read more from Maggin in the future. Shouldn't be too hard to find some: he wrote Superman for about ten years in the seventies and eighties.


Dan said...

I love, love, love Elliot S! Maggin's two Superman books. I read 'Last Son of Krypton' as a kid (ie, close to when it first came out). I found 'Miracle Monday' only a few years ago.

Personally, I think his version of Luthor is the best pre-Crisis version I've ever read. Rereading the books as an adult I found Luthor to be a wonderfully rounded character - arrogant, funny, self-interested, but most of all, believably intelligent.

(He's also written a novelisation of 'Kingdom Come', which is okay, but not up to the Superman books' standards.)

Mike The Bold said...

A novelization of 'Kingdom Come', you say? I gotta find me some of that. Waid plus Maggin sounds like good eatin'... I mean readin'. Thanks, Weequay!