Title: Superman for All Seasons
Author(s): Jeph Loeb, illustrated by Time Sale
Rating: 4/5 stars
Superman for All Seasons by Jeph Loeb and Time Sale was the May selection for my Graphic Novel Discussion Group. It's not your typical spandex-wearing superhero adventure story. The story actually gets underneath the costume to the actual "character" of the character; in other words, what makes Clark Kent, Superman. Why he has all these amazing abilities, and uses them for the benefit of others and not for his own well-being.
Told originally over the course of 4 issues, each during one of the four seasons of the year, we follow the growing pains of young Clark Kent as he graduates high school and is deciding what he wants to do with his life in the Spring. During the Summer, we find Clark adjusting to life as both Clark Kent in Metropolis and as Superman in the public eye, doing what he can to help those around him. In the Fall, Lex Luthor confronts Superman and causes him to question his place in the world, so that during the Winter, he is back home in Smallville, striving to understand his place and where he fits into the bigger the picture. Each month is told from the perspective of a different character in Superman's life, who is looking in from the outside and is giving their impression of the man they know, be it Clark Kent or Superman.
I liked this story. I haven't read much of the Superman comics in my day, but he is something of an American mythology, and it was easy to read this book only knowing the basics of the Superman mythos. If you're looking for a well-paced, smartly written story about a superhero and why they choose right over wrong and what price they must pay for that choice sometimes, this is the book for you.