Monday, March 8, 2021

COMIC REVIEW - Superman: The Earth Stealers (1988)

Written by John Byrne
Art by Curt Swan, Jerry Ordway

Superman: The Earth Stealers - a one-shot released smack in the infancy of John Byrne's reboot run of the Man Of Steel - is an oddity of sorts.

It involves an absurd plot where aliens steal the Earth and Superman has to get it back and a resolution that feels right at home in Silver Age lore, but somewhat out of place in the post-Crisis world, where Superman is depicted as less almighty than he had been in the past. The Earth Stealers runs contrary to that, since it showcases Superman at his absolute super-est. The fact that the book is illustrated in part by Curt Swan - he who has drawn many Silver Age Superman - adds credence to the old-school vibe.

I am, by no means, giving this book a low grade as a result because The Earth Stealers is a fun ride. A largely self-contained story that has some cool Superman bits that would've been perfectly at home with a bygone era of the Man of Steel's history, yet maintains the more grounded characterizations and interplay of the then-current time. It's a clash that shouldn't work, but it does because John Byrne knew his Superman and knew what should and shouldn't work with its take on the character. And the artwork by Curt Swan and Jerry Ordway is top-notch stuff.

All in all, I found The Earth Stealers to be a quick, fun read that maintains the standard of the Byrne-era Superman while infusing just enough Silver Age antics to keep the whole thing from being silly. A good book worth checking out.

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