Launched in Oct. 2010, Superman: Earth One presented the superhero who fights for truth, justice, and the American way as an angst-riddled 21-year-old struggling to make sense of how his enormous powers fit into a world of mortal human beings. It was the first issue in the DC: Earth One series of graphic novels that re-envision the origin stories of DC Comics’ most iconic characters, and writer J. Michael Straczynski took full advantage of the wider latitude with the Superman mythology. In his retelling, Krypton was destroyed by an enemy alien force, who turn their attention to Earth when they realize it’s harboring their sworn enemy’s sole survivor. By the end of the first volume, Clark Kent had reluctantly become Superman to fend off the alien invasion, but his attitude towards heroism — and the Earth’s reaction to his presence on the planet — remain ambiguous at best.
With that preamble, EW can share this exclusive preview of Superman: Earth One — Volume Two, written by Straczynski and illustrated by Shane Davis and Sandra Hope, and available on Nov. 6. As you’ll see in the following pages — with Superman confronting a new enemy called the Parasite, and Clark Kent romancing a woman who isn’t Lois Lane — Straczynski and Co. aren’t shying away from taking the Man of Steel into darker places he’s rarely visited before.