Saturday, August 20, 2005

I just got my TPB copy of Superman: Birthright and I'm having a grand time having it. Firstly, because I ran out of copies in the big bookstores before I could get my hands on one; Secondly, it cost me a pretty penny; and thirdly, because it's very well written (Mark Waid rocks!) and the work done by local artists, Leinil Yu and Gerry Alanguilan makes me mighty proud to own a copy.

I already read a fourth of the book months ago when I chanced on an open copy in a bookstore and was hooked. Promised myself I would get a copy the first instance Powerbooks go on sale but at the time I was also in a rush to get TPB copies of Batman: Hush Volumes 1 and 2. Powerbooks were only selling Volume 1 at the time and thought it more convenient to wait until they also have Volume 2 on board. But when Volume 2 arrived, the first volume was nowhere to be found. Eventually got both copies but not after a long hard search (which borders on the insane because nowadays, Fully Booked has loads of both volumes in their shelves!). I would have also wanted to buy the Birthright novel at the Komikero's booth during the last ToyCon but I had to have my hands on the last rare boxed figure of the large Superman Justice League Maquette being sold in one of the booths (this was after I got the Batman and Flash figures and needed the Superman figure to complete my collection).

Back to the Birthright novel, I'm more than halfway through the book and I found myself almost unable to put it down because of the engaging flow of the story and the sympathetic characters that writer, Mark Waid made out of these familiar icons. I'm not a big fan of Smallville (I probably saw just a minute or two of one episode) and the last Superman series that I enjoyed was from way back in the 90s, Lois and Clark. Now not many people know (or realize, for that matter) that the creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster come from a Jewish heritage (they're considered part of the 100 Most Influential Jews of All Time). Fewer still, are the people who realize that the character of Superman was intended as a type of Messiah figure whether consciously or unconsciously by the creators themselves. And nowhere has the parallel lines between Superman and Jesus been more apparent than Richard Donner's classic 1978 movie. And if those lines were apparent in that movie, it even comes a lot closer to the Gospel truth in this novel. It comes off as sort of a parable to the whole Gospel itself! Here are a couple of examples, the first face off between Clark and Luthor comes off like the titanic war of wills between Jesus and the devil at the desert (Matthew 4 and Luke 4) and the upcoming war between these two rivals can be likened to the ultimate showdown between Jesus and the devil on top of Calvary! This is one of the best treatments of an existing story I've ever read (almost if not at par with the original fave-rave graphic novel, After Eden). I wish I could have it personally signed by Leinil and Gerry in the upcoming Komikon but I'm still happy just to have it autographed.

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