DC’s Black Label was announced as an imprint where premier superhero creators would get the opportunity to tell out-of-continuity stories featuring the publisher’s biggest heroes. Of the first books announced, Superman: Year One easily had the most distinguished pedigree. Writer Frank Miller and artist John Romita Jr. are icons in the industry, with Miller playing an integral role in the darkening of superheroes while Romita Jr. worked on nearly all of Marvel’s biggest properties for decades before jumping over to DC. The two creators worked together on 1993’s Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, a seminal story that heavily influenced Netflix’s Daredevil series, and got back together in 2016 for The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade, an exceptional one-shot that was far and away the highlight of the latest DKR revival.
They both have history with Superman, and they’ve gotten back together to offer their take on his origin in a miniseries composed of three oversized 64-page issues. This exclusive preview of Superman: Year One #1, on sale June 19, recounts a pivotal moment in Superman’s story as he lands on Earth and meets his adopted parents. The purity of these pages is the thing that sticks out most, and the creative team taps into the brightness and optimism that Superman represents as he introduces this alien boy to the people who mold him into the universe’s greatest hero. When baby Clark emerges from his space ship for the first time, the narration states: “Sunshine arrival.”
Miller has always had a penchant for stylized narration, legendary letterer John Workman heightens the expressive qualities of the script by varying line weights and changing the size of different words for emphasis, These pages give Romita Jr. the opportunity to lean into sweetness, bringing a lot of affection to the relationship between the Kents and their pint-sized powerhouse. Danny Miki is one of the best inkers for Romita’s linework, adding crisp detail while holding on to the rugged texture of his pencils, and Alex Sinclair’s colors take readers on a journey from the cold emptiness of space to the warmth of Smallville. The final pages of this excerpt are especially engaging, spotlighting the joy of raising a superpowered child and the anxiety of realizing that one day he’ll leave you to pursue a life of greatness.