Superman: True Brit by Kim "Howard" Johnson & John Cleese
I read this book on a whim. I typically look for more seriousness when I read graphic novels, and I thought for once I’d try one out that seemed a little more light-hearted. If you are a fan of intense, action packed comics, you should definitely skip this one. However, if you enjoy seeing your favorite super heroes in alternate realities, this might just be the book for you.
In case you hadn’t guessed, this book is about Superman if he’d been raised in Britain instead of America. The characters all share similar names as their American counterparts, and there is even a guest appearance from one of them. I would be doing you a disservice if I told you who, so you’ll just have to read it if you want to find out. It’s all very tongue-in-cheek. There are a few jokes that are specifically geared towards British culture. I found some of them to be a bit cliché, but if the author didn’t play on any English stereotypes, I don’t know what he would play on at all. It was co-authored by John Cleese, so it’s bound to be a bit goofy. In case you are not aware, John Cleese is very famous for his work with the British comedy group “Monty Python”.
All and all this comic was entertaining. It’s not the greatest Superman book I’ve ever read, but it was by no means terrible. There are a few laughs, and some brief cleverness that can be a bit fun if you let yourself relax and enjoy it. I would say this book’s biggest shortfall is the amount of Superman lore necessary to get all of the jokes. Not to mention all of the British lore that is also necessary. For most people who are fully informed on both, the reading level may seem a bit below you. But if you were looking for an intensely written, deeply philosophical story, you may have been barking up the wrong tree to begin with. I’d give this book two and a half stars out of five.