San Diego Comic-Con was back with a vengeance this year as all the pop culture giants announce their newest multimedia projects. DC hosted several panels, one of which was the “Comics Are Fun For Everyone” where they announced a new young adult Superman graphic novel titled ‘Superman: The Harvests of Youth’ by Sina Grace.
The best part about DC’s library for young adults is that the content is released in full novel form rather than monthly issues. Up-and-coming writers often get the chance to use established characters to explore contemporary issues that today’s youth goes through. These subject matters range from coming of age, isolation, discovery, and finding one’s place and moral compass. Anyone familiar with Superman would know that these are the very foundations of his origin stories. Several fans have wondered when the Man of Steel would be getting a young adult graphic novel since it all seems so perfect.
Superman: The Harvests Of Youth will centre on just that – a young Clark Kent growing up in Smallville as a teen and his time in high school. Grace released a couple of teaser pictures from the novel, one of which was the character designs sheet. Readers will be treated to the usual Smallville cast of the Kents and Langs, along with exclusive new characters created for the story. It will be more than interesting to see Clark in school developing a friend group or supporting cast. We’re all too familiar with the Daily Planet staff, it’s about time we see who he went to school with.
A unique theme that Grace teases for the novel is the culture of anger and hate online and how it can influence teenagers. This is the contemporary issue that Harvest of Youth will be tackling. Despite this modern theme, we’re not teased with any of it in the released pictures. Rather we get the opposite with Clark going to a Smallville drive-in theatre – something that his generation may not be familiar with. Other released materials include panels of young Clark around the farmhouse and then taking off in the air. Grace defiantly took some influence from Jeff East as a young Clark Kent in the 1978 film. Before he was in costume flying around the cityscape of Metropolis, he was dressed for school flying over the rural plains and farms of Smallville.
The official cover gives the young Clark a much more casual iconography with a blue long sleeve shirt and jeans with a big red blanket as a cape. He’s hanging out with not just Lana, but other fellow students from school. If there’s one thing about people in Clark’s life, it’s that they always influence him in some way. It will be fascinating to see how each of them does. Another page sneak peek shows Clark watching some Smallville patrol cars race down the street. That is always symbolic in a superhero story.
Superman: The Harvests of Youth will release on October 3 with story and art by Sina Grace. Cris Peter handles coloring duties as they take Superman back to his Smallville roots.