A seven-hour, full-cast, dramatic reading of Tom De Haven's 2005 novel of the same name, It's Superman! is a creative retelling of Superman's well-known origin story, from GraphicAudio.
Taking place in the 1930s, it begins with Clark Kent as a teenager in Depression-era Smallville, Kansas, just coming to terms with his "special abilities".
He knows he's adopted and that the Kents found him in a kind of rocketship, but beyond that his Kryptonian roots are never touched upon.
Instead the story is about Clark heading out into the world to find himself, paralleled by spunky Lois Lane's drive to break into journalism in New York, and corrupt alderman Lex Luthor's quest for power.
Gradually, as the story progresses, their threads become more and more intertwined, culminating in Superman's first confrontation with his future arch-nemesis.
Casting Luthor as a post-prohibition era gangster is a stroke of genius and De Haven's take on the character is one of the finest I've come across in Lex's many iterations in print, film and TV.
My main gripe with this audio tale (and I don't know if this is lifted from the book, but if it is it would have put me off reading beyond the first few pages) is the prominent use of the present tense to describe the action, like stage directions in a play.
Maybe this is personal predilection, but I really find it irritating and usually guaranteed to shatter any suspension of disbelief I may have in a story. Thankfully, here, a lot of the interplay between characters is delivered through dialogue and so the stage directions slip into the background.
Peppered with great supporting characters and period detail, It's Superman! is an engaging and evocative reimagining of the Man of Steel's early years (although it uses elements that weren't actually a part of the Golden Age iteration of Superman, such as The Daily Planet and Perry White, Superman's flight etc) that gives the Last Son Of Krypton a backstory both gritty and pulpy in its realisation.