I'm not normally a huge fan of the revised and redone origin stories of the superhuman characters of the DC and Marvel universes. I often feel it's either: 1)laziness, 2)commercially driven to tie into new movies or tv shows or 3)because they simply cannot come up with any new ideas. However this was a very well written origin story that managed to subvert previous superman origin stories and tell a modern Superman story very well.
The major problem with a Superman origin for a modern audience is that the very nature of who he is could make him an unrelatable character. Where Batman is a man fighting crime and Spiderman is (well originally anyway) a teenager with superpowers Superman is an all-powerful alien who is virtually a god. He could (were universes to meet) probably defeat all the members of the Avengers on his own. However what Geoff Johns does here is write a story which humanises and grounds the man of steel in a very intelligent manner, much like what the television show Smallville obviously tried to do for its audiences.
And it does this in two ways. Firstly it tells the story of a Superboy struggling with his powers and his adolescent nature at the same time. He wants to fit in with the other children but cannot. He wants to get the girl but is worried about the fact that he recently found out he's actually an alien. All of which are normal adolescent concerns inserted into the framework of a superhuman teenager. Secondly the story switches to a Metropolis where the Daily Planet is failing and where Lex Luthor holds sway over everything. Here Superman must struggle with finding out how to free these people and bring hope in a City of Tomorrow that's become very dystopian.
If you're familiar with the man of steel or not I encourage reading this. If nothing else it could serve as a solid segue into the new Man of Steel movie coming out next year or it could serve to re/introduce you to the character of Superman. And I must admit that no matter your opinion of superheroes this is a solid graphic novel with some fine storytelling and art.