Grounding an iconic superhero in something akin to reality has been done before — most recently in Batman Begins. But Tom De Haven aptly employs the idea in prose, where there’s no splashy four-color imagery to tug the story automatically toward the fantastic. Set in the 1930s — not coincidentally, just before Superman comics debuted — It’s Superman! is textured with authentic faces, places, and attitudes. A young Clark Kent briefly kicks around Hollywood, where he finds his invulnerability lends itself to stunt work. Lex Luthor is a crooked politico in New York City (not Metropolis) who spars with Fiorello La Guardia. If only De Haven didn’t tarry so long with his newly created supporting characters before throwing Clark together with Lois Lane. She’s a pistol here, and he’s terrifically pistol-whipped — quite the reality check for a man of steel.