Sorry, I meant to reply to this earlier.
I read the first volume as I was building up to the release of Man of Steel and was trying to read some more Superman origin stories. It’s funny that I read so many and then that movie was so different from them all, it coloured my reaction for a while.
Anyway, Earth One was probably the worst of the ones that I’d read. The art had its moments but couldn’t match Leinil Yu, Gary Frank or John Byrne in his heyday. The villain was weak, but that isn’t much of a big deal with an origin story since you’re focusing on the hero. It’s a shame that what he did with Clark didn’t excite me either. Superman is super smart (smarter than Batman, really) but the way he showed it in the job interviews and whatnot didn’t work for me. Also, the twist from the villain that Krypton was destroyed by him, instead of exploding accidentally, had been done in Johns and Frank’s Action Comics run during the Brainiac story. I have fond memories of that story, reading it as a palate cleanser after Final Crisis. It was as refreshing as lemon sorbet.
It’s like a three-star comic for me, and the second volume felt even more throwaway, with the retooling of Parasite being kind of rubbish and the soap opera personal struggles of Clark aren’t very interesting either. I bought the third volume in a digital sale aaaaaaaaaaages ago, but I don’t know when I’ll get to it.
I’m not hating on JMS in general though. He was a big deal for me in my early teens with his Marvel work, and I never even read the “good” part of his Spider-Man run.
His Thor was great, as you rightly pointed out (until Siege came and broke the ending).