September 10, 2011

REVIEW: Action Comics #1

Maybe I'm a little biased, but Grant Morrison is probably my favorite comic book writer. I enjoyed his take on Batman (albeit an unfinished epic), and I love that he can make fresh, fun stories and still be able to use the Golden and Silver age source material as subtle plot points. The guy just knows what he's doing. If you're a fan of his work, Action Comics will surely not disappoint.

GameStop, Inc.

Despite the reboot controversy, the plot set in Action Comics #1 clearly isn't another Superman origin story (thankfully), but an early Superman story. In a nutshell it's different but it's still done well. Supposedly set 10 years ago (10 years before the final events of Flashpoint #5), the book stars a young Clark Kent new to the role of Superman. He can't fly (yet) and his costume is still literally a red cape and t-shirt, and jeans with boots. As elementary as that may sound, in a way this literally helps bring Superman "back down to Earth". This Superman isn't battling the alien evils of Darkseid or Doomsday, but the everyday evils of social injustice. He's as normal as a t-shirt and jeans, but the guy can still stop a runaway train from derailing. More importantly, he still stands for doing the right thing. If that's not Golden Age Siegel & Shuster Superman then I don't know what is.

For only a single issue, readers are treated to a lot of major plot points. Lex Luthor, who seems to be employed under the U.S. government, is working with General Sam Lane (Lois's dad) to try to take Superman in. We are also introduced to both Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane. Both of them work for The Daily Planet, while Clark is with rival newspaper The Daily Star. (Unlike the stories of old, Jimmy Olsen is Clark's best friend, not Superman's.) Meanwhile, Lois Lane doesn't seem to have any knowledge of Clark's existence... The issue is a nice setup for an obviously bigger and better arc that I can't wait to read.

And last but not least, the art of Action Comics is, well, action packed. Rags Morales does a great job. His style works well with the Golden Age feel of the story, and the action scenes were especially fun to just look at.

THE GOOD - Everything! Morrison just knows what's he doing, and more importantly what he's writing about. It's subtly done, but the story is clearly a direct nod to the Golden Age Siegel & Shuster Superman that stood against the evils of social injustice. The art of Rags Morales is a joy to look at.

THE BAD - No complaints! It's just a little unfair that I have to wait a month to find out what happens next...


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