Grant Morrison and Rags Morales are joing by Gene Ha as things heat up in the third issue of Action Comics.
Action Comics #3
As a young Superman deals with negative public opinion thanks to his rash actions and rumors that he’s an alien, Clark Kent faces the fallout of his reporting against Metropolis’s most powerful and corrupt. Meanwhile, an alien intelligence takes control of Earth’s technology and demands a showdown with the Man of Steel for the fate our world.
A few months back, a lot of fans were crying foul over the choices Superman made in issue one. Namely, forcing a confession out of a man by violence and refusing to cooperate with the police. Many seemed to view it as a failing of Grant Morrison, claiming he wasn’t writing the “real” Superman. Others, myself included, tried to remind people that this is what you call “Character Development” and that a story about Superman’s early days on the job would most likely result in him learning that threatening to “kick ass and take names” wasn’t the best way to accomplish his goals.
And so here we deal with the fallout of Superman’s actions. It turns out that a man with god-like powers taking the law into his own hands is going to anger and scare quite a few people, to say nothing of his being perceived as an alien invader. And while I’m not a fan of the idea of Superman being “hated and feared by the people he’s trying to help” like the X-Men, it at least comes off less annoying here than it did in BIRTHRIGHT and SECRET ORGIN, where Superman did nothing to deserve that distrust.
Clark Kent comes off in a slightly better light. Far from being a Peter Parker-clone, this Clark is assertive and not afraid to mouth off to a police officer illegally searching his home. I like this Inspector Blake, and really hope he follows Clark’s advice in becoming the cop he wanted to be as a kid. Clark refusing to back down from the likes of Glenmorgan is inspiring, and again I hope this Clark sticks around for a while. But I wonder who he was talking to on the phone. Surely not the same person Lex was last issue, wasn’t that…
And also, mad props to Morrison and co. for actually having Clark sleep under his Superman cape, which was originally his childhood blanket. There have been tons of jokes over the years about Superman’s suit literally being his security blanket, and I’m glad that’s made its way into the main book.
Gene Ha’s Krypton art was beautiful to behold, and I almost don’t want anyone else to draw any Krypton scenes for Morrison now. I’m glad that, if different artists are going to be used to keep this book on schedule, each artist has his own “territory” to keep the art from changing mid-sentence. As always, Rags Morales’s classic pulp-style comic art is perfect for the story and adds to that neo-retro feel.
I’m now 100% sure that the alien ship from last issue was Brainiac. We see his classic assault on Krypton and now he’s heading for Earth. I’m amazed at Morrison’s willingness to utilize so many things in this one story-arc. John Corben turns into Metallo, wearing armor that looks suspiciously like Lex’s classic purple-and-green battle suit, and is instantly taken over by Brainiac. Wow, that’s lot of stuff crammed into one story.
And really, I see that as a good and bad thing about Morrison’s writing. The single page showing Superman saving the cat, being attacked by the public and then throwing away his super-suit would have been a whole issue for some writers. And while I appreciate Morrison’s willingness to fast forward over the filler, sometimes it feels just a little too rushed. The single PANEL showing the homeless person telling Clark about the ghost of the white dog watching over him was intriguing, but it really feels out of place with no set up or resolution. It’s just there and then gone, on to something else. It was disorienting.
I really wish the 8 pages they wasted on advertising the other Super-books had been spent on expanding a few of these more rushed scenes. I didn’t mind the extra dollar last issue when the back-up was interviews with the creators and production sketches of ACTION. Then it felt like DVD-extras. This time it was just the same interviews they’ve been doing for all the New 52.
Either lower the price and “Hold the Line” at $2.99, or use those extra pages for more story or interviews that pertain to THIS book. But don’t charge me a dollar for interviews about books I’m not reading, and which are really just advertisements to begin with.
But despite those few quibbles, I’m really loving Action Comics, and am breaking my neck to get to the comic store when it opens so that I can read this book as soon as possible.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Story and Art are top-notch||The EXTRAs are just fancy ads for other books|
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