Thursday, September 15, 2011

Comic Book Review: Action Comics #1


I'm more than a week late with my review of this, but better late than never.  As I did with the newly released Justice League #1, I'm examining the relaunched DC Comics through various titles that catch my eye.  Here, DC once again reboots the Superman mythos and reintroduces the character to the world.   Please read below for my review of the new Action Comics #1! Be forewarned, however, as possible mild spoilers may appear.

This incarnation of Superman, as written by Grant Morrison and penciled by Rags Morales, is a definite throwback to the Golden Age Superman: not nearly as powerful as his later versions, with a rougher, tougher personality and a penchant for being a social crusader, standing up for the little guy against the Powers That Be, even willing to bend the law to achieve his ends (something the Silver Age Supes would never do).

As with Justice League #1, this story is set in the past, 6 months after Superman's first appearance in Metropolis.  Clark Kent is working not at the Daily Planet, but at a rival newspaper.  He is friends with Jimmy Olson, but is, as in decades past, a rival to Lois Lane rather than husband or paramour.  One thing that hasn't changed, however: Lex Luthor remains a hardened nemesis to "the alien," as Lex refers to him (which is not inaccurate). The main focus of the story is Lex's first attempt to catch him, something he is hired to do by the military, led by Lois' father, General Lane.

While there was nothing terribly wrong with the issue (except I found the art lacking, especially with facial expressions), there is something about it that doesn't sit well with me.  That is likely because I don't think Superman needed rebooting--I think he was in a very good place creatively before the relaunch, rendering all of this highly unnecessary.  I don't mind seeing a more rough and tumble Superman, as long as he doesn't become an analog to Frank Miller's version of Batman.  I may just need to warm up to the idea of a freshened-up Superman, but that may take months.  DC will need to wow me with what they have planned for Clark if they want to win me over.

If you'd like to give the new Supes a try, pick up a print copy (3rd printings are on the way) at your local comic shop (which you can find at, or download a DRM-loaded digital copy at

Up, up, and away!


BDS said...

I really liked it and I thought I wouldn't. I get what you are saying though, the time past Superman is hard to deal with when you are used to the Modern version we have had for a long time now. In Swamp Thing Superman was more like we know in his lecture and talk with Alec Holland.

Phillyradiogeek said...

BDS: It's weird, because the issue wasn't necessarily bad, yet I don't feel too motivated to praise it highly. Again, that's more because of my reluctance to see a revised Superman right now. If the comic were a person, I would say to it, "It's not you, it's me."


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