Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Action Comics #11 - A Review

I don't know how Grant Morrison manages to cram so much information and wonder into a single issue of Action Comics. I'm just glad he does it.

With Clark Kent having "died" in the last issue after a professional assassin discovered the connection between Clark Kent and Superman, Superman has adopted a new secret identity - a fire-fighter named Johnny Clark, who is a complete blank apart from his day job. The good news is the job does give him plenty of opportunity to help people apart from being Superman. The bad news is... well, he feels out of touch with people he's helping, having traded Clark Kent's cheap apartment for the satellite which once housed Brainiac. Of all people, he vents about this to Batman in what is a surprisingly effective character-building scene for both heroes and the first time I've really seen the two acting like the World's Finest heroes since the reboot.

Oddly enough, this has nothing to do with the main plot of the issue, which involves Lois Lane's niece turning out to be a nutant - a delightful Morrisonian term for a human who is evolved far in advance of modern-man by 100,000 years. The build-up is surprisingly understated but promises some exciting action in the next issue. The back-up story by Sholly Fisch is another amusing slice-of-life story, depicting a Metropolis T-Shirt shop which claims to be the place where Superman buys his t-shirts. Of course our POV characters - a tourist and his friend, the local - are skeptical, even as the owner tells the story of how Superman saved him from a robber and earned himself a discount.

I've written before about my love of Rags Morales art and my joy that he is back on a monthly book. His work on Geoff Johns' Hawkman was seriously underrated and it is good to see him on a prominent, monthly book like Action Comics again. The back-up story art by Cafu is also of high quality.

Action Comics is something DC Comics has needed for a long time - a Superman book that shows why Superman was the inspiration for an entire genre. It is a must-read for all fans of superhero fiction.

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