Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Action Comics # 1

Series: Action Comics
Words: Grant Morrison
Images: Rags Morales, Rick Bryant
Issue Number: 1
Release Date: In reality September 7th but our cover reads November 2011
Format: Comic

I have to confess a little anxiety jumping straight in with Action Comics #1. I have never been a huge fan of Superman's. Traditionally I prefer my Man-o-Steel to be in a group setting so I can watch character's I like interact with him. However, I do happen to have a rather large soft spot for some of Mr. Morrison's other works so I some how resisted the urge to sprint through the pile of new comics that were lovingly delivered from "our" pull box by my live in other half.

Luckily he is something of a Superman nut and so will be getting credit for letting me pick his brain and fact check from his comic filled brain on a few details here and there.

With this issue one of the things that stood out right away was the cover art. Superman in jeans and with short sleeves on the cover well it just seemed a little off. Even for me with my limited investment in the character (though hopefully it is not a sign of a resistance to change, what with the 52 relaunch).

On the whole I found there was far more darker and witty banter between Superman and various other characters. Both Superman and his Clark Kent alter ego had a slightly tougher edge to them then what I was used to. I liked it. However, I'm not sure how a hardened Superman fan would react to it. It reminded me of a toned down Batman or a slightly more contained anti hero. Torturing small and big times villains and crooks. Throwing people out of windows for wrong doings. Taunting the police and almost playing cat and mouse with them. These were not behaviours I expected from THE Superman. However, it is writing that I have come to expect from Grant Morrison. On the whole I was pleased but suspect it may alienate some hardened Superman fans, especially if the character doesn't develop into the boy scout they know and love.

I found the Luther and Superman dynamic (yes it shows up right away in the first issue) to be a little bit well forced. Now that they've established themselves as rivals I am curious to see where the story takes it.

There was some element that I took to be of class commentary. Little snippets about justice not being equal and the law not being enforced the same along economic lines that I did enjoy.

Leading up to the relaunch I had heard tell of Morrison wanting to power down Superman some what. I loved seeing the character with injuries and bruises. I didn't find that it was consistent. So while the character could catch a speeding bullet in his hand with out sustaining damage he does end up with physical damage along his face from one fight.

On the whole I will likely pull issue two. Not because I have been sucked into the story a whole ton (though it does end on a decent cliff hanger) but because I am familiar with the writer and I want to see how he messes with one of the D.C. big names. Superman fond other half seems to have reservations but is so invested in the character he is curious to see where the rest of the story goes.


  1. What the fuck? they restarted Superman again as a tougher, darker, depowered hero? They did that in 85..I doubt they did it better than John Byrne...and the Superman that couldn't take an atomic bomb. Remember the Superman that killed General Zod and the other two? Toe to toe with Darkseid? Why would they reboot that?

  2. I miss the Superman that got his ass kicked a lot. I can see why they brought that back I guess.