Action Comics #1 and more

This week’s big titles were Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #1. Now onto the spoiler warning….

The story starts with Superman crashing the party of a corrupt business mogul. For fans of Superman in recent years, this may seem a bit weak for a begining for him. That is because, every relaunch, reboot or retelling of Superman’s origin since the late 1950s Silver Age version had him starting in Metropolis, full of power and ready to face supervillains. If we dial the story back to his beginnings, Superman spent 6 years fighting corrupt businessmen, landlord, politicians, overseas dictators, jewel theives, etc before facing anyone with power. The only notable villain from early in his career that remained was Lex Luthor, and lo and behold here is Superman’s greatest adversary in this new version of Action Comics. Like in the original stories, this Superman is a little more brutal than he would later become and uses some scare tactics along with his powers, scaring a confession out of the businessman.

This title is set when Superman is just getting started, and this is portrayed in the lack of costume. Well, there is jeans and a t-shirt. Here the police and military don’t know what to make of him and fear the unknown. We also get to see that this version of Lex Luthor looks to be the evil genius businessman as opposed to the evil genius mad scientist.

Lex sees the area of town that Superman is in and has a trap set to destroy some condemned buildings with squatters. This is the first real display of power by Superman as he stops the wrecking balls to save the citizens. He then gets to destroy a couple of Lex’s tanks and his durability is displayed surviving electrocution and a blast from the tank, though it does seem to hurt him. Then there is the scene that is typical of a Superman comic. The people stand to protect him, showing that Superman will one day become the inspirational leader among heroes. We also see that Superman can’t fly, he catches a ride home hanging on a Blimp.

Interesting tidbit, Clark is working for a rival newspaper compared to Lois and Jimmy at the Daily Planet. He calls his editor “Mr. Taylor”, which homages to when Lois and Clark worked at the Daily Star in the original publications. The comic will finish up with Superman stopping a train from being destroyed, but being knocked unconcious in the process. This goes to show, Lex won his bet with General Lane about being able to stop him.

Overall I found this to be a good introductory story to the Superman mythos. We have it stated that he is an alien, during a conversation between Lex and the General. Able to leap over tall buildings, check, he did jump up to the blimp. Faster than a speeding bullet, check, he did catch it. More powerful than a locomotive, check, even if the subway train knocked him out. Arrogant/Xenophobic Lex Luthor, check. Lois, the gung ho reporter, check. Jimmy, the eager to please photographer, check.

The art was fantastic and the story pacing was right on track. I will definately recommend this issue to anyone wanting to check out Superman.

Now for some short reviews on the other titles from the week, small potential for spoilers.

Animal Man, if you like the vertigo style of art and story, this may be the way to go. Buddy’s daughter is going to have some issues in the pet cemetary. – Recommend to fans of dark/vertigo style stories.

Batgirl, this was a decent story and introduced her well and established a past, it leaves a mystery hanging on how she is able to walk after being paralyzed for “3 years”. – Recommend to Batman fans and those that want to see a strong female lead.

Batwing, I didn’t read Batman, INC so I had no knowledge going in. The art was beautiful, but the story didn’t hook me. – Recommend to fans of Black Panther or Batman, INC, worth skimming just for the artist.

Detective Comics, this is a great Batman story showing Joker at his most insane and it does a good job of recapping what Batman is, without doing an origin issue. – Highly recommend to anyone, particularly if they are looking for Batman or a mystery style story. Not kid friendly though.

Green Arrow, not sure what is up with those he is working with. The art was decent. – On the fence for recommending.

Hawk and Dove, what can I say about Leifeld’s art that I haven’t before. I honestly couldn’t even tell you what the story was, the art was that “special” – if there is still a Leifeld fan out there, then they may enjoy this.

Justice League International, Booster Gold as leader of JLI is brilliant. The story sets up to be the style of Justice League from the late 80s and early 90s. – recommend to anyone that wants a fun team story.

Men of War, though I am not usually one for war comics in general, this title seems to work at reestablishing Sgt Rock. The art was pretty, but the story didn’t grab me enough to pull me back. – recommend to fans of war stories.

Omac, I read it but I don’t know what was going on, Dan Didio should stick to being an Editor, not a writer. The art was ok, but looked like a throwback to the 70s. – not recommending

Static Shock, this seems to be an attempt to create a Spider-man style character for DC. I know he existed before, but I never read it before and this one didn’t quite catch me but didn’t repulse me, so I will at least skim issue 2. – recommend to fans of teen heroes

Stormwatch, This is set to be the team that is at the front of cosmic threats. For those familiar with Wildstorm, they are maintaining that concept in the big kid’s universe. Rumor has it that this will be an important title in establishing the overall history of the universe. – Recommend to those that like cosmic stories.

Swamp Thing, this spins straight out of the Brightest Day Aftermath. The earth seems to still be upset. – recommend to previous Swamp Thing fans, because it maintains it’s vision there, but I am not sure what it is offering new fans.

Next week, we review Green Lantern.

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