29 September 2011

"Action Comics" #1 (Nov 2011)

Action Comics #1
"Superman Versus the City of Tomorrow"
Grant Morrison - Writer
Rags Morales - Penciller
Rick Bryant - Inker
Brad Anderson - Colorist
Patrick Brosseau - Letterer
Rags Morales & Brad Anderson - Cover
Jim Lee, Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair - Variant Cover
Wil Moss - Associate Editor
Matt Idelson - Editor
Superman Created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster
Date of Publication: 7 September 2011
$3.99, 40 pages

I hadn't planned to even read this issue.  When I bought Batgirl #1 two weeks ago, Barnes and Noble had plenty of Action Comics #1.  I didn't even look at a copy.  I dig Superman, mind you.  But the idea of a young, edgy Superman just seems laughable to me and I wasn't drawn to a Superman wearing jeans and a T-shirt with a short little cape and at $3.99--a full dollar over the cover price of most comics--I had Action Comics firmly in my "pass" list.  Since passing on the issue, though, I heard a lot of favorable reactions and on my subsequent visit to Barnes and Noble, I discovered one solitary copy remaining.  It seemed serendipitous and, since I'm impetuous I splurged.

In this first issue, Superman confronts a Mr. Glenmorgan, a guy so powerful he's referred to as "Mr. Metropolis."  The police have been hunting Superman for six months by this point, during which his powers have grown.  He's bulletproof, but not invincible; he's still at the "able to leap tall buildings" phase of strength and has yet to reach actual flight.  In addition to the police, the military is after Superman.  General Lane--Lois's father--leads that task force, aided by civilian contractor Lex Luthor.

The basic elements of the Superman mythology are present, from a reference to growing up on a farm in Smallville to the Daily Planet (where Clark Kent is not an employee) and it's a fine first issue.  Character introductions aren't conspicuous and expository dialog is fairly organic (unlike, say, Batwoman #1).  The art by Rags Morales, Brad Anderson and Rick Bryant looks great, the layouts are clean and the pace of the issue is brisk.  It took me 14 minutes to read 40 pages, though, and that's a little light by my standards--particularly if I'm to pay $3.99 an issue.  I might buy issue #2, but if it doesn't wow me, I'll likely stick to my original plan to read Superman ($2.99 a pop) instead.

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