The End of an Era...
This is not only my last comic review till I get my next lot of comics but it is also the last issue of volume one of Action Comics. Paul Cornell has woven a tale of thrilling action and an intriguing plot so far. Will this last tale make for a proper send off for Action Comics and the Diamond Age Superman?
Superman faces off against the Doomslayer whilst the Eradicator rushes to help, all whilst the fight against the Doomsday clones and the Doomslayer’s plan of planetary destruction continues.
· Cornell really ramps up the action in this issue. There are many fight scenes which is excellent given the magnitude of the crisis. The fights are well thought out and make for some spectacular reading. If you like seeing Superman, Doomsday or various other heroes in action, then you’ll love this issue.
· Aside from action with a capital ‘A’, Cornell also places a comprehensive story in this issue as well. It ranges from revelations about the ship the Doomslayer is occupying to a snappy exchange between Superman and the Doomslayer. All in all, Cornell nails an interesting plot full of as well as rapid dialogue into the issue as well.
· Also, the story flows seamlessly from page to page, progressing at the right speed. Cornell never rushes to reveal an important moment, he instead waits for the right time to place it in, thus making the tale more enjoyable for the reader.
· Furthermore, Cornell writes the characters in the issue incredibly well. Superman is back to how he should be: determined, dedicated to ensuring that the right thing is always done and always willing to sacrifice himself to save the lives on his adopted planet but Cornell also manages to slip in some characterisation of Superman’s more human, emotional side as well towards the end of the book which contrasts brilliantly with Superman’s heroic side and shows off the Diamond Age Superman’s greatest qualities in all his glory. For those of you who don’t know who the Diamond Age Superman is, it’s the Superman that appeared in comics from 1986, the post COIE John Bryne’s Superman to August 2011.
· Although Superman is given a proper send off, other members of the Superman family have their time to shine. Eradicator has a moment of pure heroism at the end which is great to see, Steel gets to be the techy member that solves the problem and Kara shows off why she is just as much a hero as her cousin. Although Superboy doesn’t get any defining moments in this issue (a shame), this issue felt like a send off not only to Superman and his supporting cast but to the DC Universe as well. The Reign of the Doomsdays event brought the heroes of the DCU together for one last crisis to combat and though evidently not everyone appeared, it was nice to see the heroes of the old DCU come together one last time.
· The highlight of this issue storywise is the second to last page where Lois sums up why Superman is the greatest superhero ever and why he deserves the title ‘Superman’. I won’t go into further details but Superman fans will most likely not be disappointed with the ending to Action Comics.
· Whilst I was expecting a cover with more going on in it, the action shot of Superman vs Doomslayer along with Kenneth Rocafort’s exquisite artwork more than makes up for the lack of anything going on.
· Whilst this doesn’t influence the story score in any way, I found the probe speaking in small sentences quite methodical and boring to read. Plus I expected the revelation that the Doomslayer was in fact the 4 Doomsday clone from reading the last issue.
· Whilst Axel Gimenz does a decent job on the art, the artist for the last 4 pages is not only bad but his art style clashes terribly with Gimenz’. And if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s artists whose styles clash in a comic book. So that drags down the art unfortunately.
Overall, Paul Cornell has given Superman the send off he deserved. It’s a shame he’s leaving the book but if you’re a fan of Paul Cornell then you’ll probably be picking up Demon Knights and Stormwatch. I won’t due to having already chosen my new DC comic books but I will be keeping a close eye on them as Cornell has shown that he is one of my favourite writers in comic books at the moment.