etragedy's Action Comics #1 - Superman Versus the City of Tomorrow review

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Eh... it's better than Justice League #1...

O.K., first let me start by saying I like the direction they're taking Superman in. I was initially skeptical - he seemed a little too much like Batman from the preview - and there are a lot of dark avenger type heroes - Superman was one of a shrinking pool of true optimists in the superhero world.
 
But, I was a fan of Grant Morrison's Animal Man - a title I believe had some of the best issues of any modern superhero comic, so I was looking forward to this Superman reinvention, and after reading it, I was pleased to see they didn't go overboard with it. In fact, this Superman reminded me of the Superman we saw in the ' Blakely Mine Disaster' (my review of which seems to have mysteriously vanished from the site). Anyway, the overall character framework of a Superman standing up for the little guy definitely came through. I also kind of like the Superman in jeans and boots - I think it's a lot easier to believe he'd start fighting crime immediately before getting around to making a full costume.
 
I was O.K. with Rags Morales art, it was a tad too cartoony at times for me (especially one business crony in the beginning who is drawn with an overly large head) - but I found it overall to be more pleasing than Jim Lee's overly detailed / cluttered looking panels in Justice League #1.
 
Once again - just like Justice League #1 - we come into the story in-progress. This is baffling... if you're going to bother going back to an earlier time before Superman has reached his full potential - then why not begin... at the beginning? I mean, here we are in the first issue and already most of the supporting cast has been established, even the enmity with Luthor.
 
But while the writing here seems better than in JL #1, it's also kind of troublesome. It seems stilted, herky jerky. The dialog doesn't always seem to flow. Worse yet, the plot seems to do the same thing (here's the part where I get blasted by fanboys who will claim I'm an idiot and missed something "obvious"): Superman goes from calmly discussing matters of rent with his landlady as Clark Kent, to somehow, inexplicably, knowing about a sabotaged commuter train that happens to have Lois and Jimmy on it. I thought maybe my copy was missing a page or something - that somehow he found out about it from Glenmorgan the tycoon he ruffed up in the beginning - or heard about it with super hearing or something... but nope - he just knows about it and goes off to stop it.
 
Look, I'm not saying this issue is bad - as comics go, it's better than average. But much like the Justice League relaunch - it really doesn't live up to all the hype - yet... let's hope that changes.

2 Comments
Posted by welshguy

Got to agree with you with this. It bothered the hell out of me how he went from chatting to his landlady to knowing about the impending train disaster and like you I thought my copy was missing an integral page or two. Also, the line "because that ain't Superman" seemed out of place and just plain odd. 
Apart from that, I really enjoyed it. Its the first superman comic I've ever read and I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops.

Posted by Broadsword

i was SO glad to see that someone else felt the same way i did, Particularly, your comment about the flow of the story. i too, though my copy was missing a page. I've found this to be, unfortunately, a common occurrence in Grant Morrison's writing lately. Several issues of Batman INC made me feel the same way. At any rate, just wanted to say i agree with you 100%. thanks for the good, honest, perceptive review.

Other reviews for Action Comics #1 - Superman Versus the City of Tomorrow

    The First Hero 0

    It's a brand new day for superheroes as Superman is shown as a green hero in Metropolis and being new really gives his current uniform a strong effect. Seriously, do you expect everyone to be expert sewers and make costumes? No, so a T-shirt, some jeans, and boots are completely plausible at this point in Superman's life. And I believe his costume from the Pre-52 was made by his mom, and she and Pa Kent are dead as it has been revealed in spoilers released over the summer. With things like that ...

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