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Five Developments from ACTION COMICS #8

Grant Morrison wraps up his first arc and more updates are revealed.

Grant Morrison's look at the early days of Superman has wrapped up in an almost abrupt fashion. The world was threatened by invaders and a huge chunk of Metropolis was miniaturized and placed in a bottle. Thankfully Superman was on hand to save the day.

This isn't the end of the story as Morrison trickled out more nuggets of plot and character development that we'll have to wait and see to find out how they play out in future issues.

Hopefully you're read ACTION COMICS #8 to witness the final battle of young Superman. We won't spoil everything but there will definitely be some spoilers below.

== TEASER ==

Who was that 'little man'?

ACTION COMICS #7

This was one of the things left out in in the write up for issue #7. We saw Glenmorgan talking to a bartender. I might be missing something but there was definitely something familiar about him.

When it was seen that Glenmorgan seems to be a little out of sorts, he mentioned that "the little man" gave it all to him and then took it away. There was no sign of the man but Glenmorgan feels he is now in hell and the little man is the devil.

Obviously this is something we'll be seeing more of in the future.

Superman's costume still changes

We saw when Superman put on the Kryptonian armor, it changed its appearance based on the House of El, giving him the S-emblem and familiar colors. During his battle with Metallo, one of the other bottled cities is smashed and Superman ends up grabbing a piece from inside. Immediately his costume changes symbol and color. As soon as he discards the piece from the bottle, his costume reverts back to the red and blue.

It's unclear what the significance of this is. It makes sense that the costume would be attuned to his DNA and give a representation of his colors and symbol. Why it would take on a different look based on something he grabbed, while still wearing the suit, doesn't quite make sense. We'll have to see how and why this feature is used later.

Superman's spaceship saves the day, again

We saw in issue #6, which took place after the events of this battle, that Superman took possession of the space station and made it his original Fortress of Solitude. What we didn't know was how he took it over. It wasn't just a matter of defeating the bad guys and sending them on their way.

Grabbing the miniaturized version of the ship (that was inside the bottled city of Metropolis), Superman flicked the rocket inside the head of the invaders. Because the ship was invulnerable and had "some kind of crystal computer system," they wouldn't have a defense against it. Because the ship's primary mission is to protect the son of Krypton, the invaders were now under their control.

What happens to Steel?

In the last issue there was the question about what happens to Steel after all of this? He's saved a lot of lives yet in the current time period and all the other "New 52" books, there's been no mention of him. For all of his heroic deeds, you would think he'd make a big impression on the world. There could be the possibility that he doesn't survive but when asked about being a superhero, he simply shrugged off the idea.

Superman is now a hero

In just a matter of moments, right before Metropolis was attacked, Superman was still seen as a menace by many. He had some fans but the fact that there was the possibility he was an alien. The army apprehended him and (under Lex Luthor's orders) were basically torturing him.

Due to his role in saving the day, he was given the key to the city. Everyone was all smiles and cheered him on as he explained who he was and where he came from.

Where this differs from other tellings is he basically revealed everything during a press conference when he got the key. Lois Lane didn't get the exclusive. Clark Kent didn't either. A crowd of reporters were on hand to take down the details of his origin.

What else happened?

What about Clark's reporting career? Is his secret identity safe? What happens to John Corben? These developments and more are the reasons you need to check out the rest of the issue for yourself.

There is also a prologue at the end as well as the Superman of Earth-23 coming next issue. Who knows what else Grant Morrison has planned for Superman.

57 Comments
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Posted by zackattack529

i remember when i used to think superman was lame...thank you grant morrison for renewing my hope and faith with super man with this series. :)

Posted by jubilee042

superman looks a little weird in that last pic

Posted by Or35ti

This is awesome, I can't wait to read it :)

Edited by Muis

On the suit changing: I figured it changed on account of the tiny little robotic things crawling into it that turned out to be the focus of George Perez's arc over in Superman #1-#6. That doesn't take into account why it changed back only two panels later though.

Posted by BoyWander

I liked the fact that his costume changed. although the first coloring looks like aquaman...

Posted by Eyz

The more Kryptonian looking colored costumed made the new bulkish/armorish design kinda work...

Posted by EganTheVile1

I hate being the voice of protest, I really do, I just keep thinking back to the moment Superman renounced his US citizenship and then nothing coming from that moment due to New 52, and thus New 52 just keeps feeling like a massive cop out to undo mistakes made by writers who may have gotten a bit trigger happy for execs taste. I still say New 52 would better serve the DCU the same way Ultimate Universe does Marvel, as a separate reality. I love the New 52 stories, just wish the ongoing stories that predated it were not sacrificed.

Posted by FoxxFireArt

I wonder if his line about not knowing cities had keys was just him acting a role on an alien. I find it hard to believe that he could grow up on Earth and never hear of that ceremony.

What they're doing with the costume is weird. I don't really see how that's at all practical.

Posted by Saren

The little man is Mxy, hurr.

Moderator Online
Posted by Outside_85

Recon the little man is Dr. Psycho

Online
Posted by davidgrantlloyd

That last picture is very inconsistent with the rest. It's a genuine shame that Rags couldn't quite complete the arc. This could've been one of the very few (maybe only) perfect Superman stories ... now it looks as tho, due to the inconsist art, a significant amount of shine has come off of it. Maybe DC should've considered delaying this issue for a couple of weeks (like they did with JL a few issues back) for the sake of the collected edition. I don't mean to be overly pedantic, but to stumble at the very last hurdle is an absolute tragedy.

Posted by dan824

nice

Posted by Crimson Eagle

The little man... Could it be Mxyzptlk? (Did I even spell that right? :P)

Posted by ltbrd

The inconsistent artwork through this arc has been a let down where they keep switching Superman's appearance from a young adult to something closer to his present age seemingly at random.

I'm truly not a Morrison hater but I'm also not willing to say everything the man touches turns gold. This is one of those times. The reversion back to a silver age style of storytelling is, in my opinion, not warranted. People have constantly called out how silly Superman stories can be and how he (Superman) seems to win by the strangest and most absurd explanations. This arc won't change that opinion at all and in a way sets back any chance of Superman's character being brought into a more modern telling for today's readers. Don't get me wrong, I love the silver age stories. But I was reading comics when it was the Silver Age. It's not anymore and trying to recapture that feel I think is the wrong move for this character.

The break in this story was also unnecessary. The little stint with the Legion could have easily been the two issues proceeding this one, not a cut in the middle. It made absolutely no sense to have those issues if Supes doesn't even have the Fortress yet. Plus the costume designs of the Legion were again a throwback to the Silver Age and don't match up with the Legion series.

Morrison has done some great things for DC, but I think the company needs to start thinking about reeling the guy in and make him work with the other series writers so what he is putting on the page doesn't immediately contradict something else.

: I loved the concept that Superman would go to the U.N. and "renounce" his American citizenship. I put that in quotes because I don't remember a Superman story where he was actually granted citizenship. Its always just been implied that he's American even though the entire world knows he's not human. But I did agree with the concept that Superman address the U.N. on the importance of seeing him as a global citizen there to protect everyone rather than an American citizen that would be interfering in foreign affairs.

Posted by ShepRad

This series is going downhill since the beginning. I loved the 1st few issues even though Morrison isn't doing the best job here, Rags Morales' art is simply astounding. Now issue 8 of Action was a big pile of turd. Seriously, 4 artists in one issue? sort this out DC, Action was supposed to be Snyder/Capullo's Batman equivalent. That title deserves the best treatment.

Posted by Green ankh

I miss my old superman.

Posted by Tyrisis

While I love the story line, the multiple artists is an absolute distraction. I've stopped reading several books for bad art over the years, and stayed away from what were probably good stories because of the artist. I may be getting close to this again for Action Comics, and that is very disappointing to me. I was looking very forward to a relevant Superman comic.

Posted by KRYPTON

Cities don't have keys, they are just awards. lol, Superman's series is great

Posted by cagedleo730

@ltbrd: I agree with the inconsistent art. Rags Morales is not a monthly book artists. He's even admitted to that. Capullo is much faster. The 2 issue break drawn by Kubert was DC accomodating to Rags' pace. He needed a break to catch up. It still wasn't enough since he needed help for issue 8. As for the Legion costumes, it doesn't have to match the current Legion because they expressed with art and dialogue that these were much older versions of the current Legion. They went by the name of Lightning Man, Cosmic Man, and Saturn Woman which isn't what the current younger Legion goes by. It may not even have been Grant Morrison's choice for colors and such. Artists are getting more of a say.

Posted by wowylied

The costum part is clearly the machine that are attacking superman in superman 1-6, they are adapting to the environment.

(The second part of this issue was creepy as hell, the art really didn't worked for me).

Posted by PhoenixoftheTides

I hope he doesn't get a journalism career - that's one of the corniest barriers to entry for a comics reader that isn't a Superman fan.

Posted by kennybaese

Did they officially say that this was the end of the younger Superman stories in Action? Just because he has the armor doesn't mean he's still not young...

Anyway, I haven't had time to pick this up yet, but I can't wait to read it this weekend.

Posted by Kal'smahboi
@KRYPTON said:

Cities don't have keys, they are just awards. lol, Superman's series is great

I loved that, too, He's such a small town guy in this arc. Thing is though, he's supposed to be pretty smart and informed. He's a prize-winning journalist, for Heaven's sake!
Posted by TheGeekCritique

We're still waiting for Action Comics to fly. It's been weighed down by too many new ingredients added to the Superman canon to give this title much of a running start. It's our hope that once Grant Morrison feels he's included everything necessary to get Action Comics off the ground, he (or some future writer) will finally have enough runway to gradually give this comic some speed and watch it take off.

Until then we're not as impressed with Action Comics as we are with the reboot of Batman, Aquaman and Batwing.

Posted by GeekyEverAfter

I love Grant Morrison's graphic novels there Amazing!

Posted by doordoor123

I think I get the costume changing thing. Could be that whatever world he comes into contact with, the costume changes to adapt? Like because he is on Earth, there is an S and because he is in the United States, his costume is Red and Blue. Maybe I'm wrong because the same thing doesn't apply for Supergirl.

Posted by KRYPTON

@Kal'smahboi said:

@KRYPTON said:

Cities don't have keys, they are just awards. lol, Superman's series is great

I loved that, too, He's such a small town guy in this arc. Thing is though, he's supposed to be pretty smart and informed. He's a prize-winning journalist, for Heaven's sake!

I guess prized winning journalist limits your ability to know that key's and awards are for big cities, and I thought Superman had the intellect of like, 12 Einsteins. Look what that mayor did, he crippled Superman's intellect!!! With just a single handshake.

Posted by Kal'smahboi
@KRYPTON said:

@Kal'smahboi said:

@KRYPTON said:

Cities don't have keys, they are just awards. lol, Superman's series is great

I loved that, too, He's such a small town guy in this arc. Thing is though, he's supposed to be pretty smart and informed. He's a prize-winning journalist, for Heaven's sake!

I guess prized winning journalist limits your ability to know that key's and awards are for big cities, and I thought Superman had the intellect of like, 12 Einsteins. Look what that mayor did, he crippled Superman's intellect!!! With just a single handshake.

Well he's clearly playing dumb in order to fool possible future enemies. Clearly.
Posted by KRYPTON

@Kal'smahboi said:

@KRYPTON said:

@Kal'smahboi said:

@KRYPTON said:

Cities don't have keys, they are just awards. lol, Superman's series is great

I loved that, too, He's such a small town guy in this arc. Thing is though, he's supposed to be pretty smart and informed. He's a prize-winning journalist, for Heaven's sake!

I guess prized winning journalist limits your ability to know that key's and awards are for big cities, and I thought Superman had the intellect of like, 12 Einsteins. Look what that mayor did, he crippled Superman's intellect!!! With just a single handshake.

Well he's clearly playing dumb in order to fool possible future enemies. Clearly.

You sir, are clearly from the future. Clearly.

Posted by LaserLambert

This felt a bit rushed, it seemed like from the last one that this issue would be a the final battle with Brainiac and the one after it would be the wrap up.

This is still probably the best interpretation of Superman since the 1930's, but that's probably the reason I'm a little disappointed by this.

Hopefully Morrison stays on for some amount of time longer at least because I love what he's doing and he needs plenty of time to do it.

Posted by Phaedrusgr

@ShepRad: At last the voice of reason

Posted by bloggerboy

@zackattack529:

You should check out Morrison's All-Star Superman if you haven't already.

Posted by ArtisticNeedham

I might have missed something, but how did he reverse the shrink process and save the city?

I too think the little man is Mxyzptlk, maybe he is manipulating things behind the scenes first. and wasn't the lady renting a room to Clark named something Nxy something? Maybe she and the little Man are connected.

Also Lex Luthor helped Clark as an informant against Glenmorgan. Saying he wanted to help the city, but really making a spot in controlling the city left empty for Luthor to fill. But it also reminded me of the idea Smallville used to present that at some point in their future Clark and Lex Luthor were working together to make the world a better place, and then Luthor's devious true intentions showed.

Posted by Miss_Garrick

I don't know much on Superman villians and things, but my gut instinct says the 'little man' is one of the Toymans. Just a random thought.

Posted by Sammo21

I haven't cared for Action Comics at all, really. Sadly, Detective Comics is the same way. Superman and Batman however have been much better (at least in the case of Batman).

Posted by Agm

@EganTheVile1 said:

I hate being the voice of protest, I really do, I just keep thinking back to the moment Superman renounced his US citizenship and then nothing coming from that moment due to New 52, and thus New 52 just keeps feeling like a massive cop out to undo mistakes made by writers who may have gotten a bit trigger happy for execs taste. I still say New 52 would better serve the DCU the same way Ultimate Universe does Marvel, as a separate reality. I love the New 52 stories, just wish the ongoing stories that predated it were not sacrificed.

Did this story bother you? I just get that impression.

I thought it was explained pretty simply back then. Superman didn't want America's enemies attacking his home country due to his actions assuming he was working for the government, so he made himself a free agent to protect the US and make himself the target. Clark Kent remained an American citizen though.

Not sure where else you could take that story. If Superman had created his own island and declared himself emperor, telling people to come live there under him I guess that would be something. But completely out of character for him too.

Main point, it wasn't that big a story point to revolve around based on character.

Edited by johnny_spam

@ArtisticNeedham: In the two part fill in arc it was shown that the Superman's ship was slightly sentient and also his new Fortress of Solitude was Brainiac's ship. In this issue Superman used some of the crystal tech from his ship and used it to infect The Collector (Brainiac) to make it an extension of the ship. Now being part Kryptonian he could control it he just stopped the countdown.

Posted by DarthShap

It is in no way a bad comic book. A lot of elements of the mythos are rearranged in ways that feel new and familiar at the same time.

However, as an introductory arc to the character, it is probably the worst pre-Crisis. I am not the biggest Birthright fan, I prefer Man of Steel and Secret Origin, but even Birthright did a better job at introducing the character and the mythos.

I usually love Morrison but this is just messy (and the changing artists do not help). It would work as a regular arc but not as THE Superman origin story for the years to come.

Posted by DarthShap

As for the mysterious hallucinatory "little man" :

Posted by Dernman

Could the little guy be Lord Satanis? He could have bought Gennmorgans's soul for control of the city then erased him memory. He also has a history of being in Metropolis and manipulating things in human form.

Posted by The Impersonator

super.

Posted by Primmaster64

Little man+ Mr.Mxy

Posted by loganchild

@Kal'smahboi: can supes tear his own cape can his heat vision burn thru it

Posted by Kal'smahboi
@loganchild said:

@Kal'smahboi: can supes tear his own cape can his heat vision burn thru it

I going to guess yes. I've always hated the word invulnerable as a description of Superman. He isn't invulnerable, just very very durable. I think his cape is the same way.
Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

The little guy, I'm saying is either Mxy or Dr. Psycho. As for the suit changing while he was protecting that other bottle world, I'm assuming that there is a whole LOT to that suit we just don't know yet and its just another one of those plot devices that has us thinking. The ship essentially destroying Brainiac is great but I swear, I think I'm about gonna go insane if I see another "Ha la la!" reference again. I know its Kryptonese but come on, lol. As for Steel, lets hope he makes good on his word to wear a helmet and fight the good fight. Corbin will be back as Metallo, upon that I'm sure we can count since the K-engine was shattered, so no doubt he will be powered by K in the future. I liked the little prologue at the end showing how Nimrod the Hunter would accept the challenge of shooting a bullet proof man, and obviously this is a prelude to the scheme by which the Anti-Superman Army would invade Clark's brain. But the big question I have is...what is this Multitude that Brainiac kept speaking of? Earth apparently kill number 205 of 333? Is this a bigger event in the making? Something to think on.

Posted by twisted17

Did anyone catch the Obama Superman at the Editorial page? Is that the upcoming Earth 23 Superman???

Posted by Sekele

@KRYPTON :

or, you know, maybe he's been joking

Posted by SoA

the "little man" is Mr. Mxyzptlk

Posted by capelesscrusader

I also thought that the reveal of "Icarus" identity, though strongly hinted at, was nice to see made clear.

Posted by Red_Robin212

I agree with whoever said "It felt a bit rushed", I would have liked #8 to be the fight against Brainiac and #9 to be the conclusion, But I still liked it and will continue reading it.

I prefered Swamp Thing #8 this week

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