Last issue resulted in the 'death' of Clark Kent. Here we find out why this is what Superman wants along with other new developments.
Last issue Clark Kent was targeted after Nimrod the Hunter discovered who Superman was. This resulted in the death of Clark and now we're seeing a new secret identity for Superman. Heroes having multiple secret identities is actually a topic I brought up back in December. There's always the question of who the character truly is, are they more defined by the hero persona or the civilian one? Having different civilian identities gives the chance to throw off suspecting investigators and also gives the hero an identity to fall back on should one need to be abandoned or discarded. The problem comes when that civilian identity is who the hero really is and they have strong connections to the people in that life.
This is where we meet Superman's new alter ego. He has the chance to live a normal life and still has the opportunity to perform good deeds. In a conversation with Batman, his reasonings for the death of Clark are revealed along with his thoughts on dealing with dealing with the end of that life. The question is, if Superman isn't Clark Kent, who exactly is he?
Grant Morrison also introduces Susie Tompkins, Lois Lane's step-niece into the New 52 Universe. Needless to say, Susie won't just be a bratty kid to be a pest for Lois. We also find out more about the mysterious "Superman" who was active before the actual Superman began his career.
The back-up feature by Sholly Fisch and Cafu was a treat. While last issue's back-up featured a memorial to Clark Kent (and also takes place after this issue which sort of spoils one incident involving Lois in this issue), this story was a blast to read. In issue #10, Clark is seen having a stack of Superman t-shirts. There's been some confusion why he always wears a blue but has been seen in a white and red shirt as well. This back-up offers a (possible) explanation. It might not be Earth-shattering but it was fun to read. It's this back-up that bumped up the reading enjoyment this issue.
It's not fully clear why exactly Superman felt the need for a new secret ID when he tells Batman he felt he "outlived" Clark Kent. He mentions his activities as Superman are taking up more and more of his time yet for some reason still wants a secret identity. We've always seen that Superman is more Clark Kent as Bruce Wayne is more Batman. It feels as if Superman made a brash decision without thinking it all through but the fact that he already has a new persona in place would say he's had time to prepare for this.
We get a glimpse at a new threat for Superman in this issue. The air of mystery surrounding this character is intriguing but the way the events play out, it's difficult to really care about him.
When will it be revealed why sometimes Superman wears jeans and a t-shirt and other times (in the same exact issue) he wears the Kryptonian armor?
Reading ACTION COMICS sometimes feels like riding a roller coaster. Some issues are great and others are a little lacking. This was a solid issue despite not containing any major catastrophic events in the life of Superman. Where this series shines is in continuing to show the earlier days of Superman. Despite the other series taking place in the present, ACTION simply delivers more on who Superman is. The downside is with Superman allowing his alter ego of Clark Kent to be killed, we know that decision won't stick. It does raise the question of how much does his time as Clark Kent define who he is? Is he really willing to so easily give up Clark Kent's existence in order to be Superman and whatever other secret identity he creates? We are also treated to a fun back-up story picking up on details that may not be crucial but is a topic the nit-picky fans will love to see.