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Action Comics #11 - Superman's New Secret Identity; Clothes Encounter Review

4

The reason Clark Ket was killed is revealed. Sholly Fisch's back up also reveals information on Superman's t-shirts.

Last issue resulted in the 'death' of Clark Kent. Here we find out why this is what Superman wants along with other new developments.

The Good

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.

The Bad

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?

The Verdict

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.

23 Comments
Posted by KainScion

it was a meh issue. definetly not a 4 star one.

Posted by sethysquare

I agree this is one great issue. I just found out Susie Tompkins was already introduced in issue 6, this got me really excited that Grant Morrison actually went deep into Superman mythos and dug out so many familiar things and present it to us in a whole new way.

I'm intrigue with this whole Nutants thing and I'm dying to find out what is going on.

Also, I thought that bit that referenced Bibbo was great. Bibbo is a great character that is underused, I hope we get to see more of him.

Lastly, I kept thinking we're going to find out what exactly is going on with the anti superman army, but I just couldn't figure out when would we get to see more of this Anti Superman army. I think this book is exactly what Superman needs right now.

Posted by SandMan_

He switches costumes.

Posted by cc1738

My comic shop was closed today. I have to wait to get the issue. :(

Posted by microwave25

It really is so difficult to make up my mind about this series. Morrison keeps on adding new facets to the story without fully explaining what went before. But most of us know he has a knack for completely wrapping things up so I can't really drop it.

Posted by sethysquare

Also, can someone create a page for this adam/nutant dude? He already appeared in 2 issues.

Edited by colonyofcells

Captain Comet Adam Blake was an early dc mutant from the 1950s before the silver age. I hope dc can start its own mutant group with Adam Blake as the leader. This rebooted Adam Blake looks ok to me. The new term nutant is also ok with me similar to the term meta.
I have fond memories of Adam Blake from his comic book in the 1970s : Secret Society of Super Villains where Adam Blake fought the super villain team.

Posted by MrArrogant

I think the whole shirt vs suit thing is based on what he's doing. When he's teaming up with the justice league (even if maybe just batman) or taking on big cosmic threats he takes the armor, as he needs the extra protection. However when tackling street level thugs there's no need for it, and it makes him look more approachable to the people as he's just a dude in the shirt.

Anyway I thought this was a good issue though maybe not as good as last issue as it had a lot more going on, but overall I'm still really enjoying this title.

Edited by Icon

"We've always seen that Superman is more Clark Kent as Bruce Wayne is more Batman."

I wouldn't say so. Often, in the past, Clark Kent would be shown to be everything Superman is not and vice versa. That's how the disguise worked.

Posted by Dernman

NO NO NO! Don't start the whole mutant thing for DC. Really I don't care if this is a reboot. Leave that for Marvel.  
Metahuman already explore the mutants issue without getting drowned in it like Marvel does. It's good for Marvel DC doesn't need to go there and ride that bandwagon. I wish Superman would get his telepathy resistance back. 

Good issue though.The thing with Lois would have been much better if we didn't already know about the Superman book.

Posted by DaSpiguine

OK I have a question and if someone can help me out with this, that would be great.

During what time does this story arc take place?

Cause in New 52 Superman He is Clark Kent and if he id supposed to be dead are those stories taking place Pre Justice League or what.

--A very confused fan

Posted by KEROGA

GREAT THEY KILLED CLARK KENT, -_- THX NEW 52

Posted by Hatutzeraze

1. Susie Tomkins had the most intriguing lines in the whole issue.

"Maybe one name's not enough. Imagine if they could have every name at the same time, and then they'd never get bored. Imagine if everyone had every name ever all at the same time...what would it sound like backwards?"

- That certainly calls a specific piece of the Superman mythos to mind. Loved it.

2.

@Dernman said:

NO NO NO! Don't start the whole mutant thing for DC. Really I don't care if this is a reboot. Leave that for Marvel. Metahuman already explore the mutants issue without getting drowned in it like Marvel does.

- I don't think there's much to fret about here. Nutants certainly seems to have a different definition than mutants at Marvel, and even if they didn't, the way Marvel uses them has a distinctive style to it, one that DC could easily avoid if they needed to. Mutants or nutants wouldn't at all have to mean the same thing.

Posted by sethysquare

@DaSpiguine: around 5 years before current time. Also its obvious he would return to take the mantle of clark kent since in current time period he is clark kent.

Posted by Superguy1591

@KEROGA: You're not very bright, are you? He's Clark Kent in the Superman books, so we can assume he'll go back to being Clark Kent in Action Comics.

Posted by sethysquare

@Superguy1591 said:

@KEROGA: You're not very bright, are you? He's Clark Kent in the Superman books, so we can assume he'll go back to being Clark Kent in Action Comics.

LOL.

Posted by ssejllenrad

@KEROGA said:

GREAT THEY KILLED CLARK KENT, -_- THNX SHUSTER AND SIEGEL HEIRS

Fixed!

Posted by sethysquare

@ssejllenrad said:

@KEROGA said:

GREAT THEY KILLED CLARK KENT, -_- THNX SHUSTER AND SIEGEL HEIRS

Fixed!

Yeah, if anything its all shuster and siegel heis' fault. If only they just stop trying to steal whats not theirs. As if Superman can be who he is without DC.

Posted by SandMan_

I gotta wonder though...Is Superman's Fortress Of Solitude gonna be the JLA Watchtower?

Edited by johnny_spam

Very enjoyable issue although the the upcoming threat is still vague this issue does feel like it is going to be something big. With Superman Morrison always figured that he was truly the Kent's son so both the guy in Metropolis and Superman were both acts I could see a young Clark abandoning his identity but ends up feeling sentimental and takes his Earth name back.

Posted by JV

I once read that reading Superman is best on a nice Summer day while relaxing in a hammock. lol So I have been reading Supes lately on the weekend only late in the day while sitting poolside with beer in hand. Oh and kids are off playing and not all over me. :) Anyway, I really am enjoying this Comic immensely. Can't wait to find out more about the Nutants, and I really enjoy diving deeper into Superman and his thoughts. I get 13 DC comics and this is a top 3 for me.

Posted by SupahForeigner

From what everyone has being saying about Action Comics, and now reading both this review and others, I'm getting incredibly tempted to give this series a try.

Posted by slapz88

im a little confused after reading this issue. Which costume is Superman sticking with. In the beginning he is in the shirt and jeans but then he switches to his present day Superman armor costume. I feel like that switching of costumes is not making any sense and to me is throwing me off while reading this. I hope Morrison addresses this. I feel like Morrison in this book is all over the place but I have faith that Morrison will pull it all together.