Comic Vine Review

31 Comments

Action Comics #19 - Hybrid, Part 1 Review

4

Find out more about what happened between Superman, Lois and Lex before the New 52 started.

The Good

I'm a sucker for seeing flashback stories set before the New 52 started. There's so much we don't fully know and a lot we've had to assume. Set "one year ago," the issue immediately begins with some great interactions between Clark and Lois. This is something that we've missed out on as Lois just received her promotion that removed her from actual field reporting. There has been a strong lacking in the display of any sort of connection between the two. Within just a few pages, Andy Diggle and Tony Daniel deliver. These pages tell us more about where they stand with each other than we've seen so far in all the New 52 issues.

It's always interesting when writers choose to give us narration from the character. It's a great way to break down the barriers and let us know exactly what's going on.

Tony Daniel does a great job on the art. I already mentioned the way he drew a scene with Lois and Clark. There's also the Superman scenes. We're talking the Man of Steel here. If he's going up against a gigantic threat, we expect big full action with loads of detail. While I do have a concern over the design and logistics of the threat (I'll address that below), the layouts Daniel uses is brilliant. Some of the action takes up most of the page with some other panels seemingly haphazardly thrown in, and I don't mean that in a bad way. The action gets intense and the way the panels are laid out conveys that frantic feeling. Daniel also draws a great Lex Luthor. I prefer this look compared to when we last saw him in earlier issues of this series.

The Bad

A decision Superman makes about Lois is a little questionable. It makes sense to a certain degree but hard to say if it would actually be a huge concern. This could be another instance where we are not fully familiar with this version of Superman. It might be a matter of reminding ourselves that this Superman behaves differently in part to losing his adoptive parents at an earlier age.

The threat Superman has to fight almost seems like a bit too much. Superman faces some serious tech. Sure Lex is behind it but if we're talking a year ago in the New 52 Universe, it seems too advanced. I can't even imagine the cost of the tech. Perhaps we'll see more of an explanation as to the origin of it all later.

The solicit mentions Lex's scars but he doesn't have any here that I can see. Not like he did in Scott Lobdell's SUPERMAN. It'll be interesting to see how Lex's plan against Superman plays out. It does seem like a big step against him. If he could do this now, why wouldn't he be able to do it again?

The Verdict

Obviously there's something that could be said about the unfortunate fact that this new team of Diggle and Daniel will not be on the series for more than a few issues. The important thing is, this was the type of comic Superman deserves. We get some great interaction between Lois and Clark, amazing action scenes with Superman and Lex Luthor looking the like the cold and immensely cruel individual he's supposed to be. There are some tiny bumps in this issue but nothing to get hung up on. In a perfect world, we'd get to see Diggle and Daniel on ACTION COMICS for a long run. This is the kind of stuff that makes ACTION COMICS super.

32 Comments
Edited by The Stegman

I will wait until #20 comes out with Daniel before I add this to my pull list..just in case.

Online
Posted by Deranged Midget

You hit it on the nail Tony, this issue of Action Comics was exactly what Superman needed right now. It was a different, interesting take on Superman with clever banter and a far more accurate take on Superman than what we are currently seeing in the namesake title.

Truly a disappointment to see Diggle leave.

Moderator
Edited by johnny_spam

After this issue now it feels like the readers are deprived of a potentially great run on this book.

Posted by arnoldoaad

It was everything that Superman needed, but everything that DC doesnt want to do

Edited by The Stegman

It was everything that Superman needed, but everything that DC doesnt want to do

Diggle was the hero Superman deserved...AND needed, but like Bane, DC broke his spine and threw him in a cave somewhere.

Online
Posted by The_Vein

I really enjoyed this issue, especially the interaction between Clark and Lois. I hope that even without Diggle the story can go on with this level of polish.

Posted by ME24601

This was a really good issue. It's a shame that this is the only one that Diggle wrote.

Hopefully he'll get some work at Marvel or a creator owned series.

Edited by lifeboy

<p>I am excited about this and have been llooking forward to this since daniels and diggle were anounced. I don't know why. I have no clue as to who diggle is and I have only seen the JL fill in issue about cheeta that daniels drew and that was just ok to me. But for unknown reasons I was thinking their combination was going to be a superb run in AC. I have already decided to renew my AC pull list for another year to support daniels because I am a loyal dc reader and I want to support daniels after what diggle did. I guess dc has some fault in this in that they didn't bend to pay diggle more money (what its usually comes down to) like he wanted. Maybe they vould have paid him offf atleast ennough to finish the arch but mostly I blame diggle. I will nevr pick up an issue that he wrote ever unless dc ttakes him back. Same with that idiot josh whats his face.</p>

Posted by lifeboy

Also, I'm sure that whoever replaces diggle will do just aswell or better. The only thing is that its going to lack the initial impact of when the daniels and diggle team were anounced.

Posted by JamDamage

I won't read this because it'll just make me remember how much better DC was before the relaunch.

Edited by Suprman

For my money, This was the best Superman related issue since the reboot started.

Edited by Jethrin

This actually feels like Superman for the first time in a while. Loved it.

Posted by soumya

After Morrison's run ended, I was a little skeptical about Diggle handling the title.Now I am feeling sad that Diggle had left.It was a great issue.

Edited by AllStarSuperman

@soumya said:

After Morrison's run ended, I was a little skeptical about Diggle handling the title.Now I am feeling sad that Diggle had left.It was a great issue.

this really, i was gonna drop it after morrison left but this issue made me keep it on my pull list

Edited by davidgrantlloyd

Hopefully, Tony Daniel will keep the style of writing, narration, dialogue, etc consistent with Part One ... from what I've read, he shouldn't have too much trouble with it

Posted by UltimateSMfan

I want the variant cover for this issue so badly!! It's so pretty! Anyway,this was a great issue, loved Lex in this one and nice review,it's spot on.

Posted by Dernman

This was a really good issue. IMO this was better then Morrison's entire run although that's not saying much because I don't like Morrison's Action Comics. This seemed more like the real Superman but updated a bit.

There was some nitpicks that I'm sure people will try and pick apart..

  1. Lois being able to hack into the military network. Then helping prisoners escape.
  2. Lex being a super super genius instead of just a genius mover and shaker. Although I can't really blame the writer because that seems the way DC wants to go. Me I prefer the genius/head of a corporation who meddles in metropolis and Superman's life instead of the Super genius who is hell bent on attacking superman.
  3. Depending on how you read it interfering with another governments business. The first time I read the issue I was ok these guys are bad but this isn't your place but the second time I read it was different because I realized something I glossed over before.

Some things I did like.

  1. Lex Luthor did seem more frightening then he has in a long time. For a long time Lex has seemed more of a bafoon then anything.
  2. I like the art in some places. I also like how they are taking after Marvel Now and making it seem like a movie. It gives it a more epic feeling that is perfect for Superman. To me it also helped make Superman feel Super even though he was having trouble just with mechs.
  3. I liked how Lois was interested in Clark and he wasn't just someone she ignores as a friend she walks over.
  4. There were more things but I'm forgetting them at the moment.

As far as G-Man mentioning the scars I believe that this is the story that will lead up to how Lex got them seeing as how this is set before Lobdell's run.

Over all this issue has got me wanting more and have hope for the future of Superman comics that I haven't had in awhile. I'm still going to be cautious though as not to get my hopes up too much.

Heh I kinda almost gave a review there and seeing as how I don't do reviews that is saying something for this comic to want to talk about it.

Posted by Billy Batson

@lifeboy said:

<p>I am excited about this and have been llooking forward to this since daniels and diggle were anounced. I don't know why. I have no clue as to who diggle is and I have only seen the JL fill in issue about cheeta that daniels drew and that was just ok to me. But for unknown reasons I was thinking their combination was going to be a superb run in AC. I have already decided to renew my AC pull list for another year to support daniels because I am a loyal dc reader and I want to support daniels after what diggle did. I guess dc has some fault in this in that they didn't bend to pay diggle more money (what its usually comes down to) like he wanted. Maybe they vould have paid him offf atleast ennough to finish the arch but mostly I blame diggle. I will nevr pick up an issue that he wrote ever unless dc ttakes him back. Same with that idiot josh whats his face.</p>

I like how you're basing Diggle leaving because of payment on... well, nothing.

BB

Posted by Kesho_Ronin

Great art as always from Daniel and really like the story where is heading

Posted by jinxuandi

@lifeboy said:

<p>I am excited about this and have been llooking forward to this since daniels and diggle were anounced. I don't know why. I have no clue as to who diggle is and I have only seen the JL fill in issue about cheeta that daniels drew and that was just ok to me. But for unknown reasons I was thinking their combination was going to be a superb run in AC. I have already decided to renew my AC pull list for another year to support daniels because I am a loyal dc reader and I want to support daniels after what diggle did. I guess dc has some fault in this in that they didn't bend to pay diggle more money (what its usually comes down to) like he wanted. Maybe they vould have paid him offf atleast ennough to finish the arch but mostly I blame diggle. I will nevr pick up an issue that he wrote ever unless dc ttakes him back. Same with that idiot josh whats his face.</p>

Where are you getting that idea? When a creator leaves a book voluntarily, it's almost always due to a creative disagreement with the editor and/or publisher. That was certainly the case with Fialkov (or as you know him, "josh whats his face") and if you think tight editorial control over writers is a good thing...well, enjoy the Superman books.

Posted by saoakden

Shame that Diggle won't be writing this book. The preview got me SUPER HYPED for this issue. Looking forward to reading it.

Posted by The_Hat

Superman! I remember this! Finally an issue that's about the character, not the person writing it.

Edited by dangermart

@gman Very nice review, sir. As regards Clark's 'questionable' decision re: Lois, do you mean

his immediate giving in when Jon comes on the scene? I'd also like to see him fight for her (not physically, mind), but it's the old 'don't make her a target' bit.

@dernman I'm all for Lex being his traditional super-genius - that's his iconic role. Fatcat meddling business man is boring by comparison; we can have that kind of character, but not at the expense of psycho scientist Lex, who's just more fun. Trad Lex can still be the soulless manipulator, as we saw this time.

Edited by Stormbox

This was a great issue yet we lost diggle

This sucks

Edited by Dernman

@gman Very nice review, sir. As regards Clark's 'questionable' decision re: Lois, do you mean

his immediate giving in when Jon comes on the scene? I'd also like to see him fight for her (not physically, mind), but it's the old 'don't make her a target' bit.

@dernman I'm all for Lex being his traditional super-genius - that's his iconic role. Fatcat meddling business man is boring by comparison; we can have that kind of character, but not at the expense of psycho scientist Lex, who's just more fun. Trad Lex can still be the soulless manipulator, as we saw this time.

I don't find the businessman boring but that wasn't what I was talking about. I want a combination of them both without being too much of either. I would imagine him being head scientist of a group of scientist he employs instead of him doing everything. I know some fans like it but the battle suit just doesn't interest me at all. He should be the guy Superman can't get to and Luthor doesn't stoop to confront head on. IMO

Posted by KnightofSteel

While reading this, you can see some of Diggle's quality writing style peppered throughout. Too bad he's not sticking around. Still I'll give this title a chance -- after all Daniel's art is impressive -- he's improved so much since his earlier Batman work.

Edited by Eternal19

this was a fantastic issue it was one of my favorites of the month.

Posted by toptom

You hit it on the nail Tony, this issue of Action Comics was exactly what Superman needed right now. It was a different, interesting take on Superman with clever banter and a far more accurate take on Superman than what we are currently seeing in the namesake title.

Truly a disappointment to see Diggle leave.

@suprman said:

For my money, This was the best Superman related issue since the reboot started.

It was everything that Superman needed, but everything that DC doesnt want to do

you guys can totally read my mind. i can't add anything...maybe i can just say that daniel's art is fantastic: he reminds me jim lee!.

Edited by Kal'smahboi

Hopefully the quality of this book continues after Daniels takes over scripting. It was a truly great issue. Honestly, the art is what did it for me, but this is the best version of current Superman that we've seen in the New 52 (I don't count Morrison's Action because he was so young.)

Also, question: This series is still in the past because Lex doesn't have the scars yet, correct?

Edited by dangermart

It's set a year ago, yes - there's a narrative box stating this explicitly.

Edited by sinestro_GL

It's set a year ago, yes - there's a narrative box stating this explicitly.

For me, this drains my interest out of the story.