Superman has been defeated and captured in his first issue already. At the mercy of Lex Luthor and General Lane, Superman's future is looking a little bleak.
There is simply a sense of fun and excitement in the pages of Action Comics. This isn't a Superman story we would have seen before. Being de-powered gives Superman a new obstacle to overcome where as normally he can simply bust his way out of any situation. The idea that Superman is still somewhat new is brilliantly conveyed as Luthor and the others try to figure what Superman is and what he ("it") is capable of. There are other familiar faces alongside Lex and seeing their earlier portrayal is a blast. We have an idea who these guys will become and seeing them before is a nice touch. There are other little secrets uncovered as everything Superman is analyzed. It's like we're watching a mystery that we think we might have seen before but it somehow takes different turns now and then. Of course this is more than just a story about Superman being captured and examined. We're starting to get a look at the bigger picture and there is definitely some crazy things coming very soon.
Rags Morales and Brent Anderson do a great job with the art. I mentioned how the younger versions of the characters look. Lex, Superman, Lois and the others have subtle changes yet you know immediately who they are. I have to admit that Superman's t-shirt, jeans and boots look is growing on me. There's something nice about his cape as well. There is a new interpretation of something else Superman-related (I don't want to spoil it but it's not difficult to figure out) and it looks pretty dang cool.
Reading Action Comics makes me want to see more of the DC Universe in this time period. I want to know what's going on in Gotham, Central City and everywhere else. Unfortunately we know we can't have any crossovers with Batman or Green Lantern but I want to see more of this time period, provided it's Grant Morrison setting things up.
It's a different Superman but that's not a bad thing. The introduction of certain other characters at this moment feels a little bit forced. It's almost like reading a What If? story where everyone inexplicably comes together right away. The appearances make sense and we'll have to see if their futures will be similar to what we already know.
Lois came across as a little...annoying. Given the situation she was in, she handled it as expected. As much as I like the character and we are seeing a slightly different version from what we saw in Superman #1, I don't feel she added too much by appearing here.
Having two artists in one issue was a slight distraction. Upon first reading, I wasn't quite sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me. It's thankfully not too jarring.
The story also felt a little short but we get some cool 'bonus features' at the end with commentary and a look ahead.
I am still completely sold on this title. I've enjoyed Superman before but the idea of seeing a younger, less powerful version left me a little skeptical. Morrison is doing a great job in setting up the Superman and possibly the DC Universe in this issue. Seeing familiar faces before they establish themselves as major parts of Superman's life was great to see. We find out some of the motivation behind the attack against Superman last issue and get to find out some more about Superman along the way. This is becoming one of my favorite 'New 52' titles and I cannot wait for the next issue.