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Action Comics #2 - In Chains Review

5

Superman has been caught and is at the mercy of his captors. Experiments will be conducted and what secrets will be discovered. More supporting cast members are being introduced as we find out more about the 'New 52' Superman.

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.

The Good

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.

The Bad

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.

The Verdict

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.

32 Comments
Posted by Gambit1969

Why 2 artists already on just issue #2?

Posted by Eyz

Looks like another solid hit!

Posted by ChernobylCow

Good for superman fans I guess. I'm going to be sticking with Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and DC. AC #1 just didn't sell any future issues to me. He's still just Superman and to me the most interesting Superman stories have already been told in things like Red Son and also some of the events in Powers.

Posted by Geniusmonkey

Agree about seeing more characters and locales from this time period, seems like fertile ground for a writer of Morrison's caliber. Not too keen on the variant cover....looks like a rip-off of the Adam Hughes cover for Action 900...only pony. Can't wait to read this after work, though.

Posted by MetropolisKid41

AWESOME!!! I picked it up on the way to work this morning, can't wait to read it during the Lunch Hour!!!
Posted by higher_evolutionary

best art ever

Posted by DickDastardly

That variant cover just wont do..

Posted by Roldan

@DickDastardly said:

That variant cover just wont do..

You mean the one that Ethen Van Sciver did? Yeah it's pretty terrible and Clark looks just wrong.

Posted by kennybaese

I loved the first issue of this book and I'm stoked to be able to read this after I'm done with class. Give me more Morrison Superman!

Posted by Or35ti

Somebody please spoil what the new interpretation is for me! I live in Europe so I'm gonna have to wait another 2 weeks before I get to pick this up!

Posted by Roldan

@Or35ti said:

Somebody please spoil what the new interpretation is for me! I live in Europe so I'm gonna have to wait another 2 weeks before I get to pick this up!

Well, i don't know how big of a spoiler this is but Grant said that there will be a Krypton scene in the next issue and this issue was building it up to it.

Posted by longbowhunter

Just finished it. A descent follow up to a great first issue. Really loving Lex in this book.
Posted by G-Man

@Or35ti: Maybe tomorrow........

Posted by Or35ti

@G-Man: lol, Then I can't wait ! :D

Posted by elayem98

@Roldan said:

@DickDastardly said:

That variant cover just wont do..

You mean the one that Ethen Van Sciver did? Yeah it's pretty terrible and Clark looks just wrong.

whats wrong with the variant?

Posted by CombatSpoon86

Another good solid issue. It's been awhile since I haven't been disgusted by Superman writing.

Posted by Primmaster64

Cool

Posted by Meowshi

@ChernobylCow said:

Good for superman fans I guess. I'm going to be sticking with Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and DC. AC #1 just didn't sell any future issues to me. He's still just Superman and to me the most interesting Superman stories have already been told in things like Red Son and also some of the events in Powers.

I'd honestly give it one more shot to win you over. I dislike Superman greatly, but this issue has brought me over far more than first one did. I'm totally up for reading this title for a long time!

Unlike the main Superman book which was awful.

Posted by Roldan

@elayem98 said:

@Roldan said:

@DickDastardly said:

That variant cover just wont do..

You mean the one that Ethen Van Sciver did? Yeah it's pretty terrible and Clark looks just wrong.

whats wrong with the variant?

Well as long as you hide the face it looks okay. but as soon as that face looks back at you, that's when you know how wrong it looks. I like EVS's covers but this is by far his worst.

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

Glad to hear that Action Comics #2 also got five stars. Can't wait to read this issue

Posted by elayem98

@Roldan said:

@elayem98 said:

@Roldan said:

@DickDastardly said:

That variant cover just wont do..

You mean the one that Ethen Van Sciver did? Yeah it's pretty terrible and Clark looks just wrong.

whats wrong with the variant?

Well as long as you hide the face it looks okay. but as soon as that face looks back at you, that's when you know how wrong it looks. I like EVS's covers but this is by far his worst.

huh. im the minority but i dont see it, looks like a normal evs supes face. whatever.

Posted by Primmaster64

The variant issue?

Posted by JPJordan

I really enjoyed the first AC, and I loved this one! I never thought I would like a Superman book, but this new Action Comics is doing it for me. Hopefully he doesn't become boring perfect Superman anytime soon, cuz that's when I stop buying.

Posted by ssejllenrad

F*ck I love this issue! Keep em AC's coming!

Posted by ssejllenrad
@Geniusmonkey said:

Agree about seeing more characters and locales from this time period, seems like fertile ground for a writer of Morrison's caliber. Not too keen on the variant cover....looks like a rip-off of the Adam Hughes cover for Action 900...only pony. Can't wait to read this after work, though.

And AC 900 variant looks like a rip-off of Kryptonite Nevermore cover.
Posted by hajime76

Upon seeing the first couple pages of this title, I immediately thought of King Mob's prolonged torture scene in Morrison's Vertigo series, The Invisibles. There was one panel where Superman displays a flash of humor that made me think that this was a perfect Grant Morrison moment. I am really enjoying this series more than I expected because Superman was a character that never really interested me growing up. The art is wonderful. Rags Morales has a way of making Superman look regal even when he's hurt (page right after his discovery of a certain item, top panel). I read about the influences of the very first Action Comics with this series but reading the supplemental material really helped me understand all the work and detail put in this title.

Posted by DopeSkill

I enjoyed this book. Didn't see that mystery lady that's been in every other New 52 book I read tho. Am I just missing her?

Edited by TirioAn

This series is by far my favorite of the "52." The way Morrison writes pulls you in to the story, Morales' art gives a classical, old-timey feel to the book and Anderson's colors are just perfect. Definitely give this book a 5/5.

Posted by TirioAn

@DopeSkill: I think she was only supposed to appear all in the #1 issues.

Posted by Iridium

I don't see it mentioned in any other comment ... but we must all agree that at the end, Lutor is talking to someone/something on the phone.  Something metallic, with tentacles ... in orbit ... about Krypton. 
 

Posted by limbani

oh yes... sure 5 stars!! i mean it's grant morrison right?

well folks, i looked up the review on http://www.comicbookresources.com/ and IT WAS BETTER.

At some point we all grow up and stop reading bad or overblown issues.

Posted by higher_evolutionary

epic epic epic epic epic epic
 
and no i am not a grant morrison fan