Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DC New 52 Review: Action Comics #2

Last month's Action Comics #1 was by far the brightest light of the new DC relaunch and extends possibility that the hope that the gamble that DC is making might pay off. So it's only natural that I would present a follow up review for Action Comics #2 which was released today.

Action Comics #2
Written by Grant Morrison
Pencils by Rags Morales
Inks by Rick Byrant

Cover Price: $3.99

In a nutshell:
Grant Morrison shows us the Superman we didn't know that we knew by bringing him back to his roots and by stripping away the static cling!

Following the events of the last issue, Superman is being held prisoner by Lex Luthor and the military where is experimented on which includes being electrocuted in an electric chair, being exposed to toxic acids and poisons, and various attempts to poke him with needles. When he finally gets his bearings he breaks out with swagger and a cocky sense of humor. Meanwhile, Lois Lane, whose father is the head of this military unit, is doing her own sassy style investigation. We get little glimpses of what looks to be the coming of Morrison's versions of Metallo and Braniac.

Why did I pick it up?
Last month's Action Comics #1 was one of those comics I read over and over again. There as just a magic in it that connected with me and my only fear picking this up was that some of that magic might be misplaced if Morrison's ultimate vision didn't connect with me. What happened however, was the opposite. I'm even more enthusiastic than before about where Morrison is going.

The Good:
We got more of that same Superman we got last issue but even more so. Superman isn't worried about being the ultimate boyscout. Don't get me wrong, he's not the high school jock either or the internet nerd that has to buff out his chest on message boards to feel good about himself. No, he's the good guy, he knows he's the good guy, and he's not going to dance around it. Lex Luthor is a pathetic weasel and Superman can't even be bothered by him. He's having a good time being Superman and we're having a good time following him. What I really loved in the comic were the design sketches and the comments by Morrison and Morales at the end of the comic. It's the sort of extras that we usually see in the back of the over-sized hardcover Absolute Editions and it really felt that they were giving us something for that extra dollar that you pay for this title as opposed to the rest of DC's titles. Oh, and that cover... icon and amazing! It's obvious that Morrison loves Superman. This is a totally different Superman than what we got in his All Star Superman epic, and yet both versions are some of the best Superman stories every told!

The Bad:
Because the last issue had extra pages of story, Brent Anderson drew a few pages of this issue so that Rags Morales could catch up. Anderson is a good artist in his own right and his style doesn't clash that badly with Morales's style, but if there is a seam that would be it (but it's a really small one). My main complaint is that I have to wait another month for the next issue!

Is it worth it?
Not only is this comic worth the extra dollar it costs, this is one of those few stories that I will collect as it comes out then later buy the deluxe hardcover collection and keep both!

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