Review Shooter: Action Comics 3

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Rags Morales 

I’ve always held that Superman is only as interesting as the characters around him. While Superman is the star of the book, it really shines when it focuses on the human relationships such as Jimmy, Clark, Lois, Perry, and the Kents. Apparently, Grant Morrison has similar ideas as he continues to weave a most interesting Superman tale in the pages of Action Comics.

Just to show you how Superman-less this book is, Superman (in his current costume) only appears in 2 panels in the entire book. Not 2 pages, not 2 splashes, but 2 panels, and that’s it. We see the costume in various panels while we’re in his apartment, but Clark only dons it twice.

And for good reason, this is a fresh, and new Superman. As this issue drives home, the world doesn’t trust him yet. Who can blame them? I mean a man who is capable of lifting cars, stopping trains, leaping tall buildings and immune to bullets is a large threat to almost everyone on the planet. What happens if he decides to exert his will upon the people? There is nothing we can do.

Grant weaves an interesting tale, for example, the anti-Superman protest exists not just because he is an alien, but he did destroy property without thinking about the ramifications of those who call it home. The villain is made to look like a good guy because he is able to step in and offer help to those in need. An idea, that very much reminds me of the sub-plot in the Justice League Unlimited episode, Clash.

Also, the relationship between Clark and Jimmy, Clark and Lois and even Clark and his landlady is fairly interesting. One thing that irked me, but I’m sure they’ll come back to it, is that his landlady apparently discovered his identity, but they never really return to that. Clark and Jimmy seem to have a budding friendship, and it makes sense since they are close in age in this series, and really seems Jimmy is the more experienced of the two, just looking at for a new fish. Lois and Clark is well Lois and Clark, except he seems to give back as much as she dishes out.

Like I said before, this is a Superman-lite issue, but there is a very real threat revealed in this comic. And while it has been done before, I like that Grant has tied in this threat with the destruction of Krypton, but without really harping on Superman’s origins too much.

The art in the book is solid (I use this often, I realize, but its hard to judge, you either like it or you don’t), but one thing that did bother me are the faces. They just seemed so lifeless at times to me, and not just in exchanges, but even during the protests and stuff. I don’t know, rubbed me the wrong way.

New Reader Accessibility: 4 It has been a slow-burn story, and while each issue has served its purpose, the next doesn’t feel weighted down by the previous issue. This has some callbacks to the events of the first 2 especially in the case of Glenmorgan and the threat that emerged at the end of issue 2, but you won’t feel lost having not read them.

Recommendation: Read It– I feel like this is the weakest of the 3 Action Comics issues released to date, but still worth checking out. It adds some interesting wrinkles.

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Earl Rufus

The owner of this little chunk of the internet. Enjoys having a good time and being rather snarky!

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