Saturday, January 17, 2009

Action Comics #873

I'll admit that my eyesight isn't the greatest.

But when I went to ye olde comic book shoppe this week, I almost didn't pick up this issue of Action Comics - and it's the final chapter (for now) in the New Krypton story!

So why did I almost miss it? Well, the cover is part of some kind of promotion / mini-series / whatever the heck it is from DC Comics called "Faces of Evil." In addition to special one-shot comics, several regular issues have been "taken over" - at least in terms of cover designs - by the stylized "Faces of Evil" cover, which includes a black backdrop, a single dramatic shot of a villain on the cover, and the villain's name imposed over the grayed-out title of the comic.

To my feeble eyes, this didn't look like an issue of Action Comics - it looked like a one-shot titled "Lex Luthor: Faces of Evil." (I should point out that it's a bit dark and gloomy in my comics shop. But friendly!)

Thankfully, even though the "Evil" mini-series doesn't interest me, a little voice sent me back to take a closer look, and I realized there were three comics I wanted to buy - but had almost passed up.

So kudos to whoever came up with the cover design - I wonder how many sales it cost DC because of the obscured title, and how many sales did they get of people thinking they were buying part of a mini-series, instead of a regular monthly issue. Oh well.

Aside from that design problem, we have here the final issue in the "New Krypton" storyline, as the heroes of Earth face off against 100,000 Kryptonians. I can't say much about Geoff Johns' story without giving too much away, but suffice to say that some surprising and unexpected things happen, and future stories are definitely given a solid foundation here.

I like the art by Pete Woods, Renato Guedes and Wilson Magalhaes (although I have no idea who did what). Their style is very clean, high-energy and completely professional.

Once you get past the cover, it's a strong issue - but I still think the cover was a cheat. Speaking of which, Luthor only appears in two pages of the story. Just sayin' is all.

Grade: B

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