Friday, October 7, 2011

Action Comics #2

If someone held a gun on me and forced me to pick the best of the "New 52," I'd have to go with Action Comics (though keep in mind that I haven't read all of them).

After writer Grant Morrison had such a great run on the All-Star Superman series, I was hoping he'd turn in similar high-caliber work on the Man of Steel in this series - and so far, it's been very good.

Perhaps that's because his take is unexpected - it's very different from the usual version of Superman at the beginning of his career - though interestingly enough, it's very similar to the character's first appearance in the "real" Action Comics #1.

There he was a rough-and-tumble character, thinking with his fists, full of good humor and self-confidence, and though powerful, he's operating at a lower, less-than-invincible level.

The same is true here, as Superman finds himself a captive of the military, and under Lex Luthor's guidance, they try a variety of methods (including torture) to try to unlock his secrets.

That's the only part of the story that feels overly abused - the whole "government is bad" thing, most recently beaten within an inch of its life during Flashpoint.

But if you get past that, you get a good adventure story, a fun look inside this new Superman, some surprising revelations, and (of all things) - actual humor!

This Superman actually gets some laughs - who would believe it?

The art is phenomenal, as Rags Morales, Brent Anderson and Rick Bryant bring the characters and the settings to life. The physical stunts have real-world heft to them, and the characters are animated and lively.

With a strong story, lots of plot twists and some intriguing characters, this is what the DC reboot should be - but mostly hasn't been.

This is the good stuff!

Grade: A-


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