Sunday, May 6, 2012

Action Comics #9

My first reaction to this issue of Action Comics was to laugh.

The basic premise is, we check in on a Superman from an alternate Earth (Earth-23, to be exact), and Superman is actually - Barack Obama.

Well, they don't actually use that name - instead, they call him Calvin Ellis. His origin is identical to "our" Superman, except he's black and he was adopted by an African-American couple. (Wasn't that Icon's origin?)

Oh, and he's the President of the United States.

So why did I laugh? Mostly because this seems like a pitiful attempt at drawing headlines, especially during an election year.

Look, we avoid politics here at Chuck's Comic of the Day - we have more important things to debate, like who's stronger, Thor or the Hulk? - but whether you're a conservative or a liberal or a middle-of-the-roader (whatever they're called), there's something here to irritate.

Conservatives will be outraged at the idea of equating Obama with Superman: able to solve international crisis easily, save the universe, enjoy record high approval ratings and beat an unbeatable opponent without breaking a sweat.

Liberals may suspect that the comic is actually making fun of Obama, including the birther issues (as Wonder Woman points out, Superman can't serve as President since he wasn't born in America), his robotic demeanor, or his contention that Luthor only hates him because Lex is a racist (Luthor denies the charge).

Middle-of-the-roaders will think the whole mess is silly and wonder why we haven't seen more of the "New 52" Superman in this newly-launched comic.

The art by Gene Ha is quite good, but that's the only reason to recommend this comic. Oh, and I suppose it opens the door to traveling between the 52 Earths (or are there more now?) - but otherwise, this comes off as a poorly-conceived mess.

Better luck with your next publicity stunt, DC.

Grade: C+


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