Action Comics #3


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Action Comics #3


  • Words: Grant Morrison
  • Art: Rags Morales and Gene Ha
  • Inks: Rick Bryant and Gene Ha
  • Colors: Brad Anderson and Art Lyon
  • Story Title: World Against Superman
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Nov 2, 2011

Grant Morrison goes from eight words to seven pages, covering Krypton's destruction alongside the dissolution of Clark Kent's secret identity.

In Grant Morrison's legendary All-Star Superman, he summed up the character's origin in eight words. "Doomed planet. Desperate scientists. Last hope. Kindly couple." Here, Morrison gives a look into the cultures of Krypton before that fateful explosion, and intentional parallels are made. The people of Krypton are much like Earthlings, and the apparently regal family of Lara have to deal with the presumably insane ramblings of her husband, Jor-El. His clams that an "alien consciousness" has leaked into a network have to be preposterous, don't they? Morrison's vision into the past of Krypton isn't unlike any other we've seen, and ties with Brainiac date back to Superman: The Animated Series, if not earlier. It's all expertly delivered, of course, but breaks no real new ground. Jor-El's usually assumed to be crazy at this point, anyway.

In the present (or the recent past of the New 52, as it were), Clark Kent's under inspection by the Metropolis Police Department, but a surprising ally comes to his aid. Within three issues, Clark's already let slip his secret identity. From there, things move at a brisk pace, with Glen Glenmorgan's case against Superman taking over the news all while Clark tries to do his super best at challenging the opinions of the masses. The issue culminates with the birth of Metallo by way of Brainiac, and Lex Luthor looks to be set in defeating the enemy he barely knows.

Is Action Comics a good read? Yes, of course it is. While Morrison's writing is solid (supported by Rags Morales and Gene Ha's pencils), there's not too much to the plot, but more in how he's spinning it. It's not the first Superman story where Brainiac's around for Krypton's destruction, Lex Luthor attempts a partnership with him, or a newly-arrived Superman isn't exactly trusted by the populace. Factor in that this is a $3.99 book, with eight pages of interviews regarding the Super-family's status quo, and it's just not the value you'd expect from such a crew.

Gene Ha does well at evoking the alien nature of the Kryptonians in visual design, and Morales does his best to make the dual identity of Clark Kent and Superman work. coupling baggy clothes, disheveled hair, large glasses, and the like. In comparison, while the change is noticeable between the artists, the effect is appropriate; Ha's Krypton is regal and clear cut, while Morales' Metropolis is downtrodden and messy. Still, Clark ends up looking too much like Harry Potter at times. For all of one panel, his Lex Luthor is undeniable Lex; smug, self-interested, and trying to get the attention of those much more powerful than he.

Action Comics is a solid book, but this issue fails to break new ground, or even contain supplementary material that actually supplements, like book-relevant design work or Justice League-esque back matter that adds to the story. There's a great team here, they just need to show why.

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