Overview

Action Comics #892

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Action Comics #892

Credits

  • Words: Paul Cornell and Jeff Lemire
  • Art: Pete Woods & Pere Perez and Pier Gallo
  • Colors: Brad Anderson and Jamie Grant
  • Story Title: "The Black Ring: Part Three" and "Superboy"
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Aug 25, 2010

With Action Comics #892, writer Paul Cornell's Lex Luthor solo-driven title is joined by a one-shot, Superboy short feature penned by Jeff Lemire.  Although Cornell does a magnificent job, some audiences may feel let down that the Luthor storyline didn't receive the full attention it has in previous installments. 

After teasing Deathstroke at the end of the last story, some readers may be disappointed that the skilled assassin occupies so few pages in an already shortened Luthor feature.  Opening with Luthor's team arriving in Antarctica in search of the Black energy signature, Cornell divides his time between Luthor's own scientific realizations of the power and greater significance of the newly discovered source, and the ensuing battle between an emotionally compromised Deathstroke and battle-suited Luthor.  The most enjoyable sequences in this story come from Luthor's continued scientific rationalization and querying as he attempts to multitask, deflect, and survive Deathstroke's assault.  Just what Gorilla Grodd's connection is to the Black signature and Mister Mind, however, remains a central mystery.  While definitely leaning more towards the action side of the narrative spectrum, Cornell's "The Black Ring: Part Three" continues to deliver solid storytelling.

Following Cornell, writer Jeff Lemire returns audiences to Smallville for a reintroduction of Conner Kent.  As someone who followed Superboy's time during Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul's too short tenure on Adventure Comics, this co-feature comes as somewhat of a shock as readers are immediately thrust into a bizarre battle that pits Superboy and some Teen Titans members against living dirt monsters who embody Smallville.  After Manapul's signature reimagining of the character, it will probably be somewhat difficult for some readers to adjust to artist Pier Gallo's style and interpretation of the character.  And, while the story is largely a formulaic battle between hero and the insert token monster villain here approach, what truly stands out in this shorter story is the coloring by Jamie Grant.  From his time on All Star Superman and his most recent efforts on Sterling Gates' Supergirl , Grant has really shown his diversity and depth as a colorist.  Whether it's a close-up of Krypto's face or Kid Flash rescuing Simon, the vibrant colors are dynamic and powerful. 

Readers who enjoy Lemire's Superboy will be quite pleased that he is launching a solo Conner Kent title in November.  Hopefully, the distance between mid-to-late August and then, however, will not weaken the enthusiasm for the character or series.  Fans of Cornell's Luthor storylines though will have to make do with the shortened format as subsequent solicitations for Action Comics reveal that the co-feature is here to stay. 

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