Action Comics #0: Comic Review
It's not really a difficult thing but to achieve at this point but this #0 is the best Superman comic for a whole year!
Written By: Grant Morrison
Pencils By: Ben Oliver
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: OUT NOW IN STORES & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (VIA COMIXOLOGY)
DC’s origin month continues with Action Comics #0 and after a year of changes to the Man of Steel that have largely been eye rollers (Super t-shirts, nano tech suits and the ability to read memory sticks) Superman finally gets a half decent comic story.
Grant Morrison tackles Lois’s first encounter with Superman and it begins when Superman, in his printed t-shirt getting knocked off a building and his super cape is stolen by a little kid. The beauty of this story is Morrison keeps it simple, a trait I wouldn’t say he was all that good at. Clark Kent joins the Daily Star and gets his own place, his best buddy tries to arrange a meet up with Lois Lane and the world is about to meet Superman.
Sure Morrison still writes young supes like a cocky prick and Clark as a pretend sap, there’s no avoiding that while Morrison is still on writing duties I guess but outside of that Morrison, with a whole lot of help from Oliver’s damn, DAMN pretty artwork gets a whole lot right. However it happens, in every version whether on paper, TV or film, Lois getting hooked on this new flying super dude is gold when it comes to super stories to tell. Lois’s fascination with this new story is always a strong driver to get this classic relationship of reporter and superhero going. Morrison opts for a smaller Superman reveal and keeps it personal to Lois rather than the whole of the world’s media and I guess that makes sense in the modern world. Afterall, the classic shuttle catch wouldn’t exactly be a Daily Planet exclusive given the current media climate right?
On top of that, this story highlights what Superman means to kids (y’know those little dudes that comics used to aimed at). There’s something about Superman that works better than most heroes when it comes to inspiring kids. Something wholesome and positive and its something Superman really is the go to guy for. It’s celebrated here on the simple level that Superman’s cape can stop a kid getting hurt and when that kid ends up getting stuck in front of a train it’s time for Superman to inspire him even more. I’m a moth to a flame when it comes to this stuff and Superman and it’s something that the hip crowd just don’t consider cool in the world of Superman any more. The thing is Superman is better than trying to make him “cool” and the sooner writers get a grasp on that and stop trying to modernise him or hip him up his comics will be in a much better shape.
Now I’m not saying this one good, almost great comic is enough to make up for a years worth of piss poor Superman titles in the post DC 52 world but if this had been the first issue of Superman when this reboot kick stated last year, Superman would be on a much better ground today. This is the first time in the last year I’ve liked Superman. Sure the cock sure grin and the stupid t-shirt/jeans combo still isn’t floating my boat and I long for Superman to be totally likeable again but this #0 had glimmers of why I love the character. It reminded me why I’m itching for the Man of Steel movie next year to be great and why I’m hoping the next twelve issues of Superman comics build from this and gives us a Superman to be as excited about as Lois is when she first sees him.
As an additional treat there’s a short story at the back of the issue, featuring a super powered alien kid and a nod that Clark’s arrival may have mutated everyday folk, Smallville the TV show style. It’s an okay little tale that hints at a future event but it’s nothing to get too excited about yet.