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Action Comics #1


Written by Grant Morrison; Art by Rages Morales & Rick Bryant; Cover by Rags Morales and Brad Anderson; Variant Cover by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, & Alex Sinclair

Sep 08, 2011 DC New 52 Bookmark and Share

The unstoppable writing machine that is Grant Morrison (All-Star Superman, Animal Man, Batman and Robin) returns to the Man of Steel this week. Alongside him is bold artist Rags Morales (Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Batman Confidential, Identity Crisis). Their postmodern vision of The Man of Steel with Action Comics #1 is obviously one of the most-anticipated New 52 #1 titles this month. Others include Batman, Detective Comics, Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman, and the very sold-out Justice League #1. Morrison and Morales give us a solid debut for Supes. The stakes are high, the pacing is taut, and the art is kinetic and colorful. Leave it to Morrison to reignite my flagging love for Clark Kent’s universe.

The Bruce Springsteen-like clothes (short security blanket/cape, no red underwear, and men’s work jeans) complements a Metropolis that gleams from afar, but is decaying on closer inspection. This City of Tomorrow looks and feels new and enthralling. Justice League is set five years ago and Action Comics centers on the the beginning of Superman’s career (about ten or so years ago). Kent is cocksure, rash, and even a little naive. Morales draws his face with a youthful glow and he quickly receives his first battle scars from the a sleazy business man interregation, police, military, and a precarious commuter train incident. There are tons of iconic moments packed into every panel, but they get a fresh narrative spin.

Seeing Superman as a know-it-all Green Arrow-type vigilante is interesting since he’s been viewed as almost a Messianic figure for the past two decades in the DC Universe. Taking away his romantic relationship with Lois Lane and working relationship with the Daily Planet are also keen divergences for a reboot such as this. Morales’ interiors and facial structures are excellent and Morrison’s characterizations are believable. A preview of a Lex Luthor conflict and a looming threat near the orbit of Neptune close the promising book. Morrison isn’t planning a madcap, Batman Inc.-esque story arc just yet, but in interviews he’s said that he just wants to create an original Superman tale that’s worth reading. He gives due deference to fan wishes and leaps into the air with lofty aspirations on Action Comics #1. Well done. ( /

Author rating: 7/10

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September 15th 2011

The costume is atrocious- I won’t read it. They’re messing with culture, and it surely isn’t an improvement. Disgusting.