Thursday, May 15, 2014

Action Comics #31 Review

Written by: Greg Pak
Art by:  Aaron Kuder, Rafel Sandoval and Cameron Stewart
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 14, 2014

Turn and Face the Strange


Superman is right where we left him after Doomed #1.  A crater in Smallville.  Doomsday is dead, but the Man of Steel is dreaming.  Actually, he's having nightmares.  Nightmares of him killing everyone...as Doomsday.  Pretty intense.  When he wakes up, Lana Lang and Lois Lane are there, but are quickly joined by the Justice League and Wonder Woman.  Greg Pak shows that Lana still has feelings for Clark as Wonder Woman flies Superman away.  It's clear to Lana that Clark is now Superman.  It's such a great scene for anyone whose been reading Greg Pak's Action Comics.  This also makes up for the awkward scenes of the Justice League in Doomed. Pak makes it all seem so natural.



It's clear that Superman is not right.  It's also clear that this book is post Forever Evil because Lex Luthor is part of the rescue effort.  In fact, he's in charge.   Lex adds fuel to the fire by pushing Supes buttons and it's back to nightmare land.  This time Superman envisions himself ripping Lex apart.  Sure, we all would love to see that, but that just isn't Superman.   However, Batman is on the case, trying to find out what happened to his buddy during his recent fight.

Superman is transforming and Action Comics is the best place to show it.  Greg Pak has based his entire run on Superman's desire to save everyone and everything and the heartbreak when he can't.  The next scene makes it clear that the fight with Doomsday has left that old hero behind.  Superman is bad and he likes it.

Next we catch up with Steel.  In Doomed, he lasted twenty three seconds fighting Doomsday.  Senator Lane is impressed, but John Henry is the worse for wear.  He is literally falling apart at the seams, but he has a plan to stop it for the time being.  I actually thought Steel was a weird inclusion in Doomed, just showing up and force fed into the story.  This issue shows why he is here and it's fantastic and runs all the way back to Action Comics #2.  We also get to see Steel 2.0 and while the Metal Men might claim infringement, I think it's awesome.

Then it happens.  The very clever lead up to the cliffhanger shows you everything hinted at in the issue has started to come true.  God save us all.

The disappointment I had in Doomed soured me to the event right out of the gate.  I guess I should have had faith in Greg Pak and Action Comics, a book I have enjoyed greatly.  This issue has me right back in, anticipating what will happen next.  Luckily, DC in their infinite wisdom released the first three parts of the story on the same day and I am reading Superman/Wonder Woman the minute I'm done this review.

The art is split between Aaron Kuder, Rafel Sandoval and Cameron Stewart and it shows.  It doesn't look bad by any means, but there are a couple jarring transitions.  Having three artists on this book goes against the idea of it's importance.  Please DC, get your act together.

Bits and Pieces:

Action Comics #31 continues the Doomed event, but to me it's the beginning.  Beginning of me being interested in the story after the disappointing Doomed #1.  Greg Pak does a great job showing a changing Superman who is far from what he has been in the regular run of the book.  There are three artists on display and that leads to some odd transitions, but it can't bring down such a strong story.

8.5/10
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