Friday, November 1, 2013

Action Comics Annual #2 Review

Written by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Jurgens
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 30, 2013

What's a Time Tsunami, Anyway?

Superman is celebrating 75 years of being the most iconic superhero of all-time.  He just had a hit movie and the Internet is abuzz with his future team up with the Caped Crusader.  You would think that the Man of Steel could do no wrong.  Unfortunately, the area he is failing miserably in is where he started...his comics.  Action Comics and especially Superman have not lived up to their lead character.  One of the reasons is Superman's new villain, H'el.   The "H'el on Earth" tie-in story was one of the worst in the New 52.  DC recognized this and...gave H'el a Villain's Month book.  It sucked.  DC recognized this and...made him the villain in the new Super Family tie-in, "Krypton Returns".  I know it's a worn out joke, but what the H'el is DC thinking?

Scott Lobdell is an idea man.  I can imagine him presenting his ideas with a boyish enthusiasm.  "Get this", he's say, "H'el has created a time tsunami and caused ripples in the omniverse.  He has used this time tsunami to recreate Krypton and has become it's despotic leader.  The only way to stop him is for Superman, Supergirl and Superboy to go back to different times of Krypton's past to stop this time tsunami.  Doesn't that sound awesome?"  He smiles as the DC editors shake their heads yes and make him promise to use the term time tsunami at least 10 times in the book.

Then at his desk, the worst thing happens.  Pen hits paper.  Yes, Scott Lobdell may be an idea man, but he is not a dialogue or character man.  Action Comics Annual #2 proves this once again.  The dialogue is atrocious.  The characters all act out-of-character and everyone seems to like saying time tsunami.  Supergirl acts like a total b***, Superboy acts like a complete jerk and Superman goes from know-it-all to annoying parental figure.  What makes the lousy dialogue so obvious is the sheer amount of it.  Letterer, Taylor Esposito got some sweet overtime pay for this one I'm sure.  

I have always liked Rocafort and Jurgen's art style.  It is good here, for the most part.  A couple of the characters look a little off, but I can look the other way in that regard.  What I can't understand is the panel layouts of some of the pages.  When I mean I can't understand, I mean I don't know what is going on.  Some pages are just such a chore to follow.  The story and dialogue is bad enough, but when you can't even follow the panel progression you have a real winner on your hands.

Action Comics Annual #2 is not a good start to the Krypton Returns arc.  The dialogue and characterization of the three leads is awful.  The book is too wordy and those words are poorly written.  The art is good, but the panel layout makes it hard to follow.  Unfortunately, when you can follow it, the bad writing strikes again.  Superman, Supergirl and yes, even Superboy deserve better.  Time Tsunami...Time Tsunami.


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