Sunday, October 5, 2014

Action Comics #35 Review

Written by: Greg Pak
Art by: Scott Kolins and Vicente Cifuentes
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 1, 2014

A Doomed Story

I didn't hate the Doomed story.  I know DC won't be putting that on the back of the Trade Paperback, but after such an inconsistent story, that's the honest truth.  However, I am very interested how the books involved are going to deal with the aftermath of the event and in particular Superman.  As far as Action Comics goes, Greg Pak shows us a world trying to recover without Superman and Clark Kent wondering if it should stay that way.  Overall, it's an aftermath issue much like the Doomed event.  I didn't hate it.

Superman has been gone a while.  You know how we know that?  He tells us and he's got a Man of Steel beard.  I don't know what to think about the explanation, but I love that beard.  Back on Earth, Superman visits the most important people in his life, but not everything is coming up roses.

He goes to the Fortress of Solitude with Kara and finds out that the Phantom Zone Projector is broken.  If that's not bad enough, Dr. Shay Veritas and the Bottle City of Kandor have both gone missing.  Sounds interesting, but that's going to have to wait because Clark is off to Smallville.  There he meets with Lana Lang and finds that not everyone survived Brainiac's attack.  It's been a running theme since Pak took over this book, but the idea that Superman can't save everyone has never been so personal.  I won't spoil anything, but Lana was a real jerk in this scene.  I know she's gone through so much, but she acts completely out of character.

Then it's off to Gotham where Bruce shows he always has Clark's back, but puts more doubt in his mind regarding being Superman. Just like Lana, I didn't really like how Bruce was portrayed here.  He just seemed too cold after not seeing his friend for such a long time.

Next up in this revolving door issue is Lois Lane.  Clark has written a piece for his blog titled, "Who Needs Superman Anyway?" and Lois is sure pissed.  It's a weird scene that contradicts itself, but in the end we learn that Lois is back to pre Brainiac status and that she wants Superman back.  We also get a cool bit where Lois tells us what has happened during Superman's absence and a chuckle from Lex.  The issue ends back in Smallville in such a crazy way that I'm still not sure what to make of it.  It reeks of playing catch up with pop culture, but I'll reserve judgement for now.

This was one of those issues that seemed like it was twice as long as it was.  It took me so long to get through and that isn't a good thing.  Greg Pak plays catchup to get his book back up and running and I blame the Doomed event as much as him. Besides the crazy ending, I really like a couple of the hanging plot threads he gives us and I hope we get back to them soon.

I was not a very big fan of the art.  Scott Kolins and Vicente Cifuentes split art duties and while their styles don't clash, they don't fit the book well either.  Besides Lois and Kara, I really didn't like the character work and there is a blatant disconnect between the script and Lana in one scene.

Bits and Pieces: 

Greg Pak struggles this month to get his book going after the events of Doomed.  While Clark struggled to figure out where Superman fits, I struggled to get through the issue.  While I didn't like the art at all, there were a couple things I liked out of the story to get me excited for where the book might head down the line.  However, if the cliffhanger is any indication, I'm worried about the near future.


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