Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Action Comics #38 Review

Written by: Greg Pak
Art by: Aaron Kuder with Jae Lee and June Chung
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 7, 2015


Let me tell you a little about myself...I hate horror.  I'm talking about movies, books, television and yes, comics.  It just isn't for me.  That being said, I am really enjoying this "Horrorville" arc.  Sounds odd, but the reason I've enjoyed it so much is it's a situation that Superman can't just punch or throw into the Sun.  Believe me, he's tried.  This is a different kind of threat and because of that, he's not only dealing with a crazy monster, but also his own insecurities and fears.  It all continues this month and as we get close to the finale, Greg Pak shows us that everything isn't as it seems.

The issue opens with what may or may not be a dream.  It's definitely a flashback that has Clark dealing with his first monster. It's a little different than the usual story, but the one thing that remains constant from all the stories of young Clark...Lana is there. She's also in real danger.  Kind of like in the present.

Seriously, since she helped save Earth in the Doomed story, things haven't been peaches and cream for our favorite electrical engineer.  While the monster terrorizing Smallville seemed to focus on hurting Lana in the past, it now is using her for bait. Superman takes it hook, line and sinker and comes face-to-face with his biggest dream and worst nightmare all rolled up into one.

I really enjoyed the issue up to this point.  Greg Pak is doing a great job of bringing Superman to his knees in such a believable way.  When one of the children stuck in Smallville says that even Superman is scared, he's telling the truth.  Up to this point, Superman seemed pissed off that he couldn't just save his hometown in the blink of an eye, but this issue goes way deeper than that.  He's fighting for the life of his best friend and everyone (and I mean everyone) he ever held dear.

I put the "up to this point" for a reason.  I still am not sure what I think about the ending.  Pak gives us an explanation for what happened in Smallville and while I still think it's a lie, I have a little fear gnawing at the back of my brain that it isn't.  We'll have to wait until next issue to see the big picture, but if it's what is explained here, I will be disappointed.

I was not disapointed with Aaron Kuder's art which was fantastic.  I am not lying when I say that this is his best issue of Action Comics yet.  I am usually not a fan of Jae lee, but the flashback scenes he did with June Chung were good as well.  His trippy style goes well with flashback dream sequences.

Bits and Pieces:

I enjoyed this issue for the most part.  Greg Pak gives us some great Superman inner monologue and puts him up against a situation that was terrifying and heartbreaking.  However, it was mostly setup for next month's issue and ends pretty much in the same position as it started.  I'll let you know that I'm a little worried about where the story appears to be headed, but as long as Aaron Kuder is drawing it, it's bound to look fantastic.  Let's hope that like most of this issue, it's all one big lie and a dream.


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