Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Action Comics #43 Review

Written by: Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder
Art by: Aaron Kuder and Tomeu Morey
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 12, 2015

Alien Nation

I am not one of those people who hate the Truth story because of what it represents...a depowered and exposed Clark Kent/Superman.  Granted, I prefer my superheroes at the top of their game, but the concept is intriguing and if nothing else, gives the writers something original to play with.  What I haven't liked is the reality of it.  The story just hasn't been that good and took over a bunch of my favorite books.  This is one of them.  Since Greg Pak took over Action Comics, it has been my favorite Superman book on the shelf and the fact that it is struggling is more of an indictment against the Truth than Pak, in my opinion.  The story of Superman vs the Metropolis Police Department has gone from bad to worse and last month culminated in Clark punching a cop in the face. While that sparked some ridiculous news reports (FOX News Here), I just didn't like it.  Did this issue continue the downward spiral or did Pak and Aaron Kuder stage a late game comeback?  Let's find out...

The issue starts out with the punch heard around the right-wing news channels and again, I cringed.  What is Greg Pak trying to do, ruin my favorite boy scout's rep?  Of course not!  When the reader turns the page, the situation becomes clear...Sergeant Binghamton was a Shadow Monster all along.  Boy, that explains a whole lot and while I can't say it was a total shock, it was definitely a relief.  Now if Fox News can run a follow-up story, I'll be a real happy man.

Binghamton being a monster does clear Clark of a lot of stuff he's done recently, but that doesn't change the fact that...Binghamton is a monster.  A monster looking to cause some real pain.  This is where Pak continues what I have enjoyed in this story from the beginning.  Namely, regular people stepping up to help Superman.  We get Dante (in his fancy suit), Lee and the police force that just moments ago were ready to take down Superman and his whole neighborhood.  It's a good battle with my favorite part being Lee taking a T-1000 attack to the shoulder.  The whole time this is going on, Jimmy Olsen (he's a lover, not a fighter) is snapping away and uploading the pics for the world to see in real-time.

After the fight, Clark continues to realize that someone behind the scenes is making this fight personal so he gathers his neighbors for a pep talk.  He must have recently watched Independence Day, because he rallied the troops with a speech that had me ready to head to Metropolis to lend a hand as an honorary Superman myself.  We then head to City Hall and find out that the problem in Metropolis runs deeper than just one rogue Sergeant with a Shadow Monster complex.  Whatever happens, it looks like Clark has his Supermen Squad by his side.

This was my favorite issue of the Truth so far.  Greg Pak took everything I hated about the last couple of issues and turned them around and made them worthwile.  I knew something was wrong with Binghamton, but now we see that there is so much more going on.  Plus, the issue ends on a high note that promises some kick ass action next month.

I also really enjoyed Aaron Kuder's art.  While I still found Clark looking odd in a couple of panels, everything else had that slightly cartoony look that I love in this book.  The highlight for me was the final panel with a beat up Clark ready to lay the smack down.

Bits and Pieces:

While this issue doesn't completely change my opinion on the Truth story as a whole, it took a huge step in that direction.  Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder make right on almost all the things I've hated in the last couple of issues and that just makes it that much sweeter.  I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next issue and that is something I haven't said since this story started.


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