Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Action Comics #49 Review

6'2" My Ass!

Written by: Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder
Art by: Ardian Syaf, Jonathan Glapion, Scott Hannah, Sandra Hope, Tomeu Morey, Wil Quintana and Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 3, 2016

I am getting sick and tired of bitching about the Truth story and what it did to one of my favorite characters so instead, I'm going to tell you what it didn't do.  It didn't kidnap my wife, make my kids cry or slash my tires.  It didn't call me up during dinner or set a bag full of shit on fire on my porch. It didn't kick sand in my face, force me to listen to Rush or watch the movie "From Justin to Kelly".  The Truth didn't do any of those things, but guess what?  If I could trade my memories of reading it for a couple of those things, I would.  It's up to you guys to guess which ones and while you make your choices, I'm going to get on with my review.

The issue opens up, not with Superman, but a young boy reading a comic book on the way home from school.  It's very obvious that he is a bullied kid that lives in his own imagination, but he may also be delusional.  I say that because he appears to be about 5'6" at best, but his monologue tells us he is 6'2"...I don't see it.

Lucky for him, Vandal Savage's Black Mass makes a stop in Fargo, ND and he suddenly becomes his favorite character, Salvaxe, and also one of Vandal's chosen ones.  If he was six foot two inches before, he is now at least nine foot tall now.

We then see Superman for the first time since he laid on his bed of kryptonite and he looks a lot better than when we left him.  Sure, he still is a bit messed up, but anything beats that withered looking Superman from last issue.  In a series of confusing panels, he gets his powers back, busts out of the room he's in (which looks like it is now in a black hole) and fights Puzzler, who is now known as Puzzlerbot.  Actually, "fight" is a bit deceiving as he just one punches the shit out of him and puts him out of commission.

Steve Trevor and Etta Candy are suddenly there to let Superman and the reader know that the Kryptonite is still killing him before Supes takes off into the sky.  It's great to see him with his powers back, but so many things aren't fully explained.

I guess there is no time for such things as Superman flies directly into Wonder Woman.  She seems happy to see Clark, but why the hell is she there anyway?  She was supposed to be freeing the captured Justice Leaguers, but it seems like she was just hanging around, waiting for Superman to show up.  After an odd exchange that was right on for friends who used to be a couple and a little explanation of Superman's new Kryptonite power set, Pak and Kuder take us to visit Vandal Savage. He's still sucking the powers out of his captured heroes and shoots a blast into space.  Got that?  Good, because even if it makes no sense,  it's back to Superman and Wonder Woman.

As the two approach Savage's ship, they are intercepted by Salvaxe and it's a forced way to show that Superman  indeed is powered up.  They go back and forth as Clark tells us how powerful he is and how good it feels.  The fight goes on until Wonder Woman tells Superman that Vandal Savage's blast hit Jupiter and that turns Salvaxe into a crazed idiot.  My favorite part is when Superman tells Wonder Woman to pick the kid up, but the way it plays out, you know Wonder Woman never does.  Poor Salvaxe.

The issue ends with Superman flying off and possibly adding 2 and D together to get Horse to figure out that Vandal is trying to steal the Fortress of Solitude.  Yep, it made that much sense.

I loved seeing Superman with his (new) powers back, but I wish it made more sense.  Last issue of Action, we were told that Kryptonite would kill a normal man in minutes and after Superman/Wonder Woman, I was lead to believe he was just that or at least mortal which seems like they meant the same thing.  Then there is Vandal Savage and his plan.  Like Tom Hanks in BIG, I don't get it.  He's blowing up Jupiter and stealing the Fortress of Solitude?!?!  Again, I don't get it.

After all that, I must admit that I loved the art in this issue.  There are a slew of artists on this book, but they do a really good job giving it a consistent look that was also an awesome one.

Bits and Pieces:

I don't know why Greg Pak is trying to confuse everyone with so little time left in this story.  I went from not enjoying this story to being confused as hell by it.  I liked the art here, but the overall narrative felt rushed at times and downright silly at others.  We all just have to sit tight, close our eyes and think about the better times coming in a few months.  My love of Superman needs a rebirth...stat!



  1. Does Greg Pak realize he's not righting The Incredible Hulk? Because Supes new radioactive power giving me flash backs to Bruce getting mad and his eyes and veins glow green.

    I guess superman is turning into Ultraman. And pretty soon he'll start snorting Powdered Kryptonite. What has DC done to you Kal.

    1. Rebirth will hopefully fix it all. BTW Anthony...I still think Eternal was a 2.5/10

  2. Confusing yes but I loved seeing Superman flying around while kicking ass! Give it time they will explain the kryptonite stuff.

  3. Gotta admit that this storyline is all over the place. Kinda like a cocaine-high hooker trapped in a round room trying to find a corner to piss in. I thought truth was going to focus on Clark's character and his relationships with his supporting cast as the ramifications of the revelation played out. Instead we get another plot-centric decompressed nightmare along the same lines as the awful DOOMED. Also, as a long time Vandal Savage, this storyline makes him look like an idiot. And how many kids does Vandal have? Jeez, it was better when his kin were considered rare and special; like Scandal Savage of Secret Six. And WTF does Jupiter have to do with anything? Ten thousand years in the planning and his master plan involves Jupiter and a bunch of kids who he didn't know he would have when he first conceived the plan in the past?

    Vandal is more sophisticated than this. And his agendas more complex and multi-layered. This Vandal is nothing but a straight psychotic with no indication that his immortality conveyed any actual insight. Heck he isn't even an anti-hero with an agenda to actually do some good albeit with twisted means. It's like the plot changes from issue to issue and the writers change stuff as it moves along. Bah.

    So much for a character driven story. This entire story should not have been more than 6 issues long and focused exclusively on Clark and his supporting cast. It has been 5 years since the new 52 began and we still no next t nothing about Clark Kent and most all of his supporting cast. Speaking of which, WhereTF is Lois Lane? Did we really need three issues of WWE wrestling in this storyline? Uhhhh.

    Rant out.

    1. Lol...not a Myth Brawl fan, huh? I was telling Eric about this issue at work today and just kept yelling across the room "Jupiter?!?!" I really don't get it and I also said the exact thing you said... this plan is so beneath Vandal Savage and makes him look like a moron.