Sunday, September 11, 2011

The New 52 Review: ACTION COMICS #1


WRITER: Grant Morrison
PENICLS: Rags Morales
INKS: Rick Bryant
COLORS: Brad Anderson
LETTERS: Patrick Brosseau
COVER: Rags Morales with Brad Anderson (Variant cover by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair)
40pp, Color, $3.99

Launched in 1938, Action Comics was published by Detective Comics, Inc., the company that would eventually become DC Comics. Action Comics #1 (cover dated June 1938) was the comic book that introduced Superman, the first major superhero character. As part of DC Comics’ re-launch of its superhero comics line, we have a new #1 issue of Action Comics, and like the 1938 first issue, this one introduces Superman – a somewhat new Superman.

Action Comics #1 (“Versus the City of Tomorrow”) presents a young Superman. Written by Grant Morrison, Superman comes across as a trust-busting, New Deal populist willing to put his boot up the asses of rich-bitch bad guys. In fact, this Superman actually wears work boots and also blue jeans; he is a wavy-haired, Errol Flynn-as-Robin Hood, boyish Man of Steel. Pencil artist Rags Morales draws him as a farm boy dynamo who leaps, levitates, and slams into big things in such a naturalistic way.

Clark Kent, on the other hand, is Clark. He is the kind of big, tall, strong-looking guy who is as average as a glass of water. Actually, this is a good move on Morrison’s part because no other characters in the story could believe that a guy like this Clark is that strapping Superman fellow.

This issue’s story involves a poncy, privileged, rich boy-type Lex Luthor helping the U.S. military capture Superman, who (believe it or not) is public enemy number one. Of course, no one suspects that Luthor has his own plans to take into consideration and he does not care about collateral damage.

I like Grant Morrison’s retro-30s meets futurism take on Superman and his world. Rags Morales compositions are vibrant in terms of movement and staging of action in the panels, and his figure drawing is dynamic – praise Burne Hogarth. They have Action Comics off to a fine start.


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