Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Action Comics #1

Superman is a bully! I love it!

When I read that Grant Morrison was re-telling the origin of Superman, I was sold. Factor in the dynamic Rags Morales on art, and I had some darn high expectations. Action Comics #1 certainly meets, if not exceeds, those expectations.

Superman is a young man here, and he’s got a young man’s sense of invincibility and righteousness. The problem is, he’s got the super-powers to back up those beliefs. Supes literally zooms around Metropolis sticking up for the little man, tossing around corrupt businessmen and demolishing construction equipment. His heart is the right place, but man, that panel where he drops from a building leading with a prisoner? That’s one ruthless Superman! (I love the report of how Supes dealt with a wife-beater too!)

Morrison’s reboot includes the driven reporter Lois Lane, the surprisingly competent Jimmy Olsen (who catches a baby AND tackles a mobster), General Lane, and of course, the brilliant Lex Luthor. I love Luthor’s well-reasoned argument for Superman as a threat. He IS an invasive species that threatens Earth’s biology. We know we can trust Superman because we see him helping out normal people, but man, you can see how it would make the fat cats nervous.

Morales’ art packs quite the punch too. Superman never stops moving, zipping and darting around the city, saving people and running from one disaster to another. Something was off with a few of the characters’ eyes looking a bit odd, but man, that’s a small price to pay for this level of detail. Shootouts, train derailments, and wrecking balls as a weapon. This comic delivers on the title.


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