Action Comics #1 (featuring Superman)
Title: “Superman Versus the City of Tomorrow”
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Rags Morales w/ Rick Bryant
Cover by: Rags Morales w/ Brad Anderson
Variant Cover by: Jim Lee w/ Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair
Originated as: Action Comics (1938)
First, let me say that I am thrilled to be able to witness the release of an all-new #1 issue of such an historic title. The original Action Comics #1 was an anthology title (as virtually all comic books were at the time) released on April 18th of 1938 (with a June cover date) and featured, among other stories, the first ever Superman story by two co-creators of Jewish descent, writer Jerome “Jerry” Siegel and artist Joseph “Joe” Shuster. The story, simply called “Superman” was a 13-page lead feature originally intended to be a newspaper strip a few years prior. There’s so much more to the origin of this landmark, milestone, watershed publication that simply won’t fit here. Suffice it to say: Action Comics Vol. 1, No. 1 as well as Superman the character were the first-of-a-kind and ushered in the Golden Age of a new cultural art form devoted to 4-color icons, a medium we all know and love some 73 years later.
Obviously one of the primary targets of the reboot and re-launch initiative was Superman. The custodians most in charge of DCs library of characters, co-publishers Dan Didio & Jim Lee, believe that Superman had gotten a bit weathered and old as a character and concept, to state it simply. As a result of their “get younger, get more relatable” initiative for the blue Boy Scout, we now have a younger and less experienced Superman in this new iteration of Action Comics. Also, award-winning best-selling writer Grant Morrison (he who previously re-imagined Superman in the best-selling, critically acclaimed All-Star Superman series a few years back) has stated that he would like to get Superman back to his core essence as an alien from another world, and re-imagine him for the 21st century.
As the story begins it’s apparent that collective mission is definitely accomplished. We find our caped intrepid in a modern-day setting, straddling the line between public enemy number one and crusader of the oppressed. The general public – especially law enforcement – does not understand his nature, are wary of his presence and intentions, yet those he plays hero to are grateful of his intervention. Many of them refer to him as “it”. Yeah, definitely the alien-not-of-this-world-and-not-like-us treatment. As expected, Superman will not stand for any thuggish, roguish behavior from perpetrators, especially when it affects the innocent citizens of Metropolis. Of course that’s the job of the local police who are trying to arrest our hero. He retorts a great line:
- “How about you and your boys deal with the real criminal scum in this city, and then you won’t need me to do it for you.”
I like the realistic cockiness of this Superman (which coincidentally is consistent with the original Action Comics #1). I mean, if you were as super as he you’d have a certain confidence and badass attitude about you. However, before anyone cries foul, I think, like Thor, Superman will eventually learn humility as he becomes more of an Earthling than just a displaced alien from Krypton with otherworldly powers that clearly set him apart from humanity.
We soon learn that classic primary Superman foe, Lex Luthor, is working as a consultant to the U.S. military, specifically to General Lane, father of fledgling Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane. General Lane is so hell-bent on apprehending Superman that he literally sends in the tanks and helicopters. There’s plenty more action and heroics in this issue than what I’ve described. We also meet the Clark Kent alter ego, Jimmy Olsen, the aforementined Ms. Lane and Kent’s landlord Mrs. Nyxly.
Rags Morales’ pencils and Rick Bryant’s inks give the book a smooth look that is, like the story, one-part throwback to the Silver Age and one part contemporary. The overall layouts and action sequences are really dynamic and truly display some fine storytelling with pictures. Accompanied by Morrison’s rollicking yet razor sharp and super-focused script, the overall package of this oversized issue is truly impressive. Bravo, DC! Mission accomplished. This is the best Superman-starring comic I’ve read since All-Star Superman #1 & 2. – Professor’s Grades: Script = A- | Art = B+ | Accessibility = A-
Scott is in a long-term relationship with one Emma Frost, formerly the White Queen of the old villainous Hellfire Club, but has been on the side of the mutant angels for nearly 20 years, and Mr. Summer’s lover for about a decade or so.
There’s a major storyline called X-Men: Schism going on right now that will rip the X-Men’s ranks asunder, pitting them on two very different sides of the Marvel Universe mutant plight.
Looks like after that event there will be some shenanigans, among everything else.
Make of it what you will.
News Without Opinion.
Now there’s a novel concept in this day and age. Is it possible to get news without opinion in this mondern age of everyone with an asshole and an opinion being given the platform to express it? It’s not that I begrudge anyone’s right to a platform or venue in which to express themselves. Hell, I’m doing that right now on this very blog. My problem is with general news media, particularly on television and online (do they still even print news these days?).
Sensationalism has been rampant for a while now, so ranting on that is like complaining that water is wet. And I get it: the competition for the general public’s attention, their time, their dollars, their mouse clicks, their Neilsen’s transmission in this age of 24-hour media bombardment…I get it, it’s fierce.
But what I can’t stand, and this has irked me for a while, is a headline and article or verbal report followed by an unsolicited opinion and then the solicitation for mine and everyone else’s opinion. JUST GIVE ME THE FUCKING NEWS! I’m a big boy. I will decide on my own what I think about the information. I don’t NEED nor WANT you or anyone else to tell me what you think, or to put some sly little implication in there that is supposed to SWAY how I should, would, could or do think about it. Also, if I others opinions, I will ask them directly.
My favorite one (i.e. most annoying) is this one: “Wait until you see the SHOCKING video of what happened” or they substitute shocking with CONTROVERSIAL. Just show me the damn footage and I (emphasis I) will decide if it’s shocking or controversial. You saying that it is during the process is your way of trying to lead me to think that a certain way so that I can join in the mass hysteria.
Does anyone believe in independent thinking anymore? I can’t stand that hive-minded, group-think mentality that usually leads to a judgmental mindset along with prejudice-due-to-ignorance of what the information is really about. And say nothing about context. Context is such a lost concept these days.
Just give me the news straight up, please and thank you.
[Editor’s note: it’s very likely that this post will be expanded with more of the same.]