Thanksgiving / Black Friday Sale 2017
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Home » Featured Posts, Reviews

Guest Review – Action Comics #1

Submitted by on September 14, 2011 – 11:27 pmNo Comment

The following is by guest reviewer Bill Delancey, a customer at Phantom of the Attic.

Action Comics #1
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Rags Morales & Rick Bryant

One of the flagship titles for the DC Universe New 52 comes from Grant Morrison and Rags Morales, Action Comics, starring The Man of Steel. The first #1 issue of Action Comics since 1938.

Grant Morrison brings with him one of the most storied and acclaimed careers in comics history from the start of his American comics career in 1988 with his groundbreaking run on Animal Man leading up to his Batman magnum opus that began in 2006 and culminated with Batman Inc. Morrison also wrote once one of the most beloved and well received Superman stories of the past decade, All-Star Superman, with frequent collaborator Frank Quietly.

Joining him is Rags Morales on art duty with Rick Bryant as inker. Rags’ major works include Identity Crisis with Brad Meltzer, Wonder Woman with Greg Rucka and more recently First Wave with Brian Azzarello.

Morrison and Morales open the issue fast, introducing a familiar yet different Superman than we are all used to seeing. The action, no pun intended, starts early and keeps the reader fighting to keep up for the first third of the story. Superman, dressed in work boots, jeans and a tee shirt, is in the early stages of his crime fighting career. He is young, brash, and reckless (a far cry from the Justice League leading Superman he will one day become). He is shown butting heads with the Metropolis Police Department, using scare tactics on criminals, and cracking jokes while he does it. The change is welcome and interesting; to the reader (and to certain groups of the Metropolis general pubic), Superman comes off as immediately likeable.

The middle of the issue reminds us that Clark Kent is still just Smallville, born-and-raised (well, maybe not “born”. He is from Krypton, after all). Even though he can catch bullets and leap tall buildings he still has to pay his landlady rent and has real world friends like Jimmy Olsen. The issue wraps up with a familiar foe and Superman once again putting his strength to the test against a locomotive, albeit this time, a subway train.

Grant Morrison gives the reader the best there is to offer in Superman comics. He balances the fast paced feats of strength with the slowed down life of an upstart newspaper writer. While both aspects of Clark Kent/Superman don’t necessarily get the same page count they get the perfect amount of story time for each. Neither one of them feels overdone nor overshadowing to the other. Morrison reminds us all what we love most about Superman, we love to see him leap tall buildings and have bullets bounce of his chest but we also love to watch him put on the glasses and try to live a normal life.

Rags Morales draws Superman the way everyone sees him in their imagination; handsome, strong, and seemingly perfect. Rags draws the new outfit just the way it was intended, it sticks out as much as it should, reminding readers that this isn’t the Superman they grew up with, but never lets it distract from the story. The action sequences are tightly choreographed allowing the story to move at breakneck speed without confusing readers with unnecessary over the top panel layouts. Rags has a certain style that he has been using his entire career; characters in motion, perfect use of shadows and details, and he sticking with what he knows.

The only concern with Rags Morales on art is if he will keep a steady inker through his Action Comics run. The past has shown, most notably on First Wave, that when more than one inker is working with Morales, the art gets inconsistent. Hopefully Rags and Rick Bryant will keep the art duties together and stay on time.

Action Comics #1 brings fun to the new DCU with an opening issue that gives the reader just about everything they could want. There are enough familiar faces and places for longtime fans, new twists on the old to get people enticed, and plenty of excitement to keep anyone interested. Morrison and Morales give a strong showing with lots of promise for amazing things to come. Highly recommended.

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