Thursday, February 21, 2013

365 Comics... 52: Action Comics #17 (2013)

The pull list was 10 comics deep this week (would have been 11 but my shoppe ran out of The Sixth Gun: Son of The Gun #1 before I could pick up my books yesterday... it is on reorder though) and includes some of my ongoing favourites like Wonder Woman, Batwoman, X-Factor and Saga, all of which were excellent, but of the 8 books I read (Mind MGMT and Sixth Gun I still  need to catch up on) none are inspiring me to write with any great excitement or passion.

So let's talk Superman a little bit.  Specifically Action Comics.

With the New 52 came a new Clark Kent, a new Lois, Lex and Jimmy and a tremendous amount of apathy.  George Perez got in 6 dense world-building issues of Superman, and frankly, I liked it but it was not exciting in the least.  When his short stint was over I dropped the book.  I wasn't invested in any of the characters, most of all Superman.

With Action Comics I was holding out hope, hope that Grant Morrison would give me a redefined Superman I could actually care about.  Alas we have come to Morrison's penultimate issue on the series and I may have been entertained, I may have been engaged, but I still don't care about this character.

Even with numerous sub-reboots post-Crisis, pre-New 52, Superman seemed familiar, constant.  Morrison tackled the familiar /constant Superman in AIl-Star Superman, and an though it was'nt in continuity the Superman presented was still a Superman we knew.

With Action Comics Morrison set out to remold Clark and Superman for today, perhaps for tomorrow. But in rapidly injecting years worth of tangential history in a short span of time, his intention of rebuilding the icon has backfired.  Through the morass of his always-clever plotting we lose the getting-to-know process (one which, post-Crisis, John Byrne actually shepherded well for a few years over dozens upon dozens of issues) which just can't be achieved in 18 issues, especially when a half dozen other books feature the character in a somewhat different light Superman isn't as versatile as Batman, character consistency matters far more.

After Morrison's final issue next month, I have to wonder just when I will next pick up a Superman comic.


King Beauregard said...

You know those Sholly Fisch backup stories in "Action Comics" ... ? Get him to write the main stories and I'll be deliriously happy. At the very least he's got Superman's "voice" down.

KENT! said...

You know KB, I was thinking the same thing. I found it very curious that he wasn't named the new writer of Action or, at least, Superman. He's a guy I can see building the character of the New52 Superman, because that's what he's doing on Morrison's behalf right now, in his "between the panels" back-ups.

King Beauregard said...

The most Supermanly thing I've seen in a couple years occurred in a Fisch backup story, and Superman wasn't even there. It was during the memorial service for Clark, and Lois said (I paraphrase): "Have you ever walked down the street with Clark? Not only does he give money to every homeless person, he even knows all their names. Who DOES that?"

Who does that ... ? Clark Kent or Superman, when written very very well, that's who.