Review: Action Comics #1

Published on September 9th, 2011

When I first heard about DC Comics announcing their line-wide relaunch, aka the New 52, I was hoping that Grant Morrison was going to be writing one of the new Bat books. He is my favorite writer in comics history, and Batman is my favorite DC character; and I think his run on Batman and Robin was nothing short of a perfect 10.

action-comics1Then I found out that Morrison was going to work on Action Comics, and I told myself that because All Star Superman was amazing, I could be sure that Grant would do a great job on this book. This past week, Action Comics, along with 13 other DC comics, hit shelves. Would it live up to the hype? Read this review to find out!

First off, this is not your grandfather’s Superman. This a very updated version, and I love the new look. The jeans and t-shirt make me think this is a very young Superman who has not joined the Justice League yet. Besides the look, Morrison makes Superman a character that is a force to be reckoned with in this “New 52” universe. Superman feels like he’s the man to fight for the people of Metropolis against the evil politicians, as well as against some familiar faces that we know from the old DC universe, such as Lex Luthor. I love what Morrison has done with Luthor in this issue, although I don’t want to give away too much of the plot.

We all know the legacy of Superman, so Morrison has to both win over long-time readers and fans, and at the same time get brand-new audiences to come back for more month after month.

I know a lot of fans will not like that Superman “the Boy Scout” now has a chip on his shoulder, but I love that he is not afraid to show what he’s made of, like in the opening scene of this issue. I told Sheldon on the phone after I was done reading this issue that I wish I could see people’s reactions when we first see Superman in this book. Sure, that is largely because of the drop-dead gorgeous artwork by Rags Morales. I will get back to Morales’s artwork in a bit, but the story is there too.

I know a lot of fanboys don’t like Morrison’s writing because of the over-the-top layered, complex stories that are very common in his work. Yet in this opening issue we get a simple story of Superman helping people, and we get to find out about his life as Clark Kent and his friends such as Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane. Yet it is full of action, with the artwork by Rags Morales, whose work I have enjoyed before; but this is the most breathtaking artwork of his career.

For a long time, Superman has been a character that I haven’t cared about. Now, thanks to Grant Morrison and Rags Morales, Action Comicsis one of the books that I am most anticipating, to see what is going to happen next. It truly is the best book of the week, maybe even the best book of the year. If Sheldon does not pick this as his pick for the POW Podcast this week, he is nuts.

This is one of the best first issues in comic book history. If you enjoy amazing storytelling and great artwork, then this is the book for you. Join me as enjoy this upcoming landmark run.

Simon Daoudi
Simon@ComicImpact.com