Review: Action Comics #42
With the Truth segment of this Superman crossover finished after one month, the story now moves on to Justice, a change of some sort which is not immediately evident to the reader. The move to deconstruct Superman to show that he is super beyond his powers is an intriguing venture, but thus far there has been very little of a unified approach as to how he is being portrayed. The somewhat directionless approach has spilled over into four different series, but with each one set in a different time and place with different stakes on the line, and so it makes what is going on a bit hard to grasp.
The heart of the story line can be likely tied to Action Comics. Superman-Wonder Woman and Superman-Batman looked at his relationship with those two heroes, and the main Superman book seemed a bit hesitant to get into the new Superman, Action Comics has thus far been responsible for the setup and delivery of most of the differences. AS was previously shown, Superman returns to Metropolis, mostly powerless and faces against a police force that is tired of cleaning up after him, and yet also a group of citizens who stand by him for all that he has done. As a shadow beast attacked the neighborhood, he was forced to intervene, and the two groups, both pro- and anti- faced off. This is the followup to the first issue of this arc, where Superman attacks the shadow beast, and where the citizens face off against the police. The battle with the shadow beast is fun enough, especially as Superman realizes that he can’t do everything that he used to, but the protests of the citizens come up a bit empty. In a story with a superpowered alien fighting a shadow beast, it is the protest which comes off as the most unlikely part of the story.
Stories from the big two comic publishers often have a problem of avoiding controversy. Four years ago the Occupy Wall Street movement took off and caused some people to reconsider what they took for granted as the system in place in North America for economics, and now finally DC has gotten around to its own demonstration, though this one is seemingly self-aware. It should be said that the plot point of superheroes getting sued is one which should probably never be breached in comics. Just like their fantastical powers which defy most of what we know of science, it is a state of being in the superhero world that superheroes are not responsible for their damage, otherwise most superhero books would turn into one lawsuit after another. While the action here did a decent job of living up to the name of the titular series, the setup does not, nor does it really do justice to any comics. This new direction for Superman is still trying to change the boundaries of what defines the hero, it is just not really clear if it is going about it the right way.
Story: Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder Art: Aaron Kuder
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Pass