Where The Action Is – Andy Burns on Action Comics #1 Starring Superman

I don’t know about you, but I’m not what you would call the world’s biggest Grant Morrison fan. There are hundreds of thousands of comic fans out there who revere the man and the work he’s done on X-Men, Batman and Superman. Personally, I don’t think I can name one series he’s written that I’ve actually enjoyed. His Final Crisis mini-series remains one of the most impeneterable stores I’ve ever read, and I give myself kudos for actually slogging my way through the entire thing.

With DC Comics’ New 52 kicking off this month, it makes sense that Morrison, one of current architects of the new DC Universe,  would be a huge part of the action.

See what I did there?

In fact, it’s Action Comics #1 that Morrison is spearheading, alongside exceptional artist Rags Morales. Staring a younger and far more aggressive Superman that the previous universe, Action Comics is going to trace the career of The Man of Steel after his initial arrival in Metropolis.

What would normally be sold as an Elseworld or a stand alone miniseries is now part of the status quo, which is an interesting place for readers young and old already familiar with the character to begin with.

The Superman we meet in this first issue is recognizable (how could he not be), but there’s a tone to him that’s far removed from the ernest character that we’ve all come to know and love. Rather, this New 52 version of Superman is cocky and not grammatically correct (he uses the word ain’t, if you can believe it).

When faced with the law enforcement officials of Metropolis, who have no idea what to make of this alien in their midst, this Superman is less patient and far more aggressive than any before. It’s an interesting direction, one that I’m not entirely sold on, but I’m willing to see which way Grant Morrison goes before saying whether or not I like it.

Hopefully, given the time, it would be great to see Superman develop into the character we know and love, rather than maintain the edgy streak just for the sake of refreshing the character.

As I mentioned, the art of Rags Morales in Action Comics #1 is something special. He’s got a certain cartoony style that gives the supporting characters a bit if an exagerated look, but somehow it really works. I find his work here much more unique than what he did in Identity Crisis nearly a decade ago.

Action Comics #1 features the standard cast of Superman characters (Lois Lane, Lex Luthor and JImmy Olson all make appearances), as does Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent. They’re not exactly how you expect to see them, mind you (who works where and who are best friends are things you can read for yourself), and how much you enjoy the story is how willing you are to let go of your expectations. That’s not always an easy thing to do when you’re so familiar with Superman’s world. But then again, in the hands of Grant Morrison and the New 52, the world we thought we knew is gone.

Are you going to start at the beginning like I did and pick up Action Comics #1?

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