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Mild Mannered Reviews - Action Comics

Action Comics #28 Action Comics #28

Action Comics #28

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 5, 2014

Cover date: April 2014

"What Lies Beneath"

Writer: Greg Pak
Penciller: Aaron Kuder
Inker: Aaron Kuder

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Ukur scolds Superman for breaking the seals to Imperial Subterranea and awakening the most terrifying threat the world has ever seen. Superman and Lana are dubious of this claim as the threats in question turn out to be short, cute, little creatures that appear harmless. Lana and Superman investigate the power source of the underground realm before Kokya, Queen of Subterranea rides forth and thanks them for releasing her. Kokya only wishes to speak to Lana and soon Lana, along with Superman and Ukur are led to the castle and given shelter. From a safe vantage point Ghost Solider watches this and reports back to his superiors.

Lana and Clark wash up and talk about the fact that Clark lied to her about killing Baka. The sudden scream of one of the creatures that scared them from earlier sends the two running and they come upon a room where one of the creatures from earlier is being drained of his life energy. Superman flies in to rescue him but Ghost Solider tries to stop him stating that Superman doesn't have the right to start an incident. This doesn't do much good and soon Superman is corporeal again and blasting the creature free. Ghost Soldier joins him and soon the Solider, Superman, the creatures and Lana Lang head to the surface. Their victory is short lived as Ghost Solider stabs Superman through the heart saying he may be a ghost but he's still human and that he'll never side with monsters against his species.

5Story - 5: This was an incredibly enjoyable and entertaining Superman story. Normally I like my Superman tales set in a more urban or at least realistic setting but Greg Pak made the unground city thing work for me. I shouldn't be surprised. He made the mash-up of Roman gladiators and space opera work for me a few years back with his run on INCREDIBLE HULK so it isn't much of a stretch that he could do something similar with the Man of Steel.

What I liked the most about this issue was Superman being... well, Superman. He's in an alien environment and isn't sure how things work but when an innocent life is threatened he goes into action. Nothing else matters. He has to save the day. Ghost Solider might be right on an intellectual level but on a primal level Superman has to do what he thinks is right. More and more I see that if nothing else Greg Pak gets who Superman is on a fundamental level and because of that he is fast becoming my favorite New 52 Superman writer.

If I had any complaints about the issue it would center on Lana getting a thrill out of the Queen wanting to deal with her and not Superman. It was amusing. I'll give Pak that. It made for a light comedy moment but at the same time just as I don't like sexism when it is against women I am not much for it against men either. Mainly I thought it was a cheap joke but I will admit that I am probably putting more thought into it than it warrants. So I will put this down as a "minor quibble" and move on.

The cliffhanger ending was great. Pak did a good job of setting up Ghost Solider's character early in the issue so the betrayal at the end had more of an impact. Sure he fought side by side with Superman against a greater threat but right there at the end Pak reminds us where this man's loyalties lie. It was an excellent way to end the issue and made me excited for the next chapter.

So yeah... ACTION COMICS has definitely turned around. Greg Pak is giving me some fun and engaging Superman stories and I keep wanting more. It's nice to have a main Superman book to look forward to each month.

4Art - 4: While I wasn't all that much on Aaron Kuder's art a few months ago it has definitely grown on me. His style fit well with the underground world of Subterranea but more importantly he draws a great Superman. He also has a great talent for drawing facial expressions and really selling what the characters are feeling. Combine that with his knack for drawing action scenes and I am a happy Superman fan.

5Cover Art - 5: This is an amazing cover. The ACTION COMICS logo looks really smooth and I love how Superman seems to be flying out of an explosion. This is probably my favorite cover of the series thus far.

4Variant Cover Art - 4: This is a fun cover. I am not a big fan of Steampunk as a genre but it's neat to see someone imagine what Superman would look like in that setting.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2014

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