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Mild Mannered Reviews - Action Comics

Action Comics #29 Action Comics #29

Action Comics #29

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 5, 2014

Cover date: May 2014

"Deep Freeze"

Writer: Greg Pak
Penciller: Aaron Kuder and Jed Dougherty
Inker: Aaron Kuder and Jed Dougherty

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

As Superman recovers from his knife wound the "little guys" (as the Man of Steel calls them) start to grow and change into more savage creatures. Baka tries to help; first Superman and then the little guys but the Ghost Soldier attacks again and kills several of the formally small creatures. When the Soldier tells Lana that the only one to blame is Superman the Man of Steel launches at him, first with heat vision and then with cold breath, which solidifies the normally intangible warrior.

Superman grabs the Soldier's visor and sees the men and women behind the intangible warrior. The Man of Steel tells Lana he is going to shut them down. Suddenly Ukur bursts from the grounds and after surveying the scene announces that he is going to take Baka back. Before Superman can do anything he spies a squadron of unmarked military planes carrying some heavy ordinance coming towards them. After a brief argument with Lana Superman says his goodbyes to Baka, who Ukur reveals to be a prince. Once they are gone and Lana is secured Superman takes down the approaching planes.

When the battle is over Lana and Superman sit together as the creature they had saved succumbs to his injuries. Lana asks Superman if he's okay and adds that with everything that is happening it is okay to cry. Superman has a better idea and after grabbing the Ghost Solider he flies towards Tower Control. Several of the techs at Control start freaking out but a woman named Harrow steps forward and assures them that while Superman is powerful nothing can prepare him for what they have in store.

5Story - 5: I loved this issue.

Absolutely LOVED this issue.

Over the past decade the Angry Glowing Red Eyes of Anger Superman has been a mainstay in the DCU. Usually it's on the covers but occasionally it has bled into the books themselves. Superman's mad so his eyes are all ablaze to show it. Frankly it got to be a cliché. To me the angry Superman thing should be done sparingly. That way it will have more power. Greg Pak is the first writer in quite some time that gets that idea.

Pak also seems to get the balance between the more traditional Superman and the New 52 version of the character. Morrison started out doing a modern take on the original incarnation of the character and then slipped head first into a more trippy, multi-dimensional, somewhat science fictional sprinkled with quantum mechanics Superman. It was entertaining but not my thing. Perez and Jurgens wrote a more straight forward Superman but the stories, while good, didn't have me jumping up and down. Lobdell has written some entertaining stories and I think he has a good handle on a young Superman that all gets lost with mediocre characters and plots.

Greg Pak writes a Superman I can get into. Yeah, there's some bizarre aspects to the story. The whole underworld civilization thing isn't normally something I would go for but like his Hulk run it is how he writes the main character that has me excited. This is a straight ahead, does what he thinks is right Superman. Always protect the innocent, even if someone in a position of power is wrong. Always do the right thing even if it hurts and when the time comes to act do so in a decisive manner. To be fair I haven't seen much of Pak's take on Clark Kent but when it comes to Superman I think he has a great handle on the character.

I also like that as head strong as this Superman is he still uses his brain. The whole thing with the super breath and Ghost Soldier was great made even better with Superman using a bit of deception to lull the Soldier into a false sense of security. It's also neat that we're going from a fantasy type setting to a science fiction/espionage one at the end of the issue. Not only does it keep the excitement and momentum going but it keeps me wanting to come back month after month.

Oh, and as far as grabbing me on a more emotional level...well, Pak has me there too. I was genuinely upset that the creatures from the underworld were being killed. That moment at the end when the little guy inside the ball died was powerful. Maybe it's because I have pets and the little guys reminded me of my dogs. In any case it was a great moment in a great issue.

So yeah...ACTION COMICS has really turned around. Pak is knocking it out of the park and I am enjoying myself immensely as a Superman fan.

One main Superman title down as far as liking the to go.

4Art - 4: The artwork this time out is phenomenal. The action was fantastic, the creatures were great and everything looked so darn exciting. The art team really pulled out all the stops, especially with several awesome full page splashes. As I will mention in the cover portion of the review I am normally not one for Superman to use the Angry Glowing Red Eyes of Anger just because it is Tuesday but for this story it worked just fine. Kuder and Dougherty never lost the heart and soul of the issue as well. The loss that was felt at the end of the issue worked so well because the visuals were there to match the writing. I am now officially sold on Kuder as a Superman artist.

4Cover Art - 4: This is a very dynamic cover. Normally I don't go for the Angry Glowing Red Eyes of Anger Superman but in this case I think the big guy has earned it. If I wasn't currently reading the book this cover would definitely have grabbed my attention.

4Variant Cover Art - 4: This cover has nothing to do with the story, which should annoy me. On the other hand it is Beppo the Super Monkey. How can I hate that?

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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