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Mild Mannered Reviews - Action Comics

Action Comics #30 Action Comics #30

Action Comics #30

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 2, 2014

Cover date: June 2014


Writer: Greg Pak
Penciller: Aaron Kuder, Jed Dougherty and Karl Kerschl
Inker: Aaron Kuder, Jed Dougherty and Karl Kerschl

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

In the arctic, Tower Control succeeds in releasing Doomsday from the Phantom Zone. After killing a polar bear the creature's attention turns to two civilians. He doesn't kill them directly but after destroying the ice burg he landed on the people die anyway. Control isn't even sure how Doomsday's brain works but they know he is planning something. This may not be the same old Doomsday after all.

Meanwhile Superman attacks Tower Control. His opening move is to freeze a group of ghost soldiers that, like Sawyer, don't have a heartbeat. He throws Sawyer into the facility and starts trashing the place when he is confronted by Harrow, commander of The Tower. Superman rattles off the crimes Tower has committed recently but Harrow never wavers in her contention that Superman himself is the greater threat. Realizing Superman is not going to back down Harrow resurrects hundreds of soldiers from over a thousand years of war and fighting. Superman knows that they don't want any part of this but Harrow counters that of course they don't but if Superman won't leave the world alone the dead will protect their own.

At first Superman fights the ghosts but then lets them attack so he can prove that Harrow is the real enemy. They turn on her but instead of destroying them Harrow sets them free. Superman has the chance to end Harrow once and for all but pulls his punch and suggests that they should work together. Harrow says that this proves that what she said before was right; Superman doesn't know how to make the hard decisions. The next time they come for him they will kill him. Then he can join her... if he is still willing.

Meanwhile, in the Mariana Trench, Tower Three contacts Tower Control and informs them they have a unit standing by for orders. Tower Control copies that and announces that the Bluebird has become too strong. They need something stronger. It is time to wake Doomsday... or whatever Doomsday has become.

4Story - 4: Wow, we got a two for one deal this month. Not only did the storyline with Ghost Soldier and Tower Control come to a temporary end but Pak managed to work in the set up for the SUPERMAN: DOOMED crossover that is going to be hitting the Superman titles in the next few months. This had me excited as did the fact that events in this book tied into events from SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN. For the first time since the New 52 began I feel that the Superman titles... not the Superman Family titles but the actual Superman titles have something to do with each other. Events that happen in one book have ramifications in another. I have been wanting this for nearly three years now and finally I got it.

This makes me happy.

What also makes me happy is how emotionally involved I am with Pak's take on Superman. The inner monologue throughout the issue was amazing. Does this have something to do with the fact that the way Pak sees Superman lines up with what I would like to see done with the character? Absolutely and I won't lie about that. Direct. Heroic. Questions his own actions but ultimately has the courage of his convictions. Uses the lessons his adoptive father taught him and tempers his rage with mercy. We saw all of that in this issue and it just put the biggest smile on my face.

Greg Pak gets Superman. He really does.

He also has given us some new threats that I rather like. Harrow was a great adversary for Superman. Not only could she attack him on a physical level but she tried to get into his mind as well. The games she played with his head gave the fight with the ghost soldiers more emotional heft. The fact that even his decision not to kill her proved Harrow's point, to her own thinking at any rate. It made her a more fleshed out villain, which I wasn't expecting from a ghost.

Sorry, that was a terrible and totally inadvertent pun.

All in all this was a great issue. ACTION COMICS has really turned around for me in the past few months and become a joy to read. I am hoping that after the whole DOOMED storyline plays out that SUPERMAN will start doing the same.

4Art - 4: Three artists with different styles and yet the book still had a consistent look to it. I was especially pleased to see Karl Kerschl's name in the credits as I liked his take on Superman during the pre-INFINITE CRISIS days. The action in this issue was intense and the visuals amazing. The ghost soldiers, especially the ones towards the end of the issue, had a lot of detail to them, which I appreciated. What impressed me the most was what amounted to a four page splash in the middle of the story where Superman and Harrow lay out everything that had built up to this confrontation. I almost wish DC would have made this into a fold-out section because it certainly deserved it. Like the writing the art on this title had been fantastic month after month and it just keeps getting better.

4Cover Art - 4: I'm not going to write that this cover wasn't dynamic because it was. A bunch of missile are flying at Superman. That's pretty much dynamic in and of itself. My problem is that Superman is too small in the image. This is a personal thing. I know that, but I like Superman to be large and in charge on his covers. Here he is in the background and the image loses some energy.

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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