August 1, 2021
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Mild Mannered Reviews - Action Comics

Action Comics #36 Action Comics #36

Action Comics #36

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 5, 2014

Cover date: January 2015

"Horrorville"

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

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge



As Clark Kent volunteers to help rebuild in Metropolis Lana Lang wakes up from the same nightmare she has been having for a month. After breakfast she and John Henry Irons head into town and after some banter with the locals Lana spots a hearse heading out of town and some weird fog rolling in. They follow the hearse to the cemetery where Lana is shocked to discover that the dream she had been having of her parents clawing their way out of the ground has seemingly come true.

After getting a weird feeling Superman heads to Smallville but teleports to the other side of town as soon as he flies into it. With some assistance from the Toymaster he manages to break through the field that is now surrounding the town. Inside Lana sees the reanimated body of her parents coming towards her. They are being controlled via tentacles by an ugly creature that is a combination of a man and a reptile. With Hiro's help Superman is able to break through the fog and beats the creature into submission. After an uncomfortable conversation with Lana Superman tries to leave Smallville but finds he can't. Three of the locals watch this and talk about the fact that they were just doing their job. One of them asks about what they plan to do about Superman. Another replies that the real question is when he finds out what is really going on what is Superman going to do about them.

4Story - 4: I had two problems with this issue and I thought it would be best to get them out of the way right at the beginning.

Problem number one is that Pak is keeping on with the whole, "Clark thinks the world is just fine without Superman" thing. Now in and of itself that isn't a huge problem as this is the time to deal with such a thing. The problem is that Pak doesn't really deal with it. We get a hint of it on the first page and then outside of his interaction with Lana it isn't mentioned again. I realize this is the first issue in a continued story, so maybe I am asking took much but it still bugged me.

Problem number two was that interaction with Lana. Again, given everything that happened to her parents it makes sense that Lana would have issues with Clark but I just don't like how it's playing out. Her getting on him about making promises right after he saved the day is the type of thing that always rubs me the wrong way. Basically this guy just saved you but because he wasn't there when your parents died because he had other things going on doesn't mean that he should stop making promises. I understand Lana's grief. I understand that this sort of thing creates conflict and drama. I am just done with it as a storytelling device.

Other than that this was a decent issue of ACTION COMICS. The opening scene with Lana and John Henry heading to work was great. The scenes in the graveyard were great. The creepy vibe is working and we were left with a solid cliffhanger ending. It was also neat to see Hiro make an appearance. This is one of those issues that was good but didn't have anything to really delve into that I didn't in the opening paragraph. There is something creepy and kooky and all together ooky going on in Smallville. The three men that seemed to be innocent townsfolk are somehow responsible and Superman doesn't know what he's dealing with. This isn't quite what I was expecting after the DOOMED storyline wrapped up but it was entertaining and I am looking forward to the next issue.

4Art - 4: It was nice to see Aaron Kuder back on this book. His bearded Clark/Superman looked great but the real star of the book artwise was how creepy the graveyard scenes were. Some of that was the coloring but the set pieces and the creatures were all Kuder and they looked...well, great might not be the best term to use because they were pretty horrific but they were effective. The scene with Hiro in his VR chamber was neat and I really liked the visual interpretation of Superman trying to break through the fog at the end of the issue. Kuder also gave us a very unsettling last page, which made for a nice cliffhanger ending.

4Cover Art - 4: This was a nice play off of the cover for SUPERMAN #30. It's a creepy and eye catching. Kind of wish this would have come out a week earlier because it would have been an awesome cover for Halloween.

5Variant Cover Art - 5: This was a cute variant. I really don't have all that much to say about it. I am a big fan of the DC LEGO games so I am definitely looking forward to the third installment in the Batman series. This is a fun cover and a nice play on the zero issues from a few years back.


Mild Mannered Reviews

2015

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 2015

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