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Mild Mannered Reviews - Action Comics

Action Comics #46 Action Comics #46

Action Comics #46

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 18, 2015

Cover date: January 2016

"Blind Justice" - Part 2: "Into The Shadows"

Writer: Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder
Penciller: Scott Kolins
Inker: Scott Kolins

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Superman helps the people that had been kidnapped escape and then takes the fight right to the Wrath. Lee tries to talk him out of it but Clark distracts her and runs off. He arrives at the Wrath's facility in time to see her prep her bombers to infect more people with her evil. Superman and Lee try to stop her but suddenly Frankenstein appears and defends the bombers. Clark uses the fight to trash the bombers but that feeds into the Wrath's plans. Lee pleads with Clark to stop but as he and Frankenstein continue to fight Wrath explains that this is what Superman always was and it is up to her to fight monsters like the two juggernauts that are currently exchanging blows.

2Story - 2: This issue is full of action and Superman hitting things and people and ended with Superman and Frankenstein about to square off in what will supposedly be a huge throw down. Despite this I found the installment of Blind Justice to be boring.

I mean really boring.

I feel bad writing that because I am trying to give this book a fair shake but this storyline in particular combined with the overall concept of a depowered Superman that has lost his secret identity continues to frustrate me month after month. I can't get past it. I don't like this take on Superman and I have a feeling that it's not going to lead anywhere. Either a change will occur through editorial fiat due to low sales or the creative team will write themselves into a corner leading to an unsatisfying conclusion because pulling out of this nose dive and having it be good is going to take a minor miracle. This particular installment did nothing to change my mind about how ill-conceived the TRUTH movement is. Yes, Superman certainly did kick a lot of butt and he was angry and he saved the other subjects from Wrath and by the end he is giving in more and more to whatever it is that the Wrath does to people. That's a great Incredible Hulk story but I don't think it makes for a very good Superman story.

The real problem is that the writer has a "get out of jail free" card when it comes to Clark finding himself in whatever is happening to him. He's not being tempted by an outside force and giving into his darker urges. He has been infected with something, for lack of a better term, so his actions aren't truly his. That's cheating. It doesn't say anything about Superman's dark side if the underlying cause of his actions is weak sauce mind control. "The Wrath made me do it" takes Clark's free will out of the equation and doesn't truly explore his character. It just gives the creators involved a blank check to have Superman lay the smack down and act all edgy just for the sake of having him act edgy.

All of which is a long way of saying that I don't buy what the Wrath is selling to Lee. The whole "I didn't create this, I only uncover what's there" feels like a tired narrative device and doesn't jibe with Superman's true nature. Everyone has a dark side. If you do something to poke at that you aren't revealing the person's true nature. You are in a sense drugging the person and suppressing their natural personality.

If the whole point of this was to explore Clark's personality I would be down for it. I'm just not getting that vibe and at this point I just want a more traditional Superman story or at the very least get some of the more traditional trappings back because we're nearly six months into this new take and it isn't working for me.

5Art - 5: On the flip side I continue to enjoy the art in this book. If you are going to mix super-heroes and the creepy, kooky and all together ooky then Scott Kolins is your man. He can mesh those two concepts together better than just about anybody. While I found the issue boring on a story front the art is still dynamic. I especially liked Kolins' take on Frankenstein. The outfit he's wearing is amazing and the creature design rides the fine line of heroic and horrific.

It's weird to really like one aspect of the issue and completely dislike the other but here we are.

3Cover Art - 3: This is a boring cover. There just isn't much to it. I realize that it's supposed to represent Superman trying to piece together all of the various pieces of the Wrath puzzle, which implies some investigative work. This would be great if we saw some of that in the actual comic. So not only is it a boring cover it is also misleading.

4Monster Variant Cover Art - 4: Once again DC nails it with the variant covers. While I have grown weary of the New 52 look for Superman it is neat to see him standing side by side with Bugs Bunny in his Super Rabbit costume. This is a fun piece of art, which flies in the face of the tone the books are currently taking but to be fair the variants are there to move product, not reflect the story. I am glad that DC is sticking with these sorts of variants because they have made for some fantastic pieces of art.

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.

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