ACTION COMICS #25 REVIEW
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Aaron Kuder
Colorist: Arif Prianto
Backup Artist: Scott McDaniel and Aaron Kuder
Backup Colorist: Dan Brown
Review by Suzanne Nagda
Finally, a New 52 version of Superman that actually feels like Superman. Not a dark, tyrannical Superman who inadvertently kills Lois Lane and their unborn child. Not a Superman manipulated into killing Doctor Light. This issue of Action Comics brings out the best of the iconic hero before the cape and tights. As a Zero Year tie-in, the book stands alone rather well and sets a promising tone for Pak’s run on the title.
The issue opens with a flashback that features Clark Kent’s high school crush, Lana Lang. There’s a sweet moment between them before Lana Lang goes off to conquer the world (or presumably college). Four years later, Clark Kent dons a Super t-shirt and jeans as he defeats a cliche group called the Supremacists. Aaron Kuder shines in this action sequence with a strong sense of movement. He not only highlights Superman’s developing abilities, but also shows how much fun he has while rounding up the bad guys.
Skipping ahead to Zero Year, Clark tries to stop a hurricane heading for Gotham City during the blackout. What are the limits of Superman’s abilities? Can he stop a natural event like a hurricane? How about a tsunami? Well, readers are about to find out. Lana Lang has a prominent role in this issue as she works on one of the boats caught in the storm. Thankfully, she’s no damsel in distress just waiting to be saved. Greg Pak does a great job capturing both Clark and Lana’s voices in his exposition. He characterizes how they handle stress under extreme circumstances and their shared sense of optimism.
The artwork perfectly complements Pak’s tight scripting. There’s a gorgeous two-page spread of Superman creating a vortex in the ocean. Lana’s facial expression looks a little strange in one panel but overall Kuder’s pencils are consistent. The colors in this issue cannot be undersold–usually colorists are unsung heroes of the comic medium. Arif Prianto incorporates an innovative technique to wash out the color in a panel except for Superman’s “S” symbol. Prianto saturates the ocean scenes with blues and greens in turn.
The Verdict: Must Buy! Even if you’re not reading Zero Year, pick up this issue and try out a new run on Action Comics. Pak and Kuder make for a strong creative team that I look forward to reading. It’s nice to see Clark smile so much in a book again.