ACTION COMICS #26 REVIEW
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Aaron Kuder
Colorist: June Chung
Review by Suzanne Nagda
It’s official. Action Comics is a title worthy of your pull list again. Some readers couldn’t get into Grant Morrison’s take on Superman. Others were disappointed by Andy Diggle’s abrupt departure from the book. From last month’s Zero Year issue to now, I feel confident that one of DC Comics’ classic titles is back in good hands. Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder are living up to the book’s namesake–packing the pages with bombastic action and (dare I say) fun. Oh, and Superman throws trucks at monsters. This issue not only appeals to your intellect, it rewards your inner ten year old who still likes to watch Superman punch stuff.
Lana Lang is in the wrong place at the wrong time (again). She’s an engineer helping a non-profit in Venezuela when her team taps into the wrong energy source. Out pops a large and imposing monster chasing her through the rain forest. Lana busts out the semiautomatic weapon, because she’s obviously more kick-ass and resilient than I remember. Before the monster tears down on her, Superman comes to save the day and show off a little around his ex-girlfriend. Yet there may be more to the situation (and the monster) than it may seem.
This issue takes place during current continuity–Superman is dating Wonder Woman and Lana Lang was his high school sweetheart. That dynamic adds some delightful tension to the relationship between Clark and Lana. Who hasn’t had a slightly awkward run-in with an ex? Lana’s perspective adds nuance to Superman’s characterization as well. At some points, he’s just old Clark Kent from Smallville. When the situation demands it, he becomes something more complex and heroic, almost godlike. It’s essential to have a non-powered supporting cast for Superman–it anchors him in a way that heroes in the Justice League cannot.
Aaron Kuder’s artwork is impressive and consistent throughout the issue. Kuder transitions skillfully from battles against monsters to tender flashback scenes in Clark’s childhood. He also captures the subtle flirtation and humor that Clark and Lana share. The colors are rich and mirror the fun tone of the series.
The Verdict: Buy. Buy. Buy. This is a refreshing take on Superman and loads of fun. There’s not only some interesting character building, but a new threat that’s intricate and unexpected. This issue has a lot to offer new and old readers alike.