I have been back and forth with Action Comics since the beginning on the New 52, and now with Greg Pak taking over writing duties with Aaron Kuder handling the art, I am firmly back on Action! Pak brings a new tone to the title that is more intently focused on the “action” side of Superman. It reads like a classical superhero story but still feels fresh and exciting.
From page one the action begins with Lana Lang, literally, running for her life from an unknown and terrifying monster. After fighting down to her last bullets Superman arrives to take on the fight, and it’s as knock down and drag out as a man verses monster battle can be. Pak pulls no punches and makes a statement to the reader about what kind of Superman story he is going to tell, and as readers we should be thankful. Pak slows down the pace just enough to give us a glimpse of when Clark first got his heat vision on the Kent farm and how that all correlates to the aggressive and fearful reaction Lana, her assistant and now the military have to the current unknown beast.
Thrown into the mix of this battle is an attack from the military on Superman from someone only known as the Ghost Soldier, and the comparisons to Superman fighting the real monster becomes even more crystal clear. The action is off the chart, but Pak manages to drive home some larger points on how everyone reacts before actually giving logic and reason a place in the conversation. Well done and without bludgeoning readers over the head becomes a nice balance to the overall story.
Aaron Kuder steps up to the plate and delivers quite a showcase of his skills. The action is fluid and the chaos that appears on the page is still easily maneuvered through without ever losing track of what’s going on. Nothing is more frustrating than a high impact action scene that gets muddy and clouded with noise, but Kuder knows how to avoid all those traps which makes the action more of a symphony rather than a cacophony. His flashback scenes at the farm strike a nice contrast as well and never lose the impact of the well crafted panels.
This is a new Action Comics, and the first issue from this creative team has set a solid tone for what’s still to come. There’s no earth shattering twists or deep dramatic darkness, but that’s just fine by me. This is Superman at his best, most honest and most heroic. Seeing Lana back in the mix was nice as well, and Superman musing about her is a detailed glimpse into the man within Superman. Well done, well executed and something for Superman fans to celebrate!