It’s Month 2 of DC Comics’ The New 52! It’s do-or-die this month for the books I bashed last month, and time to see if the titles I loved last month are as good as I thought! I’ll be reviewing all 52 #2 issues released this month, and you can find all of the reviews on the Comic Book Reviews index page. This week we get 13 #2 issues, including Action Comics #2! Last month’s issue may have been the first time I ever felt anything for Superman besides indifference. Grant Morrison’s Superman in issue 1 was a much different take than we’ve seen on him before, and definitely for the better. Did Action Comics #2 continue to build momentum for this series, or was it back to “boring ol’ Superman”? Thankfully, it was the former.
This review will be as spoiler-free as possible.
Writer Grant Morrison has delivered the unthinkable: a rebellious, badass Superman who’s both charming and funny. In short, he’s everything that Superman has never been before. And hey, even Lois has a rebellious streak and is likable! Yes, even Luthor is young and not totally uncool. This the kind of thing I never dreamed I’d live to see.
Superman’s seemingly indestructible cape is actually a really neat idea. Something that’s always been taken for granted as just being there for visuals apparently has an origin all its own, and I’m quite intrigued about the backstory on this cape and how it works and where Clark got it. Way to go Grant Morrison for hooking my interest with an inanimate piece of cloth! Superman’s seeming affection for his spaceship also threw me as surprisingly emotional, and I’m curious about what story’s going to come of that as well.
I loved the use of John Henry Irons as a moral foil for Luthor here, and I’m hoping that his introduction here in the past means we’ll get to see him as Steel in the present DC Universe sooner than later. Steel is the kind of underappreciated character that could really benefit from some of the marketing of the New 52, so hopefully he shows up in time to bask in some before the press dies down.
The future menace we see revealed on the last page of the story looks alien and intimidating. I’m looking forward to seeing what its capabilities are and how they can be a threat to Superman. I honestly can’t remember the last time a worthwhile major Superman villain was created, so I have my fingers crossed that Grant Morrison cooks up a winner here.
Also, the space goat was amazing. You’ll see what I mean when you read it.
The only part of the story that really bothered me here is the inevitability of the solider (John Corben) donning a suit of super-armor to compete with Superman for Lois’ affections. It feels way too ‘Hector Hammond’ for me, and isn’t really something that I’m interested in at all–particularly since we know from Superman #1 that neither he nor Clark are ever going to successfully get together with Lois in this series.
For a company who shoved “Drawing the line at $2.99!” at us all year, they’re awfully fond of giving us $3.99 issues with pages of garbage instead of story to account for the extra buck. I didn’t like it in Justice League #1 and I don’t like it now. In a troubled economy and on an extracurricular budget, I absolutely do not want to spend nor have an extra dollar to throw away on “extras” like 8 pages of concept sketches. This was totally unnecessary and in my opinion, a waste of money.
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
The obvious place to buy new comic books is your local comic book store, but if you don’t have one or can’t get to it, I highly recommend giving Things from Another World (TFAW.com) a try! Currently, they not only have Hawk & Dove #2 in stock, but they have Hawk & Dove #1, as well as most other books of the New 52! They stock a crazy huge number of comic books, and the prices on new releases and graphic novels are always 10-35% below cover price. I’ve been buying from TFAW for close to a decade now and never had a bad experience, so I have total confidence in their value and quality. Click here if you wanna take a look at buying comics from Things from Another World.
Overall: I really would have given this issue a solid ‘A’ if it weren’t for a completely unwarranted and unwanted $3.99 pricetag. This is the most relatable Superman has ever been, and I’m psyched to read more about him and his development into the world’s greatest superhero. I think Grant Morrison’s run on Superman is going to be as legendary as his run on New X-Men, so you might as well get in on the ground floor. Highly recommended.