Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Action Comics #19 Review

Action Comics #19 Review
By: Jay

Andy Diggle and Tony Daniel’s take on Superman in Action Comics following Grant Morrison’s run has arrived. However, those who keep up with the latest news have likely heard about Diggle’s departure from the book and Tony Daniel’s plans to wrap up the arc based on Diggle’s scripts. Find out what this creative team could have brought to Action Comics with this sole issue.

Taking place a year before the present day DCU, Clark and Lois are on assignment in Qurac, where they find themselves mutually attracted to each other. Their flirtation and sexual tension are interrupted by a job for Superman. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor (before he is jailed and scarred in the current DCU) launches his latest plan to take down the Man of Steel.

None of us know the complete story behind Andy Diggle leaving Action Comics before this issue ever hit the stands, but after reading it, I just want to tell DC: GET HIM BACK! I do not care what you have to do to achieve it, but get him back on Action Comics NOW! This is the first time in a year and a half that I have enjoyed Superman.  Since the New 52, especially since Morrison penned Action Comics, I felt like I have been reading about the adventures of Superman set in the Marvel Universe. I felt like Morrison and DC as a whole went out of their way to modernize Superman, but in doing so they lost the spirit of the character, the thing that makes him who he is. Well I’m pleased to say that Diggle has found it. Diggle gives us a confident and assertive Superman that doesn’t stand for those who use their power to push around others. What I love about it, is how he has found a way to do this where it appears to have stemmed from the way the Kent’s raised him as a man, and not because of the powers that make him Super.

Reading Andy Diggle’s Lois Lane is like being with a woman for a long time and you hit a rut. Then, one day, you walk into a party and you see her from across the room. She’s sitting there talking to people and you realize “wow!” It all hits you, why you fell in love with her, and how amazing she really is. Diggle made me fall in love with Lois all over again, something that I haven’t been able to do in the New 52 until now. Lois Lane is a hard character for writers to “get”, but Diggle not only “gets” Lois, he defines her for the New 52. While we have this great scene that teases us with the classic relationship of Lois and Clark, he seamlessly ties us back to the current timeframe by showing us how Lois and her current love interest Jon Carroll first met.

Lex Luthor hasn’t done much to earn the title “World’s Greatest Criminal Genius” in the New 52 until now. In just one issue Diggle shows us just how terrifyingly evil Lex Luthor is. While using Kryptonite in a Luthor plot is almost cliché, Diggle delivers it in a new and refreshing way.

Tony S. Daniel’s art is so spot on that you could take away all the words in this book and Daniel’s art can still tell the whole story on its own. Daniel's art brings to life every emotion and thought of these characters, from the way Lois and Clark’s eyes express their passion for each other to the way that he conveys the evil genius of Lex Luthor with a subtle raise of an eyebrow. I haven’t been a fan of the new costume, but Daniel made me like it in one panel. When Clark ripped open his shirt and we see his costume taking form, I found myself with a smile on my face. I finally like the Kryptonian armor costume. While Diggle reminded me how Lois can be written as an intelligent, strong, determined, driven, and confident woman without it coming off in a negative way, Daniel reminded me of how she can be all of that and knock-out gorgeous as well.

The only negative thing I can say about this issue is that it is Andy Diggle and Tony S. Daniel’s only one.  If you have been looking to get into Superman set in the New 52, then Action Comics #19 is the perfect issue for you. This is a great jumping on point that doesn’t require you to have read anything else about the character in this new DC Universe. I give this book my highest recommendation. Go out and buy this book. Buy one for yourself and one for a friend.

That is how I feel about this book. Now, I want to know what you think about it. So leave your thoughts in the comments.


  1. This was the first Superman book I have read in over a year. I must say I loved it!! Before all this nonsense happened I was so excited for this book again. Now that Diggle has left and we are going to get another creative team I am not excited anymore. I am just Angry Mike Spider-Slayer

  2. I was optimistic when I heard Diggle was taking over. Then when he left before the issue came out I was curious. Now that I read the issue I just want to know why he left, was it because he was finally writing Superman as if he was Superman? I loved this issue but it is bitter-sweet since we will never know what a Diggle/Daniel run might have truly been like.