Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Action Comics #20 Review

Action Comics #20 Review
By: Jay 

Andy Diggle and Tony S. Daniel are back with Action Comics. However, those who keep up with the latest news know that Diggle left the book and Daniel will be finishing the arc based on Diggle’s story. Find out what this creative team’s next chapter of Action Comics brings us.

Once again this story is taking place a year before the present day DCU. This issue picks up a little while after the ending of the last issue. Superman battles the Hybrid with help from Dr. Veritas. Lex decides to escalate his plan. In the back-up: On Krypton while Jor-El explores the ocean’s depths, there is a coup in the Science Council.

I usually don’t review consecutive issues of a series, but due to my love of Superman, and the abrupt departure of Diggle, I will review each issue of this arc. With that said, you can really tell the difference between this issue and the last. While Daniel does a great job, you can see the focus has shifted. Where the last issue dealt with emotional and inter-personal relationships while packing in the action, this issue the focus is on the action and the inter-personal side is very low. You can clearly see that Daniel reworked Diggle’s story to fit with the editorial changes.

The story felt a bit rushed. This can be seen in the conversation with Dr. Veritas. She says she had been observing Superman for a while and teleported him there after he fell in the last issue. That’s not to say Daniel is telling a bad story, he has me interested still, and I am enjoying the action of the book. I just hope he can balance the action with the character-driven story that we saw in the last issue.

While Daniel’s writing is lacking the emotion that Diggle’s story gave us, his art brought it. Daniel has a way of drawing eyes where they convey emotion. Daniel has to know this because he has those moments where he does that zoom in on the eyes, and in that panel you know how the character is feeling. Daniel does one other thing: he makes me like Superman’s “Kryptonian Armor” costume. Since I first saw this costume, I didn’t like it. It looked overly complicated (something I find in a few other New 52 redesigns), but Daniel makes it more subtle and I really like it. He took Superman from that regal knight standing above us to that inspirational figure lifting us up with hope.

This is a $3.99 book even though DC “Draws the Line at $2.99,” but with the extra $1.00 they give us an additional 8-Page story by Scott Lobdell titled “The World of Krypton.” I haven’t been a fan of Lobdell’s New 52 work so far, but I will admit he has me interested with “Part 1: The Discovery.” This tale takes us to Krypton with a younger Jor-El, and a new twist with Lara. We get to see Jor-El exploring Krypton, and what he finds has me wanting to read the next part of this back-up story. Jor-El’s story isn’t all that has me interested. Lara is usually seen as “Jor-El’s wife,” “Superman’s mom.” See a pattern? But with this story it seems Lobdell is portraying her as her own woman, which I love.

Philip Tan has some really great art, not as polished as Daniel’s but he does a great job. His Krypton is fantastic. From the garb, to the tech, to the sea creatures, to the structures, it all looks amazing. With what Jor-El discovered in the ocean, I can’t wait to see part two and see how Tan tackles it.

That is what I think about this book. Let us know what you think in the comments and follow us on Twitter

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