Sunday, 14 April 2013

reading Action Comics #19 - The entirety of Andy Diggle's run

So, finally, after the eighteen issue run from Grant Morrison which was decidedly hit-and-miss, I've (finally) gotten round to reading Action Comics #19, an issue which breathes new life into the title with the start of the run by new creative team Andy Diggle and Tony Daniels. It's just a shame that this run both begins and ends here.
The story begins with the Man of Steel covering a civil war under his civilian garb while, simultaneously stopping the supply of killer robot weapons being supplied to the bad guys by (unbeknownst to him) one of his biggest enemies. This turns out to be a mere distraction by said villain, whose big plan was to defeat Superman from the inside out.
This panel is just a new take on classic, but I like it..
Now, the story may sound a little lame, and maybe even somewhat familiar, but that isn't what makes this such a great issue. What makes issue 19 work so well is how Andy Diggle writes Clark Kent/Superman. Diggle has written the character exactly how I imagine him to be, a lot less of the hot-headed, arrogant kid from Morrison's Action run and none of the brooding loner from the Superman series, more the calm, diplomat who lets his fists do the talking only when he has no choice. This IS Superman!!! This is no better displayed than during the scene of the big fight between Supes and the killer robots, where an internal monologue shows just how the character thinks. He's calm, he's rational, he doesn't want to fight but it doesn't mean he won't. This isn't the only characterization that makes this issue great. The writing of the villain (who I'm intentionally withholding so I don't spoil to any who haven't read it) is top notch and could quite possibly be one of the best depictions of the character that I've read. Cruel, calculating, methodical, this character is one you'll need to hate.
Now, the story isn't the only plus here, the art too is pretty good. I like Tony Daniel's stuff and here he once again brings his A game, with tonnes of big heroic panels that could only work in a Superman comic. The pencils are smooth and clean which, backed up by Batt's inks, make the book look fantastic. However, despite the fantastic art, there are flaws, most notable being a couple of panels during the fight scene, but these are minor quibbles against the brilliant depictions of the main characters.
After reading this, I'm bittersweet. A part of me is so glad that, after being less than impressed with much of the past issues of Action Comics, I've been given a book that looks, sounds, and feels like a Superman comic. However, at the same time, it's upsetting that the creative team, had already announced their departure prior to this issues release (Diggle after this issue, Daniels has another two left). Still, this was a fantastic book and I have no regrets getting it because, all is said and done I'm reading a story which is starring the Superman I've always wanted to see. I just hope he sticks around when the creative have gone.

No comments:

Post a Comment