I have been telling myself for quite some time that I want to provide more frequent content for our listeners (and now readers?). It wasn’t until today that I had the time or inspiration to do so. So to begin In This Issue’s foray into the written word I would like to start with a retraction.
When DC relaunched their universe I was excited to see what changes they would make to the staples of their universe. The reality of the relaunch has been that change isn’t as inevitable as it’s reputation would have you believe. Most of DC’s staple characters have remained stagnant. A lot of the stories are compelling but they aren’t necessarily taking advantage of the blank slate. This can be mostly attributed to assholes like me. They change Mr. Freeze’s origin and I am deflated while I get amped up to read the next GL book that has almost no new continuity. Now to get to the retraction.
I am officially changing my stance on Action Comics. I am going as far as to place it on my pull list at my comic shop of choice (Mellow Blue Planet). I read issue #1 and was completely baffled. They promised changes but the character at his core seemed corrupted. If you listened to the episode of the show where we reviewed it ( http://tinyurl.com/73pdzgc *), I was borderline offended by what Grant Morrison had been paid to do to an icon. Issue #1 turned me off so badly that I didn’t even give issue #2 a chance. A couple weeks ago I was attending a friends wedding and one of the groomsmen was an artist (and a damn good one at that @ericgapstur on twitter). We talked a lot about comics and the industry that night. At one point early on I expressed my distain for Action Comics and he aggressively stood up for the book and the direction it was taking. By the end of the night he had won me over and I decided to give the book a second chance.
Now that you are completely bored lets discuss Action Comics 6-10. Part of the reason I had disliked the initial taste of clark kent/superman was because he came across as an asshole. I think the flaw in the first issue was that he was 100% asshole. Leading me to believe that in the new continuity superman was, in fact, an asshole. Issue #6 allows us to see a Superman 5 years in the future. A non-asshole Superman. Having not read issues 2-5 I am not sure how much of this is shown before this point, but it was enough to re-engage me into the series. At the end of the issue there is a small story of clark handing over the farm. In this story he has an incredibly touching moment deciding which picture of the Kent’s to take with him to Metropolis. THAT is what I wanted to see. I have always preferred his emotional struggles over his physical struggles. As I read further into issues 7, 8, and 9 It became abundantly clear that this was the superman book I had wanted after all. The stories of him making friends and holding a job are beautifully offset by him learning about his powers and interacting with members of the Justice League. He wasn’t an asshole he was just out of his element. I judged too quickly and that is why Grant Morrison gets paid to handle an Icon while I just talk shit on a podcast.
In summary. I am sorry Grant Morrison, Thank you Eric Gapstur, and go buy Action Comics.
*this episode is from our old title “it’s all it’s all up to you” also known as Vol. 1 and the Action Comics talk happens around the 22 minute mark.