By Greg Pak, Aaron Kuder and June Chung
The Action Comics torch was recently passed to writer Greg Pak and artist Aaron Kuder, both of whom have worked with Big Blue before. Superman for Kuder and, of course, Batman/Superman, currently, for Greg Pak so this character really isn’t anything shockingly new for the pair and both actually took over the title with the Zero Year tie last issue. For someone who hasn’t read Action since Grant Morrison started things off with the New 52 launch, issue #26 was comfortable to step into. Even missing the last issue of the seemingly not important Zero Year tie in to try and drag some Bat-fans to Action, the story was easy to follow.
Everybody knows Superman, or at least the general idea of him. Greg Pak does a great job not only showing his “Superman”, big-time hero side but also a softer, almost small-town side. A side that you could probably call the “Clark” side… if you were so apt. The fight with the monster, as advertised on the cover, is interesting, humorous and well paced with a great little ending but the sudden appearance of The Ghost Solider overshadowed it. For somebody that knows nothing of the character (really couldn’t tell you if this is an old character being brought to the New 52 or a brand new invention) it was interesting to see someone that could actually get to Clark and seemingly hurt him. It’s going to be cool to watch where they take this character and what happens in their next meeting.
On the art side of things, Aaron Kuder really does a great job in all aspects. The monster looks great and the fight scene panels really work and flow nicely. Another thing to note his how he draws Superman himself. Other artists in the New 52 have almost given him a feminine look, or they just couldn’t get him right for one reason or another, aside from Mr. Jim Lee of course, but Kuder nails it. Some panels are almost reminiscent of Frank Quietly’s work in All-Star Superman, one of the finest Superman titles every to be created, but overall Kuder really captures Superman and puts his own mark on the character, which is great to see considering some of the other…versions of the character since the New 52 started. Big props to Kuder, even though he denies he did it, for Lana Lang’s look as well. Very similar to a childhood character some of you folks might remember. I won’t spoil it by saying who, but you take a look and see if you see it too.
Overall, one of the best Superman comics in a long time, to be quite honest. That opinion may be a little bias based on the fact that Superman doesn’t rate too high on this reviewer’s list of favorite heroes, but a great issue nonetheless. If you’ve been curious about Action or need some Superman in your pull list, this could be the one for you. Definitely think both Pak and Kuder have earned, if nothing else, a follow up issue after the effort they put forth in #26. Check it out.