Action Comics #34
By Greg Pak, Aaron Kuder, Scott Kolins, & Wil Quintana
Action Comics #34 continues from the series’ annual issue released the very same day. Superman has kicked the Doomsday virus and is ready to get back to normal, well, after he defeats the imminent Brainiac invasion. Much like the annual, issue #34 features an all-star roster of guest heroes to help Superman combat one of his most dangerous foes. Batman, Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, and even Red Hood and the Outlaws join in on the action as the entire planet battles the Collector of Worlds. This issue featured a lot of action and the inclusion of many supporting characters did help to keep things interesting, even if the story didn’t progress that much.
Aaron Kuder continues his good work on the series. If ever there are lapses in story or character development you can count of Kuder to maintain the book’s high standards by producing quality artwork issue after issue. Everything looks crisp and clean with his use of fine lines that make the images look simple and like a well done cartoon. His art, accompanied by Scott Kolins, is fun and energetic. From action scenes to people’s expressions and emotions his look is perfect for Superman’s world. With a lot of differentiating scenes (fighting, talking, etc), Kuder and colorist Wil Quintana are allowed to express all aspects of their skills to create a complete issue, at least in regards to the art. Quintana is a master of shine and reflection and his use of colors creates a bright world with a lot of light reflections, which look amazing.
Superman’s back, freed from the deadly virus and ready for action. An interesting theme that ran through the majority of this issue was Superman’s doubts about himself and whether or not he is ready to save the entire planet; an intriguing concept, especially following all the mental and physical problems he endured with the virus. Like the annual, more guests appeared here to spice things up and enhance the story and help Superman achieve things he wouldn’t have been able to on his own. While most of the book was great, the climax scenes were less than climactic. They didn’t create enough urgency for our characters and it didn’t help that when a problem arose, a solution was quickly and easily created. That being said, some things will seem rushed in a 22 page comic, but still.
With stellar art from Kuder and Kolins, and a bright and beautiful coloring job from Quintana, Action Comics continues its great work in the art department. As for the story, Superman battled internal doubts but was aided by his friends and allies to combat one large nemesis. Although the climax did not live up to its expectation the overall trend of this issue was good and created some juicy cliff hangers moving into the next installment of Doomed.