After a two month hiatus, Grant Morrison finally returns us to the story of young Superman’s struggle against the Collector of Worlds in Action Comics #7. Superman is accelerating towards the greatest battle of his early career and his life will never be the same afterwards. So far, every issue of Action Comics has been a smashing success and I’ve been looking forward to this entry since December. Did this title live up to the lofty expectations of comic fans worldwide?
Brainiac shrunk and made off with most of Metropolis back in Action Comics #4, but now it’s time for reckoning as Superman accelerates towards the Collector’s ship. Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor, and Glen Glenmorgan are all kidnapped as well, trapped in a miniature world as Brainiac’s drones drop down to “investigate” their society. Meanwhile, within the ship, Superman comes across Kryptonian artifacts as well as the miniaturized city, Kandor, and comes to realize he hails from Krypton. He doesn’t have long to ponder, however, as Supes comes face to face with Brainiac himself.
Morrison knocks it out the park once again with this issue. At this point, I feel like I’m running out of original descriptive language to talk about just how great the writing is. Page after page I’m surprised by just what kind of wild things will happen to the Man of Steel, and am amazed at the challenges Morrison creates for this seemingly “invincible” hero as well as the exceptional characterization. I loved how Lois Lane and Lex Luthor got a decent amount of spotlight in this issue, giving them a chance to discuss their own beliefs and motivations regarding Superman. I also love the ideas for Kryptonian technology that Morrison cooked up and love watching how it is utilized. I guess I should just say the writing is near perfect and leave it at that.
Once again I’ll sound like a broken record, but the artwork in Action Comics #7 is mostly flawless. Rags Morales does not disappoint, filling the scenes with power and heroism with an old school feel. My favorite scene is towards the beginning where Superman runs so fast that his boots begin to shred apart; the detail is just amazing and one really feels the sense of urgency as Clark uses satellites as jumping-off points to reach Brainiac’s vessel. Brainiac’s ship also has an awesome interior design, and detail in every panel is almost mind-boggling (I feel I should look at this issue again just to take it all in). Most of all, the final page is amazing; I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say we see the setup for what promises to be an amazing fight between a few awesomely drawn characters. To find a flaw in the art one would really have to nitpick in my opinion.
This issue, like the last few, also came with a backup story. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of these extras: I’d rather just have 8 more pages of the central story. This one focused on Steel and, while it gave a good message that anyone can be a hero, I felt it didn’t do very much for the story as a whole: I’d of course assume Steel would help the displaced people of Metropolis rather than just go home and drink beer. The art in this backup is good, but I still would’ve rather seen a story concerning information about Superman, Brainiac, Lex Luthor…hell even Jimmy Olsen! Even so, all I can do is hope these backups improve (if they continue) or they take them out to give Morrison extra pages to explore his awesome plot lines.
Action Comics #7 is a great read and is definitely worth checking out for anyone who’s been following the series. It’s not a good jumping on point, of course, but as I’ve said before this series is one of the best out there right now so everyone really should pick it up. The writing is superb and the art is amazing, so you’ve really got nothing to lose. As I said, the backup is rather average in terms of plot, so my rating won’t take it into account.
Brett Simon is a twenty-two year old comic enthusiast. He found it rather hilarious that Morrison said Brainiac manifested himself on Earth as the internet…guess it really is the root of all evil.
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