Action Comics #1

Superman is a controversial figure in my friend group. By that, I mean I’m the only one who likes him. The complaints are always the same, “he has too much power, he’s a boy scout, I can’t relate to him.” I’ve never really understood that. I don’t see how someone can’t relate to, or at least admire, someone who wants to do good for everyone. Someone who essentially embodies all the things we wish we were. It’s not like Superman doesn’t have his faults, anyone who’s read stories such as Kingdom Come or Infinite Crisis can see that (read them). Whenever I want to get someone into Superman I always suggest Grant Morrison’s mini-series “All-Star Superman” (Read it, I mean it: Vol.1 and Vol. 2). This is Superman as a god among men, a Christ figure, distilled down and combined with all the wonderful zaniness of the Silver Age. Now Morrison is redefining the Man of Steel again, but this time in another direction entirely.

In Action Comics #1 we see Superman for the first time (again) and he’s almost as he was in the first Action Comics #1 in 1938. He can’t fly, only able to jump tall buildings in a single bound. He’s bullet proof, but a blast from a mortal shell can make him bleed. Now he’s a working class hero, fighting for the little guy who can’t defend himself against the corporate big-wig. He’s a champion for social justice. This is the most refreshing take I’ve seen on Superman in a long time, fighting white collar corruption rather than monsters from other planets. Other changes include him not being married to Lois Lane, not even dating her. In fact, they are working at rival newspapers. This is an interesting new status quo, and while I love the Lois and Clark relationship it will be interesting to see what stories come from it. Part of me knows they’ll end up together again anyway. We also see a bit of Lex Luthor, but not enough to get a feel for whatever changes may be coming to the character.

Even with all these changes, Superman is still the same character he has always been. Last son of a doomed world, sent to Earth by his parents, found by a farm town family and raised to stand for truth and justice. That’s a story I’ll always want to read.

Rating: 8.6/10


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