REVIEW: Action Comics #12

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One year later, Grant Morrison is still spinning his tale of Superman that will hopefully come full circle by the time he leaves with issue #16. That moment is still four months away, and we need to see how well he handles the first Superman in this Major Spoilers Review of Action Comics #12.

ACTION COMICS #12
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Rags Morales, Cafu, Brad Walker
Inkers: Rick Bayant, Bob McLeod, Cafu, Andrew Hennessy
Colorists: Brad Anderson and Gabe Eltreb
Letterer: Steve Wands
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Action Comics: Rumors of someone with powers far beyond those of normal man have circulated for years, and for Superman, the realization that there was a Superman before him leaves him puzzled; that is until Adam Blake comes a calling.

CAPTAIN COMET

Captain Comet, Adam Blake, doesn’t come off as a very good character in the New 52. With the ability to control the minds of the people nearby – including giving Superman a hallucination on the level of For the Man Who Has Everything, Captain Comet is a force to be reckoned with, and is a bit of a dick. Adam Blake is searching for Neo Sapiens, and Lois’ niece is one of them. According to Blake, some very bad things are coming to Earth, and he’s trying to save as many of the Neo Sapiens as possible.

This issue is all about Adam Blake and how he came to be in contact with the Oort-Kind – a grey blobbed alien society from the Oort Cloud. For Grant Morrison to spend such a large amount of time on Captain Comet means something – whether that something is an upcoming Captain Comet series as part of the Next Wave of the New 52 titles, or something else that has yet to be revealed, we don’t know yet. There have been numerous mentions of “something” coming to Earth with the implication that the “something” will destroy the planet. We’ve already seen Darkseid try to enslave everyone unsuccessfully, so it should be very interesting to see what DC can pull out of their hat to try and top.

Back to Adam Blake – Mr. Morrison only has a few more issues to go before his run on the title is done, and I’m hoping these last two issues have a payoff that satisfies and wraps everything up. Though I’ve been incredibly interested in what Mr. Morrison has been doing in Action Comics, there have been a number of plot points and characters that have appeared that seem disjointed, causing the overall story to be confusing at times. At the same time, we’ve seen the writer pull this stunt before and had it all work out in the end. I have hope we’ll all be smacking our foreheads in the coming months and shouting, “Well, DUH!”

There are many elements of the Silver Age Superman that make appearances in this issue, including Superman’s ability to learn everything there is to learn about modern medicine in five minutes, and a reveal that someone we’ve seen since issue one has an impish origin from the 5th Dimension. Probably the biggest swerve we see in this issue is the return of Clark Kent, who was rescued mere milliseconds before the bomb detonated and “killed him” several issues ago. It’s a twist we haven’t been played out completely, and Batman’s involvement is a nice nod to the friendship that is growing between the two heroes – though placing a Bat-tracer on your friend is sure a dick move…

SO MANY ARTISTS

With one person writing the book, it amazes me that there are so many artists working on this issue. Normally, this would cause a number of visual continuity conerns, but when the art switches due to flashbacks and dream sequences, it works as well as you might expect. I don’t know if Mr. Morales is providing roughs for others to clean up, or if the others are good at mimicking his style, but for the most part, it is difficult to tell where one artist’s style ends and the other begins. Still… three people for one issue…

BOTTOM LINE: CHECK IT OUT

For what it is worth, though I don’t care for what he has done with other DC properties, i really like Grant Morrison working on Superman. The way the writer weaves bits and pieces of the heroes nearly 75 year history (with a lot of focus on the Silver Age), is handled very well, as it pays homage to the past while building something different for the future. Because this issue feels like there is something more we aren’t aware of yet, I suggest checking this issue out if you like what Mr. Morrison has done with Superman in the past. Overall Action Comics #12 delivers the action in comic book form, and earns 4 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆