This new ACTION COMICS title features President Superman, Nimrod the Hunter, The Forgotten Superman and much more! Plus: meet “The Boy Who Stole Superman’s Cape,” in a tale from Clark Kent’s early days in Metropolis.
Collecting ACTION COMICS #9-12, 0 and ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #1.
It’s been fun reading Grant Morrison’s Superman. He’s young, brash, sometimes reckless, and in need guidance from more experienced heroes such as Batman. This volume continues the trend from the first volume of showing the “T-shirt Superman” years, juxtaposed with his later, “adult years” in uniform.
In the former, we get to watch the Man of Steel evade assassination from Maxim “Nimrod” Zarov (The DC version of Kraven the Hunter?), namely by faking his own death (Action Comics Vol. 2 #10). A beautifully drawn story by Ben Oliver and Brian Reber – “The Boy Who Stole Superman’s Cape”, which seems to serve as the highlight of the volume. It’s also good to see the friend zone, lack-of-acknowledgement on the part of Lois Lane towards Clark Kent tossed aside, with the latter challenging the journalism ethic of the former. It’s a far cry from the childish Golden Age relationship they once had.
As for the latter, Superman goes toe to toe against a “Forgotten Superman” – actually Captain Comet – who leaves total destruction in his wake while convinced of his good intentions (#11), and then the “K-Man” (Action Comics Annual #1), with some help from John Henry Irons/Steel, written by Sholly Fisch.
The curveball is Issue #9, starring Earth 23 Superman (a.k.a Calvin Ellis, in a universe where most of the Justice League is black). Lex Luthor (who remains white) insists he isn’t a racist while battling Superman 23, but thankfully, there’s no social justice appeasing like in modern Marvel.
Overall, the volume sets up a lot of dominoes for future escapades for both early “T-shirt” Superman and the uniformed one, without giving away too much for the reader. The Earth 23 seemed a bit out of place, although it does segue into future stories of a DC multiverse.