You will believe that man can fly, no wait, run really fast.
More so than any of the other DC Comics #1’s, including Justice League #1, Action Comics #1 is the flagship book of DC. Superheroes were created in the original Action Comics #1 way back in June of 1939.
The editors of DC Comics must have realized this as well so they gave the job of reinventing their original book and superhero to Grant Morrison, superstar comic writer and creator of one of the best Superman stories of all time known as All Star Superman. So how is Action Comics #1? Well, it can be summed up in one simple sentence.
Welcome back, Superman.
Action Comics #1 is a refreshing, brand new take on the character of Superman. By going back to the roots of Superman, in his humble beginnings in 1939, Grant Morrison has created a Superman that is more modern and relevant than ever.
The issue begins with a young Superman. He can’t fly, but he can run real fast and leap buildings in a single bound. His costume is nothing but a t-shirt, a cape, and a pair of jeans. Superman grabs a CEO of a company that mistreated his workers, bribed city officials, and used illegal cheap labor.
He leaps off a building while holding the CEO, and slams into the ground, scaring the CEO so much that he admits to his crimes. This Superman is a man of action, a social crusader, and a protector of the little guy. This makes sense if you think about it since Superman grew up on a poor Kansas farm. Superman would be a defender of the people given his upbringing. He fights the cops, who protect the rich and the corrupt, and even saves a building that was being demolished while a bunch of squatters were inside.
Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen make small appearances in this issue. Luthor is exactly the same as he was before the relaunch except this time he is working with the police to bring down Superman. To be honest, the issue wouldn’t have suffered at all if those three hadn’t appeared.
Action Comics #1 has only one weakness. The art by Rags Morales, artist of Identity Crisis, starts off brilliant. But about halfway through the issue, character’s faces start to become rough. Eyes and noses start to become sloppy. It’s almost as if Rags ran out of time to complete the issue.
Except for the minor failing of the art towards the end of the issue, this book was excellent. This should have been DC’s first book of the New 52. I would hand this issue to anyone that has never read a comic book, and say, “See? This is what you are missing!” Grant Morrison took a character with a 75 year history that many people thought was irrelevant and outdated, and made him the most important and relevant character of our time.
In a world where economies are slumping, governments are ineffective, and the rich keep getting richer while the poor get poorer, it’s nice to know that there is a man out there that will protect us and our rights, not just a man, a Superman. This Superman is a man of action who is not going to sit by and let the world continue as it is. He is going to change it. He is going to protect the common man, because he cares.
Grant Morrison’s Action Comics #1 is brilliant. This book is for everyone, even the Superman haters. It’s a book that shows us that even in a world centered on fear, there is still a ray of hope, and that hope is called Superman