Andy Diggle’s run on Action Comics has come to an end. With Superman already part of his monthly work, how does Scott Lobdell separate his temporary work on Action Comics from Superman?
To say the correlation between the continuity in Action Comics and Superman is complicated is a great disservice. When the New 52 began, Action Comics was taking place years before the Superman comic. After the Morisson run ended, the argument could be made that they were happening simultaneously. Now however, it is completely up in the air. It seems that Action Comics is taking place at the exact time as the Superman comic, but even then it brings up more questions, but we’ll talk about that later.
Scott Lobdell’s Action Comics run began in a surprisingly different way than most of his previous works. We were given a lot more information than normal on his beginning issue to the arc. It is presumed that the story will have more layers than his Superman run, but with a firmer grasp on pacing. Lobdell introduces a new villain(s?) that could end up being allies by the end of the arc, or at least we as readers are to believe so. The Knights, as they call themselves, were interesting and incredibly powerful; holding weapons that are fierce and capable of taking the Last Son of Krypton down.
It’s exciting to see where the story is going with these Knights and how it will impact both Superman and the Universe.
The artwork is stunning. Tyler Kirkham picks up right where Tony S. Daniel left off. Although we were all sad to see Daniel go, Kirkham is more than a worthy replacement. His action sequences are massive, and his use of expressions brings out an emotional impression of each of the characters. As a result, you feel just as awkward as Clark entering an unfamiliar territory known as networking. Kirkham has done penciling on a number of DC Comics including Green Lantern: New Guardians. It is refreshing to see him bring the universal style to Metropolis, and his comfort zone of course, outer space—dynamic that hasn’t really been tapped recently in Action Comics, as most of the action has stayed in Metropolis.
The biggest problem with this comic is the continuity. It feels rushed, confusing and overall a disappointment to the reader. Lobdell selfishly plugs his own Superman run numerous times in his first Action Comics issue. And of course, we are given Hector Hammond AGAIN. I cannot stress how much he doesn’t belong in Metropolis. Not to mention, you could replace Hammond in this issue with a few extra lines and the result would have been significantly better. This setback makes the comic seem like a big product placement to go pick up Superman (which you should, because it’s really good).
The artwork alone is worth the pickup of Action Comics #22. Despite the continuity problems and the Superman plugs, the story is heading in the right direction; it just would’ve been nice for these two Superman comics to be completely separate (as was originally intended).