Lana Lang and Superman dive below the surface and uncover buried secrets in Action Comics #27!
Superman appears to have made a new friend. Although the little guy doesn’t have a name just yet, taking care of the adorable monster brings Clark back to a time in his childhood. Greg Pak has done a great job with developing the deeper emotions behind Clark Kent by, once again, focusing on Clark’s childhood and his interaction with his parents. Although Ma and Pa Kent have already passed away, this storytelling device allows Pak to work around their deaths and still develop the lessons that Clark needs in order to grow into a Superman.
Pak stated that he wants Lana to be a major part of his Action Comics run, and she has taken over as the leading lady in this Superman title (at least until Lois returns). In this depiction of Lana, she is almost competing with Superman every step of the way. In a sense of showing her strength as well as her ability to help others without superpowers, Lana challenges Superman in a friendly manner. It’s understandable, as Pak is focusing on what makes Clark the Superman he is, and Lana is a very early part of his life that helps him mature into that. The argument can still be made that Pak writes Lana dangerously similar to Lois Lane, and it’s uncertain as to where Lois is and if she’ll appear any time soon.
Aaron Kuder continues to develop his unique style in Action Comics. He is given free liberty to draw numerous monsters and they breathe creativity and attitude into this issue. Although Clark’s nameless new friend lacks an ability to speak, he has a lot of personality; seeing the creature run around the fortress of solitude while knocking things over with his tail is very entertaining. On the combat front, this issue has less action in favor of story development. Despite this, the artwork and unraveling story leave enough for the reader to lose themselves in this month’s issue.
Another thing worth noting is that Action Comics has changed its structure. Since the start of the New 52, Action Comics has had a main story accompanied by a smaller back-up towards the end of the book. It appears that Greg Pak is using the last few pages to develop his main story more so than add a secondary tale. This structure serves the issue well, as both of these last releases by Pak and Kuder end in a very defined and satisfying way.
Clark’s new monstrous friend looks a little too much like the animated Teen Titans version of Beast Boy. The way the fangs stick out, the way the teeth round and shift depending on the mood; it’s hard not to see the similarities. The creature can evolve as well (but not in the same way Beast Boy does), but readers will notice the similarities immediately and it may pull them out of the experience, albeit for a short time.
Other than that, there isn’t much to say that is wrong with this issue. It is missing a certain wow factor that the last release had, but overall, it’s still a very solid entry into Action Comics.
Action Comics continues its new rejuvenated storytelling by the multitalented creative team. Aaron Kuder and Greg Pak complement each other very well and we are left with a very gratifying Superman title that stands out on the comic book shelves. This issue is not only a pleasure for Superman fans, but DC fans as a whole.