Superman faces against past and present monsters in Action Comics #26!
Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder release their debut issue in this month’s Action Comics. We had a taste of their work in the “Zero Year” tie-in issue that released last month, but now we get to see the beginning of their full-fledged arc. Pak spoke a few weeks ago about writing Superman and doing something very different with the character. Pak delivers on his promise as we see a side of Clark we have not seen yet in the New 52.
As Superman fights off against a giant beast, he remembers the first time he discovered his heat vision ability. The scene is emotionally charged and oozes empathy for not only Clark Kent, but for the monster he is facing as well.
Lana Lang is front and center this issue, with a wealth of personality as well as the knowledge of who Superman is under the red and yellow shield. Pak writes Lana in a very similar style to Lois Lane, but with a bit more spunk. If Lois Lane has a direct scene with Lana in the future, it will be interesting to see how Pak separates the two personalities.
Aaron Kuder goes beyond his artistic duties this month and delivers one of the most beautifully rendered issues of Action Comics in quite some time. The way he expresses the power behind the monster’s body and the force behind Clark’s heat vision is very innovative. The reader will understand the parallel between the two powers, but also see how they directly correlate with Clark’s past, and it’s impressive to see artwork reflect this completely.
Although Kuder does in incredible job with the artwork this month, he tends to draws very small eyes on his characters. There are times when it works and times when it makes everyone seem beady eyed. Superman in particular only has his eyes fully open in a few scenes. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing; Superman was pushing through boundaries in those scenes, so it’s understandable why his eyes would be closed for focusing purposes. However, there are scenes that make his eyes look so small that his head as a result looks massive. It’s a very tiny gripe and does not take away from the book at all, but the reader may notice a particular attention to closed and semi-open eyelids in the art style.
The issue is filled with little loose ends that will unravel as the arc moves forward. The story direction seems promising and with the amount of detail the team is applying to the series ultimately breathes a new life into Action Comics that hasn’t been seen since Andy Diggle and Tony S. Daniel’s arc running from issue #19-#21. Action Comics #26 is a strong start to Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder’s arc and is a standout for not only Superman but the series as a whole.