Action Comics #838: One Year Later Review

As most regular visitors of the Revolution know, I’m not a big fan of anything connect to the big red S. I jumped onto Superman and Action Comics because I am a huge fan of Geoff Johns and Kurt Busiek. I figured if anyone could get me to like Superman then it would be these two guys. So far, I think this Up, Up and Away storyline has been solid, but it has not hooked me yet. Will Action Comics #838 finally get me? Let’s find out.

Creative Team
Writers: Geoff Johns & Kurt Busiek
Penciler & Inker: Renato Guedes

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: This issue starts with a flashback to right after Infinite Crisis where Superman is at S.T.A.R. Labs where the Ray, Dr. Light (good version) and Mr. Terrific and blasting Superman with solar energy in hopes of jumpstarting his powers. Unfortunately, Superman’s cells are actively resisting absorbing any solar power. Clark Kent then wakes up in bed.

We then cut to Clark and Jimmy Olsen busting a Councilman receiving payoff money from Intergang thugs. Clark tells them that he has a broadband connection to the Daily Planet and has already sent the photos and he has alerted the police who suddenly appear on the scene.

We cut to Clark back at the Daily Planet finishing up his column. Clark is wondering to himself who is stealing all the Kryptonite and what could they be planning to do with it. Clark wonders if Intergang is behind it all or if it is someone else. Perry White then congratulates Clark for an outstanding job.

We then shift to Lex Luthor and Toyman firing up their Kryptonite powered cannon. Lex tells Kryptonite Man that he has collected virtually all the known Kryptonite in the world. Lex is channeling all that power through the Kryptonite Man to increase his powers tenfold and beam that energy through the Sunstone control unit.

We then shift to Lois and Clark at a Monster Truck rally. (Huh, didn’t see that one coming.) Lois is a freak for Monster Truck rallies ever since her dad starting taking her when she was a little kid. Lois tells Clark to go since he isn’t interested and to meet her later for dinner. Clark leaves and realizes he forgot to call Jimmy about their plans to hand out today. We then see Jimmy in his apartment waiting for Clark’s phone call. Clark is then suddenly attacked by Neutron and Radion. Intergang sent them to take out Clark. Clark hits his signal watch to call Supergirl, but it isn’t working. He tries his cell phone, but that isn’t working either.

We then cut back to Lex Luthor and Toyman. Lex explains to Toyman that they have made contact with a prize he has been after for a long time. Lex says that in 1938, an extraterrestrial object struck Earth in the flatlands of west Texas. It was never recovered. The object burrowed and dug its way deeper into the Earth’s crust. The object came from Krypton. (Ok, I’m officially very interested in this!) Lex’s research shows that it is near the center of the Earth. Lex’s detailed scans show that the object is a ship. Now, with the Sunstone crystal to send a signal and the power enough to punch through the interference to reach the ship has woken it up. The ship is now moving upward heading toward Lex’s lab.

We then shift back to Clark running for his life. Clark runs to the train/subway station and heads for the tunnel to hide from his attackers. Unfortunately, the train is running late and it comes blaring out of the tunnel right at Clark. The train smashes into Clark and sends him flying. Neutron and Radion leave Clark for dead. Clark then wakes up and is not hurt. He then sees the train off the rails and sees his hand print smashed into the front of the train where he stopped it. End of issue.

The Good: Man, Johns and Busiek really kicked it into another gear on this issue. I am officially hooked! I liked the flashback scene that gave us just a snippet of information of what Superman went through right after Infinite Crisis ended. It is interesting that Superman’s cells are actively rejecting the solar energy. It is as if Superman is unconsciously choosing to not have any super powers. Neat twist.

I like that Johns and Busiek are spending time on the Clark’s relationship with Jimmy Olson. Jimmy is a great supporting character and I’m glad that they are taking time to try and develop Jimmy some more. It will be interesting to see if Clark and Jimmy’s relationship is going to take a hit with Clark continually forgetting to get together with Jimmy to hang out.

I absolutely love the Lex Luthor storyline. This strange vessel from Krypton that landed in 1938 and has been sitting in the middle of the earth ever since is great! I cannot wait to see where Johns and Busiek take this storyline. But, this plot officially hooks me on this series. I have never been a huge Superman fan and have picked up Action and Superman only because I really like Johns and Busiek. Well, they have officially hooked me on this title. I cannot wait for the next issue to see what happens next! This storyline bomb that was dropped on us boosts this comic’s writing grade from 8 Night Girls up to 9 sexy Night Girls.

And, it has appeared that when faced with a life or death situation that Clark’s instinct kicked in his super powers. It is about time. It was neat reading about a powerless Clark Kent, but it is time for Superman to make his appearance.

Johns and Busiek are crafting a great storyline. I am really impressed that these guys have gotten me interested in a character that I have never liked before. That is the mark of talented writers. I think it is obvious that Johns and Busiek really care for these characters and are truly doing their best to put out a top notch story. I like how they write all the characters. I love the team of Lex and Toyman. They are deliciously evil and yet also pretty funny at times. Clark is still a rather boring character, but I think he has shown some signs of a personality in this issue. I really liked that Lois gets her kicks on Monster Truck rallies. For some reason that just made me like her character a little bit more.

I am a big fan of Renato Guedes’ artwork. He has a nice style that looks great and makes the comic fun to read. I also like how Guedes draws Clark Kent. He makes him look more youthful and laid back. Very unlike how Clark is usually drawn which is painfully stiff, white bread and older. I hope they stick with Guedes’ version of Clark.

The Bad: I have no real major complaints about Action Comics #838. For the most part, I still find Clark to be a terribly boring and generic character. That is unfortunate since I think he is much more entertaining and complex on the Smallville TV show. I wish Clark’s personality would get the same treatment on the comic that he gets on TV. Plus, I think the marriage with Lois also makes Clark and his personal life more boring. It doesn’t work for me.

Other than those very minor complaints, I thought this issue was fantastic! I’m very excited for the next issue and I have never said that about a Superman comic before!