Action Comics #850 Review

Action Comics has suffered from too many filler issues. Evidently, someone is not able to properly meet deadlines. I can’t wait for when we actually continue Johns and Donner’s cool storyline that they had going way back in Action Comics #846. It appears that Action Comics #850 is yet another time waster. However, it does sport the Legion of Super Heroes on the cover so that is enough to get me interested in this issue. Lets go ahead and hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza & Geoff Johns
Penciller: Renato Guedes
Inker: Jose Wilson Magalhaes

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: We begin with Brainiac 5 completing a device called a Chronexus that will scan Supergirl’s temporal signature and searching for matching chronal particles. It is basically a time viewer that will let them view into Supergirl’s past. Invisible Kid and Chameleon decide to watch along with Brainiac 5 and Supergirl.

Supergirl is afraid to look into her past and regain her memories in this fashion. Therefore, Supergirl decides look into Superman’s past instead. Supergirl is hooked into the machine. Supergirl says that Superman was always a stuffy jerk to her. That she knows Superman was the inspiration for the Legion and she would like to see how he began.

The Chronexus’ Multiversal stabilizer overcompensated and they lose timeline cohesion and pick up a lateral timeline. It is scenes of the original Superman from Earth-Two. We then see the Chronexus show us various different versions of Superman from the various multiple Earths including the long haired Superman.

The Chronexus finally located the proper universe and locks onto the very beginning of New Earth’s Superman. We see Kal-El being placed in a ship and launched from Krypton. We see Jonathon and Martha Kent finding Kal-El and adopting him as their son. We then see Martha burying her brother who was her last living blood relative. Clark tells his mother that he doesn’t have any blood relatives either. That they are just like each other.

Supergirl is a bubble headed idiot and is the only person not moved to tears by that scene. Even Brainiac 5 was moved. We then move forward in time to a teenage Clark at a Lang family reunion along with Lana. Lana mentions how Clark has been spending time with Lex Luthor. Clark says that Lex is not so bad. He just doesn’t know anybody around here and it seems like Lex could use a friend.

We then hop forward in time to the first time that Clark is seen in public as Superman. We see Clark back in his new apartment in Metropolis. Clark talks to Ma Kent on the phone about his first public appearance. Clark tells her that he still hasn’t met too many people in Metropolis since he doesn’t go out much. Clark says that he hasn’t seen the gang in the Legion lately. That they haven’t stopped by for a visit and are probably busy. Chameleon and Invisible Kid both ask Brainiac 5 when in the world did they ever visit Superman?

We then cut to Superman trying to stop Dr. Berkowitz’s tests to unlock the unified field theory. There is a big explosion and Dr. Berkowitz disappears. The police and media arrive on the scene and Superman gives an interview with Lois Lane.

We then hop forward to Clark and Lana at dinner together. We then hop forward to Superman with the Justice League of America on one of their first missions taking down Amazo.

We then hop forward to Clark coming home to his wife, Lois. Lois mentions how her Dad keeps saying he wants grandkids before he dies. Clark tells Lois that they can’t have kids. That Clark is an alien and that the odds that it would be biologically possible for a human and a Kryptonian to reproduce and that Lois could become pregnant then the risk and danger she would be in the whole time would be too great.

Lois says it is okay. Lois asks Clark if he even wants kids. Clark says no, but you can tell otherwise by the look on his face. We then hop forward to when Supergirl first arrived on Earth and suddenly my interest wanes to next to nothing.

Supergirl sees a scene where Clark tells Lois how happy he is that he has Supergirl. That he has a family again. We then hop forward in time to Superman and Supergirl battling Blackstar who just happens to be Dr. Berkowitz.

Suddenly, the Chronexus suffers from an overload. We then see a scene with Superman battling all the different various incarnations of Brainiac. We see a scene with Supergirl finding out that her parents are still alive. We then sees a scene with Superman and Supergirl in a Kryptonian city. The Chronexus then ceases to function. However, just before it did, Supergirl was able to project her mind into Superman’s mind and leave a message telling him that he isn’t so alone as he thinks. End of issue.

The Good: Action Comics #850 was nothing special. I figured we were in store for what would amount to the typical filler issue that most annuals deliver and I was correct. However, there were several rather entertaining scenes in this issue.

I enjoyed the various scenes from the other multiple Earths. I loved seeing the Earth-Two Superman in all his Golden Age glory. I even liked that the cheesy long haired Superman made a quick appearance. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll keep saying it. I am so glad that the Multiverse is back.

I really liked the scene between Lois and Clark when they were discussing the fact that since he is an alien and she is human that there is relatively no chance that they would be able to conceive a child. I have always thought that it would be impossible for Clark to father a child with Lois. I liked that this issue was brought back up again specifically because the latest Superman movie has Clark fathering a son with Lois.

I love that DC is nicely blending the Smallville style origin of Clark Kent into the comic book. I’m a big fan of Smallville and like that the comic book and the TV show are beginning to move closer to each other. Of course, we still have the cool Silver Age background of Clark being a member of the Legion. For me, this new wrinkle to Superman’s origin is the best of both worlds.

I found it interesting that the current Legion of Super Heroes has no memories of ever meeting Superman. It could mean that the Legion that Superman was a part of was actually from another parallel universe. I’m really interested to see how DC manages to explain how Superman was a part of the Legion and yet he has no ties whatsoever to the current Legion of Super Heroes.

We get a few teasers scenes of upcoming events. We see that Supergirl’s parents are actually still alive. Evidently, there are going to be more than a couple of Kryptonians running around this New Earth.

We also see Supergirl, her parents, Superman and what appears to be two dudes in a Kryptonian city. Wait, those aren’t two men, I think they are two lesbians. Wait a minute; is that dark haired one Lois Lane? Yup. Appears to be so. Wow, is DC on a mission to make sure that Lois Lane is drawn as fugly as possible in this New Earth? Talk about butt ugly! Superman is a god on this planet and could basically have just about any woman he wants the including incredibly hot Wonder Woman. It just isn’t believable that he would be married to such a poochie looking woman.

Anyway, I guess the Kryptonian city that they are in is the City of Kandor. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of where else they might be. It certainly should be cool to see Superman in a Kryptonian city in all its glory. That should help make Superman feel less alone in this universe.

We also get a teaser scene of Superman battling every different incarnation of Brainiac. I love Brainiac so this scene definitely grabbed my attention.

The Bad: Action Comics #850 was a time waster. Let’s call it what it is. This issue is pure filler as DC stalls for time in order to get the Johns/Donner/Kubert storyline back on track. Other than a few teaser scenes this issue was rather slow and largely uneventful. I’m getting tired of nothing but filler issues on this title. I’m ready for the Johns/Donner story arc to resume.

Overall: Action Comics #850 continues the trend of this title sitting in neutral until the main creative team can get the ball rolling on the General Zod story arc. I rarely visit comic book news websites so I don’t know if Johns and Donner are to blame for the delay in this story arc or if Adam Kubert is responsible for the delays. Whatever the case, DC needs to get this title back on track quickly. We have gotten 4 filler issues in a row. That is more than I can stomach.

2 thoughts on “Action Comics #850 Review

  1. The delays are the fault of Mr. Kubert, who also teaches art, so he’s not at all good at scheduling.

    Part 4 of “Last Son” is due in #851; however, the last two parts have been postponed more or less indefinitely, and will be released in an Annual at some point this year. In the meantime, Kurt Busiek does another three-part story that ties into “Countdown,” and then new Johns/Donner stories will begin (the first is a three-part Bizarro World (ugh…) story drawn by Eric Powell (“The Goon”).

  2. How you could you not love the art. Supergirl has what could be actual body mass. Plus the whole car lfting scene in homige to his first cover apperance back in action comics.

    that said. aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh! I’m so confused. Which earth is this. Is pre COIE earth back, is this post COIE is it a new earth. Supergirl made it sound like it was a totatlly new earth durring her superman flashback. But there were more supermen shown than there should be. again i say aaaahhhhhhhh and so forth

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