Review: Action Comics #15


Grant Morrison’s writing has been incredibly uneven during his Action Comics run. But #14 was such a brilliant issue, I was excited to see where this all went.  Then it went crazy and back to uneven.

The main villain of Morrison’s Action Comics run is finally revealed, and all I can say is, “…..ok?”.  It’s more out there than normal Morrison stuff, but still fits the meticulous planning that we have come to expect with him.  A lot of the lingering questions are answered, but not in the way you’d think they were.  Morrison leaves the timeline of Superman questionable, so the reader has trouble figuring out where this story takes place.  There are multiple jumps in time, while time is being edited, so prepare for some confusing moments.  It feels like Morrison crammed years of planning into this short run.  While Morrison is all but done with superhero comics, it would have been nicer if he had taken the time and stretched this run out.  It would have been much more enjoyable that way.  The scenes in the 5th dimension are quite weird, but still fun to read.  What gets annoying is the nonsense dialogue that goes with it.  The dialogue is easy enough to read through, but it’s an unnecessary thing.  Much like Matt Fraction’s Elf dialogue in Invincible Iron Man throughout Fear Itself.  Incredibly annoying, and why bother.

The idea that there was one central villain, using some classic Superman villains as soldiers, is a good story choice.  The problem is that Morrison didn’t use it correctly.  The villain wasn’t developed enough throughout the run, so the reader has no reason to hate this character.  Worse, it comes out of left field, and has almost no relation to the story that Morrison has been telling.  I’m all for trying to new things with old characters, since a story beat that no one every considered trying might end up being a great story.  But this just seems odd.  I started reading Action Comics after the reboot because I wanted a great Superman story.  Instead, I got an ok story.  There are still two issues left, but it seems like a long shot that Morrison could make some type of coherent resolution from this.

As with Morrison’s writing, Rags Morales has been uneven.  His facial work is all over the place, but his action scenes look great.  The big octopus that pops up in this issue ends up being the best looking thing in the issue.  Brad Walker, frequent fill in artist, nails every scene he pencils.  He would have been a better choice for this series.  While the insane 5th dimension stuff might not work in dialogue, it works rather well in art form.  It’s zany looking, and great to look at.  The duo blend well together, but it becomes apparent who is penciling which page.  It seems that Walker handles the conversation side of the story, while Morales handles the action heavy scenes.

Action Comics hasn’t been a massive disappointment, but a disappointment none the less.  Maybe my hopes were to high for this series.

Action Comics #15 gets 2.5/5.

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