Review: Action Comics #19
Action Comic #19 is full of reasons why readers love Superman. Unlike Grant Morrison’s run, and whatever has been going on at the main Superman book, Superman is viewed as partially human. He thinks just as often as he punches. Some of his inner monologue is forced, as he ends up talking to himself about his own values. It’s clear Diggle wanted to catch readers up on Superman in the case this was their first issue of the Boy Scout, but it could have been done slightly smoother. Lex Luthor also fairs just as well in #19. He’s maniacal, insane, but likable. A villain who we want to see. This version of Luthor views his battle with Superman like a chess game. The flirting between Lois and Clark is perfectly written, as readers remember why these two characters were so good together.
It’s ironic that the lats page is of Superman, with the tagline “Then things to come,” as we will never know how far Diggle had planned his run on Action Comics. Right now, we have one the first big “what ifs” for the New 52. The whole Diggle leaving DC thing has been talked about to death, but this is the first move that has actually disappointed me. When Gail Simone was fired from Batgirl, she had already achieved great success on the title. Dumb move, but at least Simone had left her mark on the title. Diggle proves in one issue that he understands the 52 reboot more than any other Superman writer. Morisson’s run was great as a tribute to Superman and his past, but didn’t do much for his future. Tony Daniel is a great idea man (not so good on the writing of ideas), so I’ll probably stick around to see where Action Comics finishes it’s arc.
Tony Daniel has always been solid on art. Even more so when he isn’t on writing duties. Characters are quite expressive, and full of character. Lois sticks her tongue out ever so slightly on the first few pages, and it says a lot about her as a character. Daniel makes Superman an imposing figure, with broad shoulders. He quickly switches Superman from a welcoming face to one of terror. Daniel covered Batman’s face too often when he was penciling those books, trying to make Batman look like an imposing figure when it came across as annoying. But it works here, mostly because it doesn’t happen every other page. The mechanical bots are generic in their design, but look good enough. Batt gives Daniel’s pencils slight inks, which work for the best. They high light the detail well. Tomeu Morey’s colors pop on the page. Superman’s costume looks fantastic. I love the color blue in this book, although I’m sure it’s the same blue as in every other Superman book. It’s like the TARDIS, it has it’s own special blue.
Action Comics #19 gets 4/5.