Review: Action Comics #21
While DC has done a good job of not letting their editorial shake ups affect the books, the kryptonite has finally hit the fan. Action Comics #21 shows that everything comes back to bite you in comics.
The cover has Andy Diggle billed first, but it sure as hell doesn’t feel like he had any part in making this issue. Gone are the great character moments that were in #19 and part of #20. Gone are the likable moments that made me hopeful for Superman in the New 52. What we have here is Tony Daniel desperately drying to pick up the slack on a story he didn’t plan on writing. I need to give Daniel credit, as he is trying to do his best to wrap up this story as quickly as possible. But nothing makes sense. Everything feels rushed and to convenient. Luthor seemed to be taking a slow approach to killing Superman, but suddenly rushes in to try and kill him. It leaves a horrible taste in the mouth of the reader.
With Man of Steel coming out soon, common sense would dictate that DC should put out the best quality Superman stories that they can. DC hasn’t been doing that for nearly two years now. While some could argue that Grant Morrison’s run was great, it was too hit and miss to be declared a full success. Superman Unchained looks to be a hit, but to me, it’s to little to late. DC should have found an A-lister who could have stayed on the main Superman title for a while. Since I started reading comics, Superman has slowly grown on me, and I’ve been dying for a great Superman ongoing since I started reading years ago. But DC kept giving Superman family books to Scott Lobdell, so there is not hope in the near future of any book besides Unchained being readable. DC needs to start making plan Bs for every book incase they decide to switch around writers or artists.
Tony Daniel’s artwork is great to look to look at. When he isn’t writing a book and penciling, his characters become much more detailed. Characters are very expressive, and Daniels uses body language very well. The main enemy in this issue, besides Luthor, doesn’t have an inspiring look. Daniel would have been a great artist to work alongside Diggle. The last few pages, when we see the inherent chemistry between Lois and Clark, is fantastic. You can feel the air crack around them. But Daniel is off to do another book for DC, and we are going to get…..well it doesn’t matter who is on art, because Scott Lobdell will be writing. Ok, enough Lobdell bashing. It could be a good issue for all I know. Batt and Norm Rapmund ink Daniel’s pencils well. It keeps them from getting too scratchy. Tomeu Morey is a great Superman colorist. He finds the optimism in the character, and each scene is full of color and life.
Action Comics #21 gets 2.5/5.