Samstag, 6. Juli 2013

Action Comics #19

Hello comic-friends,

so the long Grant Morrison run has ended. Some people are disappointed, some people are speaking of
great two years in Action Comics. Maybe I will write a longer post about the Morrison run. We'll see.

But lets face the new team for Action Comics. Tony S. Daniel and Andy Diggle. Andy Diggle is new for me and so I can relax and judge his work without any preconceptions. Mr. Daniel is another point. I know him of the series "The Tenth" and I didn't liked this title. The pencils were horrible and the story wasn't worth a penny. But Tony developed a nice style since then and his work nowadays is much more appealing than in the late '90. And he delivers a quite good work in this one.

Lets get to the cover. It's a folded double-page with a surprise: Jimmy Olsen is the opponent of Superman in this issue. But this is just a very boring wannabe hook for the issue and lasts just one page in it. Much ado about nothing. The story it divided in three parts and the first and second part takes place "One year ago..." in Qurac. Lois and Clark are reporting from an "arabic spring" and Clark praises Lois up to the skies which is so annoying  that you can throw the book right in the can. But just two pages later it's starting to get interesting. You could say, when you aren't good at writing an interesting story between two characters without using the worst and oldest clichés and doesn't even try to go deeper, you are forced to kick in the f**ing door with a big fight. And this was well done by Diggle.

The upcoming fight with three biomechanic, by "War of the Worlds" inspired, giant human controlled robots is well paced and entertaining. Tony does a good job on them and some panels got a very cinematic look. The panel where one of the robots launches the Hellstreak-Missiles is very patient and takes his time. The sequence in your head easily creates the picture of the slowly starting missiles, the expanding smoke, the swarm searching for his target: the floating Superman in the foreground. One little example of a good composed comic panel. Dear artists: more of that. Regarding the development of faster and faster cuts in movies and tv-shows, which inspires the comic genre too, we need more time for recognize what is really happening in the moment and feel what the author and artist wants to show and tell us. Of course we expect that the action in superhero comic is dominating but many independent publishers showed long ago new ways for superheroes. The more space (and in comic, space is time) and depth you reserve for a panel and his content the more attention it will get.

Another good action filled panel is the one in which Superman smashes one robot with the other. Its full of force and movement without loosing the focus of what is happening. Maybe the "sound-effect" is a little big and dominant but it still looks great. There is no need for a background because you are right in the middle of it all and the red tone of the page transports the rage and anger subconsciously to the reader. It's a big bang in this final panel of the fight.

The next part takes place in Luthors hideout / secret lab. The analysis of Dr. Lagarde is a nice read but why does Luthor hold her captive? What is he searching for and what does he expect of his own psychologic examination? Right now it just looks like a flat (and boring) way to show the reader the evil-genius of Lex and his uniqueness. The only way to put it out just more strikingly is to draw it right on his forehead: I'm the mastermind of evil! And again we need more of in deep character writing in this title. Lets hope that the upcoming issues will hold a lot more of good writing. After the Morrison run this is a shameless reduction of demanding content and does no justice to this series.