Comic Book Pick of the Day: Action Comics #3

scanned cover of Action Comics #3, pencils by Rags Morales

After having a strong start with Action Comics issue #1, the second issue was in my opinion underwhelming. It was good, but not as good as Superman written by Grant Morrison should be. Action comics Issue #3 though more than made up for its lackluster predecessor.

First, it begins with a flashback to the world of old Krypton, and the first few pages are visually stunning. The artwork for that segment is provided by Gene Ha, which is definitely exciting. I greatly admired Gene Ha’s work on Alan Moore‘s Top 10 series, but ever since the implosion of America’s Best Comics line, I haven’t really seen Gene Ha’s work anywhere. I can only hope now that he’ll be a recurring penciler for Action Comics. 

When the story jumps forward into the present, the issue is drawn by Rags Morales. I appreciate Morales’ work now more than I did originally, partially because I’ve been doing some drawing of my own, and now see how hard it is do a variety of facial expressions. Morales’ draws faces better than anyone I can think of in the business of comics. I love that he draws Lois Lane as if she hadn’t slept in days, since, as she’s a busy reporter, she probably hasn’t.

The bulk of this issue is devoted to fleshing out Clark Kent. There’s only two panels in the whole issue where he wears his Superman uniform. Normally, that’d be a letdown, but I have to say I’m loving the new Kent. I can definitely identify with him more than ever before, especially as he’s now this straggly, down on his luck, poor hipster instead of the benevolent father-figure he’s typically depicted as. My favorite line in the issue features Clark flexing his unimpressive muscles, wearing an over-sized sweater, with some serious bed-head saying “I’m a writer. The pen is mightier than the sword and way easier to lift.”

I’ve decided to cut down on buying comics for a while, as a lot of the ones I’ve purchased in recent months haven’t been all that great. Action Comics though is one I’ll definitely continue to buy each month, so long as Grant Morrison is writing and/or Rags Morales or Gene Ha are supplying pencils. I’m also going to keep following Batgirl, Batwoman, Fables and The Unwritten. Are there any other ones I should really consider following? I haven’t even bothered to read DC’s new Superman series. I read it features Lois and Clark no longer together, and Lois is dating someone else. No thanks.

—-I have written two books of fiction myself. One is titled A Rapturous Occasion (a comedy of errors involving the fear of the Apocalypse) and The Madness of Art: Short Stories (eight stories about the strange lives of artists). If you’re interested, please check out my Amazon author page.

If you liked Action Comics issue #3, you might also like Brian Azzarello’s Superman: For Tomorrow graphic novel.

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