REVIEW: Action Comics #41

WRITER: Greg Pak
ARTIST(s): Aaron Kuder
LETTERER: Steve Wands
COLORIST: Tomeu Morey, Hi-Fi
COVER ARTIST(s): Aaron Kuder
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE DATE: 06/3/2015

Like Superman, DC’s not pulling their punches now.

That’s my first thought after reading this week’s Action Comics #41 by Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder. It’s fun at times, it’s cute at times, and overall it’s an interesting and vastly different take on the classic character. I mean, we’ve had Superman be unmasked before, but not like this.

Greg Pak delivers probably the best performance in this issue, carving out a story that is a true joy to read. As someone who isn’t the biggest Superman fan, I feel immediately at home in his mind through his inner monologues and actions. Through simple onomatopoeia and short breaths, we truly get the sensation of seeing the Man of Steel simply as a man (albeit a strong man). No longer does he serve as a god among humans, now instead just Clark Kent among humans. We see some glimpses of the reactions the world, and especially Metropolis, had at his unmasking by Lois Lane (from the Divergence sneak peek at Superman, I hope he gives her grief for the next 6 months). The progression from what seems like Canadian countryside to Clark’s home turf is a nice, steady buildup. Oh, and I just love the little things I didn’t think about at first, like how now he can enjoy food so much more because he gets hungry, and how he can comprehend base human needs.

In art, Aaron Kuder does a good job in exemplifying the traits Pak has laid out throughout the issue. I love the new design so very much (t-shirt/jeans Superman is so much more human than Kryptonian-armor Superman, for obvious reasons). Panels are clear and nice, although at times kind of inconsistent (moving from cartoony to realistic to hyper-realistic). Oh, and I get it, he’s muscular. This need to give Clark literal clubs for arms is not up my alley. Speaking of not up my alley, I found that the coloring was decent, but didn’t bring anything interesting to the table. In a book where both writer and artist deliver in strong cohesion, the two colorists didn’t really exemplify much.

In final notes, I found that one annoying thing is the idea that so many people would hate Superman. I get it for Batman, or Green Lantern, but Superman is like the Flash to me in the sense that he’s a hero and a celebrity at the same time. People love him. I’m not saying everyone does, but seeing that the overall response has been basically “Hunt him down,” it feels strange. I mean, A.R.G.U.S. should be coming after him now, and any super-villains, but ordinary townspeople, especially those in Metropolis, should be at least a little compassionate to their icon.

All in all, this issue is fun and does a good job as the first part of the new TRUTH storyline that’s taking over the Superman Family of books for the next few issues. It’s enjoyable, interesting, and has solid art. Definitely a good pickup for any Superman (or really, DC) readers out there.

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