Review: ACTION COMICS #4

  Action Comics has done a good job so far of introducing the new superman and his supporting cast.   Superman hasn't quite developed into the unstoppable flying hero yet, running around in jeans and a superman t-shirt and mostly running fast, leaping and seemingly more effected by damage than one might expect.

  Last issue Lex was revealed to be working with some alien entity, the same entity that showed up on Krypton before it was destroyed to catalog and preserve one of their cities; now it has come alive in Metropolis, machines activating all over the city on it's behalf with the same goal in mind.


  Everything comes to head in this issue and much of it seemed to fall apart here as well.  The enhanced soldier lex was working with the military on as an answer to Superman is taken over from the entity as well and has overridden his humanity and gone after Superman with the rest of the machines as well.  Lois, knowing the soldier from the past, tries to reason with his human side but is unsuccessful.  He seems a bit too much for Superman at first as well, but fortunately; shoehorned into this story is the "debut of Steel".

  Shoehorned it definitely felt, if not for the blurb on the cover it would have seemed completely out of the blue.  At one point they show a guy watching the events and looking back at his own robotic suit that's similar to the one developed for the soldier, next he is there with a sledgehammer saving Superman.  To add to the jarring nature of feeling like it's shoved into the story there's an editors note as soon as the fight starts to check out the mini-story in the back of the issue to see how the battle plays out.

  While this fight went down the alien entity did what he was here to do and apparently shrunk and encased a portion of the city including it's inhabitants, which of course happen to be Lois, Lex, etc.  He conveniently states that in one hour the process will be complete.  Superman says he can still hear them and the general of the military op asks Superman if he can save his daughter, Lois.

  After the story ends, readers are treated to the mini story further introducing Steel, a hero like about half the new DCU so far that would have been better served being phased out with this new universe.  What this means for changes to superman I suppose is that the 'death of Superman' piece of continuity is now gone?  Or changed?  Who really knows with the new DC angle of continuity still happened, but not the way you read it in any of the comics you've bought the last fifty years.  As for the story itself, it's a simple fight that lasted a few pages and other than being written by someone else might as well have just been in the comic where it belonged.  The solution to stopping the soldier was a bit lame, in designing the suit, Steel left a fail safe in the form of a USB slot on his shoulder so he just plugged in a virus USB drive and won the fight, though he still teleports away (or something) as Steel proclaims there is room for another hero.

  Something about this story feel apart here, whether it was Morrison having to shoehorn Steel into the story, too many things crammed into the battle and causing it to lose it's direction or just a combination of a lot of little things that alone would have been easily overlooked.  Combined with the scratchy art of Morales the issue just felt like a bit of a mess.  Though there is still plenty more left to this storyline, this issue seemed the worst of a good story so far.

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