I’ve been picking up Grant Morrison‘s Action Comics since the launch of DC’s New 52. The latest issue is the culmination of the first arc, which has had Superman face first the revamped Metallo (now METAL-0), and long-time nemesis Braniac.
The issue does a passable job of tying off all of the various threads that Morrison has woven through the series over the last eight months, with a couple left hanging on which to build in the future. Most notable of these threads is the revelation that Clark Kent’s mysterious informant is none other than Lex Luthor.
Given that Superman’s focused effort to remove Glen Glenmorgan throughout the first arc was in effect Luthor removing his chief business rival, it’s reasonable to guess that we will soon start to see Lex consolidate his power in the city.
Rags Morales is, as always, more than solid on art. This issue does suffer from some seemingly rushed colors, as the shadows appear somewhat muddy at times. Some inconsistency is forgivable, however, as there are a couple of interesting design treats in the artwork later on.
Morales takes advantage of the updated nature of Superman’s costume to fascinating effect. Since it is essentially nanites forming indestructible armor, there is a nice moment when the suit takes on a different Kryptonian scheme when Clark makes contact with part of the bottle city of Kandor.
One panel in particular appears to draw from Morrison’s recognition of Superman’s thematic roots in Jewish esoterica, with a prominent Star of David design.
It’s neat little details like this which have made this run so much fun to read to this point. It will be fascinating to see what Morrison does for a second act, but Action Comics remains one of the most solid titles in the new DC Universe.