Action Comics #19 review

I really didn't want to love this comic.

You likely know the story. Andy Diggle is announced as the new Action Comics writer, interviews show him to have a fine grasp of the essence of Superman. Tony S Daniel leaves the Batman line to draw Diggle's scripts, sounds excited to be applying his dynamic line to DC's most famous hero.

And then, a couple of weeks before this, their debut issue, Diggle quits the book for unspecified 'professional reasons', with just one issue scripted. Then it emerges that after completing Diggle's initial/final story arc, scripting as well as penciling Diggle's plot, Daniel will be gone too.

The whys and wherefores really aren't my business, but given that a creative team I was excited about was leaving almost immediately, it would be some consolation if their Superman wasn't that great.

Darn. Diggle and Daniel's Superman is great. Really great. Page one, for example, gives us the best presentation of Lois Lane since the beginning of DC's New 52 revamp; we're not just told she's a great reporter, we're shown why in a story set one year ago. And then, on pages 2 and 3, with just a few choice exchanges of dialogue and smart artistic compositions, Diggle and Daniel show us Lois and Clark falling in love in the middle of a war zone (click on image to enlarge). Page four breaks my heart.
And so on towards a fantastic cliffhanger, taking in Superman's battle against deadly robots and Lex Luthor's chilling session with his psychiatrist. It all reads superbly, it looks wonderful - inker Batt and colourist Tomeu Morey  complement Daniel's linework - and it seems like we're being denied a legendary run. So I shall cherish this issue and hope that one day Diggle and Daniel will reunite to present further adventures of Superman, Lois, Clark, Jimmy and Lex. Because a cast as rich as Superman and his supporting players deserves a creative team as fine as Diggle and Daniel.

Comments

  1. That's about my reaction, though I wanted to remain positive regardless of what happened. I reviewed it over on Adventures in Poor Taste and I really liked it. Though, is it just me or does the villain's plan sort of remind you of All Star Superman like it did with me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A little bit - you know how these stories tend to repeat between dimensions ;)

      Delete
  2. "Professional reasons" huh? More like massive editorial interference to the point that Diggle couldn't tell the story the way he wanted to and his was hired to do.

    This is a constant worry, as Josh Falkov and other writers have all left their own respective new jobs just as soon as they were announced due to this unfair and unnecessary phenomenon.

    It's like if your name isn't Johns or Morrison, then you'll get fucked with, and have major interference in what you're trying to do, and yet oddly enough, writers like Snyder and Lemire seem to do just fine(or so it seems) working within the majorly restrictive confines of editorial mandates. But we were all lead to believe that would stop at a recent writers conference correct? Guess not.

    Just reading this review makes me sad; it seems like Diggle's Superman was the best representation of what the NU52 had to offer, and now that's gone. It's a real shame, because this Superman, not to mention the other castmates like Lois, and Jimmy, and the rest, seem like the old gang we're familiar with from the before the reboot. Very, very sad indeed:(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is indeed a bugger, Dale. Given that Andy Diggle was positive about his editor when announcing his departure, the interference has to be coming from a higher pay grade. People tend to assume Bob Harras, but who knows for sure? We need to get some creators drunk at a con ...

      Delete
  3. Chris Roberson, Joshua Dysart, John Rozum, Andy Diggle... I'm assuming this is all part of DC's plan to have the entire regular line written by Jeff Lemire, Geoff Johns, Scot Snyder, and anyone with a writing or editing credit in a Marvel comic book published in 1989. My buying of monthly DC titles is dropping fast, which allows for more collections and graphic novels, so I'd like to say, thanks DC Editorial!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a horrible DC line you conjure up ... please be wrong!

      Delete
  4. The Man of Steel movie coming out likely means the WB is putting the "we've never read a comic, but here are our notes" memos, just like they did with the Batman franchise back in '89 (the ears can only be SO long!). So you really need a loyal company stooge like Scott Lobdell on the Superman books, someone who can ignore creative sensibilities and just get down to the task of fulfilling editorial mandates. I may be unfair to him, I don't know him, but his ability to turn ANY book he works on into something that would fit 90s Marvel's X-franchise inspires my complete disinterest. I can't imagine he gets these jobs because he "really gets" the characters he works on.

    All negativity aside, yes, you're right, this was an excellent take on Superman, or I should say, Superman's supporting cast. Lex and Lois are particularly stellar, and the characters I WANT to be reading about. How about offering Diggle a Lois Lane series as a "sorry it didn't work out" gift?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, a Lois series by Diggle really might be something superb. Meanwhile I plan to check out the Smallville Special #2, starring Lois - I'm not a fan of the show, but I do enjoy Brian Q Miller.

      Delete
  5. I've never watched the show, but Miller's presence on those digital comics, paired with my Reign of the Supermen series, means I'm probably going to read them all in one go at some point this summer.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yeah, summer might be a great time for them. Not that the UK looks to be getting a summer this year I'd settle for ten minutes of Spring ...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey, it snowed here on the weekend. Not much better this side of the Atlantic.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That at least sounds pretty, it's simply dreich here. Put the kettle on!

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment