June 4, 2015
Believe it or not, not everyone is a fan of the Man of Steel. Reasons for this may vary, but a common complaint is that he’s just too darn powerful. For this reason, some consider Superman to be, well, kind of a bore. Perhaps that is why, from time to time, Superman has found himself with a different set of powers or none whatsoever. Now in the “New DCU,” things have certainly changed for our hero, and in more ways than one. Fortunately for fans of this series, writer Greg Pak remains the one constant in Superman’s ever-changing world. If you were a fan of his Action Comics before these changes, you’ll certainly still be a fan of it now.
Issue #41 is still as action-packed as ever, but now readers have the added benefit of exploring the new Superman as he struggles not only with a change of abilities, but also with the outing of his secret identity. How will the Man of Steel handle all of these changes? While Pak is just getting started with this new storyline, he does a great job of introducing readers to Superman’s new status quo. The introduction of this issue is definitely unexpected, and somehow a bit reminiscent of Terminator 2. Mostly though, it effectively illustrates the potentially deadly consequences of Superman’s weakened abilities. It’s still not quite clear what Superman’s abilities are or aren’t at this point, and Pak plays up this fact nicely. Pak uses our hero’s new-found vulnerability to add a great deal of tension to the action scenes while simultaneously nailing the fact that, with or without his powers, Superman will always be a hero. Pak cuts to the core of the character, presenting a Superman that is just as exciting and inspirational as he is meant to be.
Pak also digs into the other status quo shift of Clark being outed as Superman. Clark’s life has been dramatically altered because of this revelation, but so have the lives of the citizens of Metropolis. The consequences of this reveal are far greater than Superman simply not being able to hide behind a pair of glasses, and Pak provides some very convincing reasons as to why. Pak also uses this an an opportunity to introduce some new characters. While some may end up being allies, others are decidedly not, as Pak leaves readers with a new and mysterious enemy. Now, an editorial hiccup does make the timing of this issue a bit awkward. It may leave a few fans scratching their heads, but only a bit as Pak manages to steamroll over this fact fairly well.
Aaron Kuder also returns this month, but the results are a bit mixed this time out. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty to love about his contributions this month as there are a number of amazing action scenes throughout the isse that are beautifully laid out. However, there are a few instances of awkward anatomy and strange facial features to be found as well.