I just finished reading the first issue of the new Action Comics series from DC Comics. This is part of the New 52 relaunch of all their titles. I have written in the past that the relaunch left me both excited and terrified. I was excited to see the new direction and terrified of how badly they might screw it up. I was really critical of the last major revamp of the universe after the Crisis on Infinite Earth series in the 80’s. Things like changing the fact the Superman’s Earth Parents had died in the original story just didn’t sit well with me. I worried that the new launch would do similar things that would disappoint the young boy in me who wants desperately for his childhood heroes to remain static.
I’ve read three of the new books so far (Justice League of America #1, Detective Comics #1, and now Action Comics #1) and I must say I am both relieved and excited about the direction of the books. Of all the early comments from DC I was most intrigued by the concept of having the Action Comics series and Superman series show the Superman character from two different points in his life. I’m honestly not excited by the fact that major characters like Batman and Superman have two or three different solo titles, mostly I think it is just a way for DC to get me to pay more per month for the titles by spanning stories across multiple titles and increasing the number I have to buy to get the whole story. But having Action Comics deal with Superman early in his career (and Superman deal with his current self) seemed to be a great use of two solo titles for the Man of Steel.
It took a few pages for the new character to settle in with me, he was raw and a little less polished than I expected him to be, but the more I read the more I realized that this makes sense to me being earlier in his life. His powers are still growing, his understanding of them is still developing, and he is still finding his place in the world. This character made sense to me in a way that the fully developed character never really has.
Another aspect of the story that was very intriguing was Lex Luthor who is portrayed (so far) as more a xenophobe and less of an evil mastermind. The idea that people could be worried about the effect that a powerful alien might have on the planet seems realistic instead of the blind acceptance of earlier series.
It remains to be seen if DC can keep me interested in the story or if the rest of their titles will be as interesting as this one was to me but I am more hopeful than I was before today and looking forward to the next issue of Action Comics.