Comic Review – Action Comics #43

Writer: Greg Pak
Art: Aaron Kuder
Color: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Steve Wands
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: 8/12/15

Action Comics 43 coverAfter the punch heard around the world (that sent Fox News into a frothy rage), Action Comics returns this month with the aftermath of that now infamous moment. After that now controversial issue now setting up the action in Action, it’s time to see what goes down now that all hell is about to break loose.


Well, it turns out this evil cop is one of the shadow monsters that has been terrorizing Superman since the sneak preview. However, he is still technically the commanding officer and he orders the continued attack on the people of “Kentville”. This of course becomes a battle royale, all covered by the camera of Jimmy Olsen. And elsewhere, bigger plots are forming….

This issue mainly deals with the riot that breaks out thanks to the crooked shadow monster cop. It’s a bit of a lazy reveal to be honest, especially when they were going with a good social commentary. It would have been better if it turned out he was an empowered human and not just some cackling monster. Pak gives us action a plenty though; and it is this brawl that takes up most of the book. The end result seems a bit too convenient, and the puppetmaster behind everything is a bit too cliche. However, Pak gives a gut punch when Clark enters his apartment and sees that someone graffitied it with xenophobic rants; even in Kentville there are those who fear and resent him for hiding among them. This is counterbalanced by Clark’s rallying of his neighbors to help fix up the neighborhood. Pak is truly bringing Superman back to his roots as a fighter for the little guy.

Kuder’s art is terrific. He gives a look to the shadow monster-cop that is horrifying. The other characters are emotive and expressive. It is Clark’s body language upon seeing the graffiti that really drives the scene home. There is plenty of action as well, and the fights are well choreographed and designed. Morey provides vivid colors that complements Kuder’s art, and the palate is still perfect for even a powered down Superman.

This issue is good, but suffers from a few lazy cliches. The relevance to modern events is marred by the reveal of a “monster among us” and a somewhat generic brawl. However, there are plenty of good emotional beats in the issue and does touch upon perhaps the darkness that lies in everyone’s hearts, and how even after that, a hero can inspire the good in all of us.

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About the author

Daniel Kalban

Daniel is the writer of The Eagle webcomic and aspires to one day join his favorite writers at the Big 2. Until then, he keeps plugging away at various projects, as well as serving as a reporter for Word of the Nerd on various subjects, especially the DC Comics "beat".

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