Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ACTION COMICS #685 - January 1993

Re: Actions
Credits:  Roger Stern (writer), Jackson Guice & Denis Rodier (art), Bill Oakley (letterer), Glenn Whitmore (colorist)

Summary:  Westfield wants Superman’s body for study at Cadmus’ headquarters, but he faces resistance from the Metropolis police.  Lex Luthor sends Supergirl and Team Luthor to the city morgue to stop the conflict.  Soon, Luthor and Mayor Berkowitz arrive with an order from the President, declaring that Superman will have a proper burial in Metropolis.  As the world reacts to news of Superman’s death, Supergirl patrols Metropolis and stops a robbery.  That night, Bibbo closes his bar and reflects on why he’s alive while Superman is dead. 

Irrelevant Continuity:  
  • Guardian remarks that Westfield has held a grudge against Superman since Superman #58.  Jimmy remembers Lois named Superman in Man of Steel #1.  Citizens rescued by Superman in the past reflect on the events of Action Comics Annual #1 and Superman #27.
  • In Adventures #498’s final page, Jimmy walks Lois home.  This chapter presents the same scene, although much of the dialogue doesn’t match, and Lois actually refuses to let Jimmy walk her home.

Total N00B:  Guardian says that Westfield’s actions are the kind of “lunatic stunt” that Dabney Donovan would’ve pulled.  We all know what a nut that Dabney Donovan was, right?

Review:  This issue is far more focused on mourning than the previous chapter, although the plot still leaves room for numerous action sequences.  The issue opens with a standoff with Cadmus agents, goes quiet for a few pages while everyone reflects on Superman’s passing, then returns to the action when Supergirl takes over Superman’s patrol over Metropolis.  The twist is that her lover (?) and employer Lex Luthor, Jr. is actually using her for publicity purposes.  Luthor’s furious that someone else killed Superman, but he’s willing to accept the adulation that comes with being “chief mourner” and the person behind Metropolis’ new protector.  That’s not a bad concept to explore, and the prospect of Supergirl taking over this title also have potential.  It turns out to be a brief gimmick, however, as Supergirl is pushed aside in favor of the “Who’s the Real Superman?” mystery in just a few issues.  Stern does a credible job of showing how Superman’s death is affecting Metropolis, giving the point of view of everyone from the average citizen to some of the supervillains he’s faced over the years.  It’s thorough in a way I’d expect Roger Stern to handle such an event; not overly sentimental, but thoughtful enough to do what the story needs to do.  


1 comment:

Señor Editor said...

Dabney Donovan did all these weird Cadmus clones, monsters and other weird crap. He (I think) also created the monsters that are living underground, a la the Morlocks. He also had his hand in creating the young Luthor clone body, though that will be revealed later, I think. He was pretty prominent in post-Crisis Superman comics.

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