After last month’s disappointing ‘Action Comics’ #11, I still held out hope that Morrison would turn things around with this issue and, while he did go into some more strange territory, he did it in such a way that he did manage to redeem this arc.
In the finale to the last issue, the alien that we learn this issue is called Captain Comet, arrived in the middle of Metropolis and informed Lois’ niece Susie that she is one of five beings known as “neo sapiens” who are destined for great things. To that end, Captain Comet seems to want to take Susie off of the planet before something called “The Multitude” arrives and destroys it. Of course, Superman is having none of that!
As this issue opens, we get a quick recap of Superman’s history thus far. We see him leave Smallville, his first days in Metropolis, his joining the Justice League… and his marrying Lois? Wait what? Okay… this is quickly revealed to be a dream created by Captain Comet to keep Superman docile. When Supes snaps out of it, he sees Lois smashed into the windshield of a car and Captain Comet has manipulated the pedestrians around the area to attacking Superman. As Superman struggles against both the regular folks (who he’s doing his best not to actually hurt), he attempts to stop Captain Comet.
As the battle progresses, Captain Comet’s origin is revealed and his past is linked to Superman’s since it appears that the Kryptonian ship somehow created Comet’s powers, or possibly just activated something dormant in him. Either way, Superman’s arrival created the villain.
After the battle is over, Superman rushes to save Lois’ life. She’s severely injured and need some extensive surgery… and quick! Morrison may be out there but even he’s not crazy enough to kill off Lois Lane, but the way he devises to save her is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a Superman title in a while.
Last issue, I was upset that Morrison kept bouncing back and forth between cosmic, time-traveling and just plain weird stories and a great grounded take on a young Superman. This issue manages to find a great balance between the out there stuff and the more human side of the character and shows why Morrison’s madness is often elevated into genius territory.
And, when the final moments of this issue arrive, another classic Superman villain is hinted at and I hope Morrison sticks with that reveal for next issue (or rather the issue after since next month is DC’s Zero month so ‘Action’ #13 won’t come out until October) instead of going off on another tangent. If he does, I’m sure he’ll veer into some very strange territory but I’d absolutely love to see Morrison’s spin on… Mr. Mxyzptlk!
ACTION COMICS #12
Writer : Grant Morrison
Artist : Rick Bryant