In ‘Action Comics’ #12, Superman squared off with a cosmic superbeing called Captain Comet. The good Captain claimed that the Earth is doomed there was nothing that Superman could do to stop it. This issue mostly tosses all of that story out the window and gives us a couple of short one-shots called “before New 52”.
The first story follows young Clark Kent on his first weeks in Metropolis. It weaves in and out of events that we’ve seen in this series up to this point. We see Clark buying the stock of his Superman logo t-shirts, his attack on Mr. Glenmorgan back in ‘Action Comics’ #1, and several others. Even more interesting is that there is a new story intertwined with Superman’s tale.
After Superman was knocked from the roof of Glenmorgan’s building, a young boy stole Superman’s cape. The young boy takes it home and uses it’s near indestructible properties to help him stand up to his mom’s abusive boyfriend.
These two tales seamlessly weave back and forth and lead up to the iconic scene where Superman first gets his hero name. It’s beautifully written and illustrated. While it doesn’t really move the story of the series forward much, it could probably be skipped without missing much, but I’d still recommend checking it out for the great story.
There’s also a backup tale that follows a scientist investigating the “Blake Ghost” of Smallville. This “ghost” is in fact the alien Captain Comet that we’ve seen for the last two issues, so it’s not so much a surprise as a prequel. The big twist comes though when the scientist reveals his name in the final panel and we realize that we’ve been reading the origin of another of Superman’s New 52 villains.
Plus, amidst all the glory of these origins and flashbacks, we’re given a quick look at a magician that I can’t wait to see appear in the pages of ‘Action’ in the coming months.
ACTION COMICS #0
Written by GRANT MORRISON
Backup story written by SHOLLY FISCH
Art and cover by BEN OLIVER
Backup story art by CAFU