Stuart's Pick of the Week for 1.8.14: Action Comics #27
Special Note for a Dark Knight I was all prepared to have my pick of the week be Detective Comics #27. Batman is my favorite character by far. DC pulled out all the stops for this comic. DC came up with the new 52 and renumbered their comics. This lead to the inevitable Detective Comics #27. If you recall, this is the first appearance of Batman.
DC brought in several notable people to work on this comic. I’m sure many of you will recognize a few of the contributors: Brad Meltzer, Neal Adams, Pete Tomasi, Francesco Francavilla, Scott Snyder, Matt Hollingsworth, Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia, Chris Burnham, Tony Daniel, Jim Lee, and Frank Miller. This shows just how much this character is loved, and how many great people have contributed to his legacy.
Sadly I couldn’t pick it as the pick of the week because the stories just weren’t there for me. I could feel the love for the character and for that reason, I have to say you should pick this one up. Side note: the cover that Frank Miller did reminded me of all the reasons I cannot stand his art. But at least he contributed.
And Then a Funny Thing Happens
My pick this week was Action Comics #27 written by Greg Pak and drawn by Aaron Kuder. I know, I know, I picked a Superman title last week but for different reasons. This week I picked it because it was a great issue, and it had to be in order to beat Detective Comics. It opens with Pak’s continuing theme of exploring Superman’s origin and how he fits in this world. A young Clark is adjusting to his new found powers as he sits atop a tree. He begins to notice he hears things. What he hears doesn’t make him too happy.
He hears Jonathan and Martha saying that he isn’t human, that if people were to ever find out, it could be bad. Clark knew this to be true of course, but to have it said out loud was very unnerving. I can only imagine the fear he would be feeling, especially being so young, but to know that others have a fear as well, and it is you? Not comforting. I’m sure it makes him feel alone in this world.
I’m Superman. I Should Just Grab Him…
We cut back to the monster that Clark is keeping. His name is Baka, or at least that is the sound he makes. Clark has become very fond the monster. If you recall the previous issue, he was supposed to kill this monster and throw him into the sun. He did not because he saw himself in Baka. He saw a people that feared the monster only because they did not understand him. So he keeps Baka in a type of holding cell from which he escapes. No harm though, Clark lets Baka explore as he sees pictures of Clark’s family and explores the Fortress. I mean, what is Baka going to do to Clark? We see Clark take care of him, and have a genuine curiosity/love for this “monster.” He isn’t going to treat Baka the way others treated a young Clark.
I Understand it, but I Don’t Like It…
Lana has entered a tunnel that Baka accidentally created. She calls Clark and tells him she feels she is going to find something amazing but Clark is not too excited. Lana doesn’t know, but she is being followed by a mysterious man in the shadows. What she finds is a beautiful subterranean oasis. It has a glowing orb in the middle that is floating. Bizarre but beautiful. That is until a huge monster comes out, naturally. Superman comes and smashes into the beast, with Baka in tow.
Doesn’t he look like a Pokemon? Anyway, Lana turns and shoots Baka, but Baka actually laughs. Superman says he is a friend, and Lana stops. But it is what isn’t said that is important. Lana gives the look of fear at what she sees in Baka. This is a look Clark is too familiar with. That is how people viewed him once. Another villain shows up and Baka transforms into a giant which actually diffuses the situation. It turns out that Baka and this man know each other. The man says he isn’t there to harm him but to protect the world. Superman is taken to a subterranean world that is massive in scale.
So…good, right? Nope. Not all is at it seems as the queen shows up with her army and says “let these glorious people of the sun pay homage to their grateful queen.” So, more than meets the eye here.
While this was an excellent issue, I have to say I’m not super excited about this queen. I don’t have much to base that on, just a gut feeling. The art wasn’t the best I’ve seen. It also had several artists, but it isn’t terribly jarring. The whole “we are here to help you” thing has been explored in Superman Unchained already, terribly I might add. The idea that Clark’s parents are apprehensive about Clark’s powers have been explored, and often. But that is alright. I love when they explore Jonathan and Martha’s feelings. Who wouldn’t be afraid? It is the smaller things in this comic that I like, and the idea that Clark sees himself in the monster is one that I really like. He is seeing how the world viewed him, even if they never told him.