A bit over-shadowed this week by something happening with Wonder Woman was a new creative team taking over Action Comics. Gone are Greg Rucka and Eric Trautmann, and in are Paul Cornell and Pete Woods. If you’ve been following the Superman books over the past year, then you should recognize Pete Woods as the artist on Superman: World of New Krypton. However, if you’re only a DC reader, you may not be familiar with Paul Cornell. He has spent the past few years with Marvel, most notably writing Captain Britain and MI: 13. Well, I say ‘most notably’ because that is the only thing he’s written that I’ve read. I didn’t read any of his Dark X-Men stories.
Having read and enjoyed Cornell’s Captain Britain work, I was enthusiastic about his taking over Action Comics. I had liked what Rucka was doing with Nightwing and Flamebird, but those stories had ended, Superman was returning to Earth, and I was interested in reading Cornell’s take on Superman. However, that was not to be, because Cornell would be writing a Lex Luthor story following up on his actions in Blackest Night. I was intrigued, so I decided to give a try, and continue my purchasing of Action Comics.
In Blackest Night, Luthor was given an orange (avarice/greed) ring to help in the cause. This first issue sets up the story that after having tasted the amount of power contained in the power rings, Luthor decides that he must have one. So, he goes about trying to find any remaining black lantern rings, or create a power ring of his own. In this first issue, surrounding the quest for a power ring, is a group of people trying to abduct Luthor. It is revealed that the leader of the group is actually being controlled by Mister Mind. There’s also a later revealed cyborg Lois Lane (think Terminator type cyborg) that Luthor uses as a confidant. It was a little weird going through the entire issue not knowing what was going on with Lois, but giving Luthor a fake Lois is a nice, symbolic gesture of showing Luthor wanting what Superman has. (I know Luthor doesn’t actually know that Lois is with Superman, but it’s symbolism, just go with it.)
Pete Woods’ art in the book is good. I’m not quite sure how to explain it. I see it as being a simplistic design, but being able to make what details that do exist with the characters and the background give the reader everything they need to know. In a nutshell, he does more with less, to use a cliché.
I enjoyed this first issue and look forward to seeing where this goes, and what DC is going to do leading up to issue #900. It’d be nice if the anniversary issue would be the climax of something, instead of an anthology of stories, with Superman and Wonder Woman offering short prologues to the upcoming story. Batman was a 3 part story that didn’t really tie into anything that is going on.