Action Comics #39 (DC)



Rating: 4/5 – The Superman Title You Should be Reading.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

Greg Pak seems to have found a nice groove writing Superman and in my opinion, Action comics continues to be the best interpretation of the character in the New 52. Issue thirty-nine of Action Comics wraps up a four-part tale that can best be described as a horror story set within Smallville. This particular issue doesn’t have Superman punching his way out of trouble, but is more an examination of what he’s been through during certain stages of his life as well as hinting at his possible future.

From deep within the Phantom Zone comes a new and completely different version of the long-time super villain the Ultra-Humanite. Gone is the classic white gorilla, and in its place is a large bug-like alien that feeds off the fears of others. After feeding on the citizens of Smallville and especially Lana Lang, Superman decides to have the creature feed on him and it’s here that the best moments of this issue take place. We see a wonderful scene involving Clark staying with the Langs and coping with his parent’s death, and another hinting at Superman’s potential loneliness when everyone has passed away around him. Pak nails the emotional scenes with the help of penciller Aaron Kuder.

Although artist Scott Kolins handles the present/real world scenes, it’s Kuder’s art detailing Clark’s thoughts and memories that really stood out for me. Kuder continues to make a name for himself and is one of the more underrated Superman artists. As John Romita Jr. gets a lot of attention over on Superman, it’s Kuder who is, in my opinion, drawing the best looking Superman on the stands. Although we don’t get much of his art in this issue, what we do get is special and worth seeing. Scott Kolins is of course a great artist in his own right and the pages we get from him are a nice balance to Kuder’s. His Ultra-Humanite is terrifying as he packs such intricate detail into the disgustingly disturbing alien.

Action Comics continues to impress and is a book that’s worthy of $3.99 price tag. Although this issue wraps up the current storyline, going back to try and find the previous three issues would be well worth it. With the re-introduction to a long time villain, Kuder’s amazing art and a solid story by Greg Pak, Action Comics shows us yet again why this is the Superman book you should be reading if you’re going to pick only one.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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