Today we have a special guest review from Girl-On-Comicbook-World. She consistently puts out great material, from comicbook reviews to movie reviews to Opinion pieces. I strongly recommend you go check out her blog. I made her name clickable and you can also click here, or here. Seriously, check out her blog, it’s in my weekly rounds. With out any further delay here we go:
Action Comics #43 Review
Writer: Greg Pak and Artist: Aaron Kuder
Action Comics #43 continues the adventures of the newly depowered, with a now public identity, Superman. Greg Pak continues to prove that he understands the heart of this character through this street-level story, which involves Clark teaming up with his neighbours in Metropolis…whilst they fight Shadow Monsters!!!
Now I know not everyone has been loving this new status quo that has fallen on Superman, and would prefer to be seeing the traditional Superman stories. But here’s the thing, sometimes you need to throw your character into new and different situations in order to deconstruct the character and find out who they really are at heart. And that is exactly what the “Truth” story arc has been doing so far across the Superman books.
The one thing that is imperative to understand about Superman’s character is how he see himself. He doesn’t view himself as a god, or somebody who has the answers to all of life’s problems. He views himself as a guy who grew up on a farm, one day found out he was an alien, and then suddenly had to deal with all the responsibility and expectations that came with that. And because Clark is inherently a good person, he was more than willing to accept his situation and embrace becoming Superman. But at the end of the day he is farm-boy Clark Kent, who would prefer to be hanging out with people, not hovering over them like some arrogant god.
The “Truth” story arc has stripped away what made him seem like a god, his powers, secret identity and costume, and forced the world and audience to see him for who he really is, Clark Kent. And Action Comics #43 explores that, as we see Clark face-to-face with the people of Metropolis, working alongside them.
The issue opens up with Clark punching a cop. Yupp, he punched a cop! But to be fair the cop is actually a Shadow Monster, so all good! But before realising that the cop was in fact a monster, Clark had a moment of struggle, he’s Superman, he shouldn’t be punching cops. But because the cop, Binghamton, was using extreme force on a peaceful neighbourhood, Clark snapped. And that’s the thing about Clark, at his core he will always strike to protect people, and with him being less powerful than he was before, he feels like he needs to overcompensate a little.
After his battle with Binghamton we see a beautiful moment with the people of Metropolis. Clark gives one of his classic inspiring speeches, telling everyone that together they can protect each other, because they’re all Superman now.
There are a bunch of twist and turns in the book, including a shocking revelation about what’s going down in City Hall. All in all Action Comics #43 is very much a character driven story that is deconstructing who Superman is at his core. Even if you aren’t a fan of the Superman character, I would definitely recommend picking up Pak’s Action Comics “Truth” run because it really has been a fascinating story, showing how both Clark and the world reacts when Superman has a public identity.
Kuder’s art as always is great and expressive (although sometimes Clark looks weirdly wide but ehh). The splash page featuring the neighbourhood really gave us a great sense of humanity and diverse community through the character designs and body language.
Overall Action Comics #43 was another great issue by Pak and Kuder, diving deeper into the humanity of Clark. Rating: 8/10.