Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
DC Comics celebrates the first year of the New 52 relaunch by declaring September “Zero Month,” where each #0 issue of their titles takes us back in time before the events we’ve seen over the last 12 months. This week saw the release of several zero issues, including Action Comics by Grant Morrison and Ben Oliver. These zero issues, no doubt, are the “perfect jumping on” point for new or lapsed readers who may have fallen off certain titles since the relaunch, at least in theory. Does that theory hold up for Action Comics #0? Here are a few opinions from around the web:
James Hunt, Comic Book Resources: “In many ways, this is good stunt for someone with Morrison’s sensibilities. The writer’s earliest issues were by far the best of the series, presenting a radically different and interesting take on Superman with very clear ideas about his situation. Recent issues have seen that gradually give way to something a bit more conventional (if you can call the super-armor conventional) but Morrison has taken the ‘zero issue’ approach quite literally with a story that fits almost perfectly before last year’s Action Comics #1.”
Jesse Schedeen, IGN: The best compliment I can give this issue is that it feels more consistent and cohesive than the majority of Morrison’s previous issues have been. The plot is relatively simple by Morrison standards, so rather than cutting between scenes and points in time intermittently, Morrison is able to follow the journey from point A to B in a more methodical manner. Issue #0 opens where one of the recent backup stories left off, with Clark ordering his first batch of Superman T-shirts. From there, we see him settle into his role at the Daily Star, interact with Jimmy Olsen, and put his growing abilities to the test for the first time as Metropolis’ new defender.”
Minhquan Nguyen, Weekly Comic Book Review: “The most valuable thing to come out of this issue is a fairly deep dive into Jimmy Olsen’s history. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this move, given how often writers neglect their supporting cast, relegating them to the star’s ciphers. Jimmy’s family background is such a mess, it has a ring of truth to it, convoluted as it is. It also meshes very well with his desire to be taken seriously as a photographer—trying to move on from his superficial roots.”
Martin Gray, Too Dangerous for a Girl: “The art by Ben Oliver is a treat for the eyes, bewitchingly realistic. The price for overall gorgeousness on a deadline, though, seems to be an overabundance of panels in which the figures are silhouettes – I counted something like 14 in 22 pages. And while counting may seem anal, I was curious as to how many there were because the constant black figures became so distracting. Where colours are needed, Brian Reber does a top job. And lettering the story, Steve Wands keeps it strong and subtle.”
Marcus Doidge, WhatCulture: “Now I’m not saying this one good, almost great comic is enough to make up for a years worth of piss poor Superman titles in the post DC 52 world but if this had been the first issue of Superman when this reboot kick stated last year, Superman would be on a much better ground today. This is the first time in the last year I’ve liked Superman. Sure the cock sure grin and the stupid t-shirt/jeans combo still isn’t floating my boat and I long for Superman to be totally likeable again but this #0 had glimmers of why I love the character. It reminded me why I’m itching for the Man of Steel movie next year to be great and why I’m hoping the next twelve issues of Superman comics build from this and gives us a Superman to be as excited about as Lois is when she first sees him.”
Anj, Comic Box Commentary: “I got goose bumps at the last panel. When a occasionally disgruntled, fairly ‘old school’, 3+ decade comic reader has a visceral response like that …well… it means that the comic is perfect. It means it is the perfect blend of words and art; it is a powerful story.”