Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder did it. They went ahead and gave us one of the best Action Comics stories and a fabulous reintroduction of Bizarro into The New 52 universe. After an appearance in “Forever Evil” and a Villains Month one-shot, Bizarro is back and just the backwards way we like him. If you enjoy “spiraling miles beyond unpredictable, straight past continuity, and smack-dab into impossible” then Action Comics issue 40 is perfect for you.
The Greg Pak written and Aaron Kuder illustrated tale takes us in an even zanier direction for Superman than the previous horror themed arc featuring a broken Phantom Zone, escaped monsters, and the return of the Ultra-Humanite. This time around we get a more silver age-y story that finds the Man of Steel transported to Bizarro World and encountering Metallo, Lois Lane, and the Injustice League. (Not to mention a square planet made of a block of cheese!) Greg Pak really gets it with Bizarro and his writing, as always, is on point with every thought panel and dialogue bubble. This is a classic Action Comics story as written by Pak, a creator who has a developed understanding for what makes a great Superman story. As a new reader may have to adjust to the rules of Bizarro’s “opposite speak” any fan familiar with the purple clad, dangerous but misunderstood misfit will be sincerely happy while reading the “Mirror Cracked” story. The DC All Access panel (found on the last page of every issue) promoted this particular story a while back and it was certainly one to spotlight.
Bizarro has an all-new book coming in June. It’s written by Heath Corson and illustrated by Gustavo Duarte and hopefully will live up to the same fun I had with Pak/Kuder’s approach to the character in Action Comics. As “Convergence” is almost ready to begin (the 2-month long arc begins next month as DC heads west), “Mirror Cracked” was an excellent way to bring Pak and Kuder’s “Action Comics” to a close. There have been many times I’ve felt uneasy with their direction as they have attempted to redefine Superman (see my reviews for the “Horror-ville” issues here and here) but their handling of Superman and Bizarro was perfect. There’s a wild encounter both characters have with Doomsday that allow Kuder to truly establish his artistic style and love for creature design. I don’t want to spoil it because it’s one of the more surprising and unexpected moments that illustrate everything about how Bizarro and his world operate. “Action Comics” has certainly been a fun, unexpected, unpredictable, and fun trip through Superman’s world and issue 40 is a must read. Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder didn’t just write a good Superman story; they wrote a great comic!
“Action Comics” issue 40 released this past Wednesday and is available now. “Action” gets five out of five thumbs down*
*Bizarro speak. I really mean five out of five thumbs up!