Due to the arcane financial mechanics of the pull list – and the fact that I got slammed with work after last Thursday and didn’t have time to take Action off my pull as I said I would – I got stuck with this: the 5$ Action Comics Annual #12, dedicated to fleshing out the origins of two characters Rucka made me not care about at all. Of the many books I got this week, this was the one I was most regretting having bought. When I finally freed up some time, however, I sat down to read it and was pleasantly surprised.
Illustrated by Pere Perez, the comic has very little dialogue, instead zipping through the history of these two characters with a great deal of narration and some detailed, enjoyable art. Going from youth to their current state and covering half-a-dozen Superman and Action Comics stories from the past three or four years, Rucka’s guided tour through the lives of these two characters is not only interesting, but it actually makes seemingly trite interactions in previous issues of Action stronger and more interesting.
I won’t say that the issue was was worth every penny – despite the extended length, $4.99 is a huge price tag – but if you’re invested in Action Comics at all, I would say that this is a must-read book that will improve the overall tone of the main narrative considerably and introduce a lot of interesting places that the book could go in the future. Despite its excellent character-building and strong narrative, it hasn’t changed my mind about dropping Action fro the duration of the so-so “Sleepers” arc, but it does mean I’m leaving on a high-note… and it does mean that I’m willing to give the book another shot if I hear it’s picked up in the next arc. I’m glad I’m not leaving bitter.
– Calvin J Cleary