REVIEW: Action Comics #849

Action Comics #849 (DC Comics, Early July 2007 cover date)
Fabian Nicieza
Penciller: Renato Guedes
Inker: Ron Randall
Cover: Brad Walker & Robin Riggs

It has been awhile since I’ve had a chance to jump in with a review, so I figured this would be a good time to take a quick look at the latest Action Comics release.

While Adam Kubert continues to slowwwllly finish the art for part four of the stalled Geoff Johns/Richard Donner “Last Son” storyline, DC has wisely decided to press ahead with alternate teams on Action. Johns & Donner, incidentally, have probably made it to 2008 or 2009 by now in terms of stories in the can. So, we can take some solace in that at least.

In this issue, it’s part two of “Redemption.” Clark seeks to show the meta-human Redemption the error of his ways, but first has to battle him. Redemption has been using his powers to take revenge on those who attack his religious group of followers.

The source of his power at first appears to be the faith of those followers. As Clark notes, “I would really rather not turn this into me vs. God. I don’t like those odds.” An interesting by-product of the fight is that Clark bleeds in this issue.

You see, a couple months back, DC told producer Bruce Timm that the character could not bleed in the forthcoming Superman: Doomsday movie, despite the fact that he bled in the original comic version of the Doomsday battle. DC’s line was that Clark’s skin is totally invulnerable. Apparently not. Looks like DC’s insistence will serve only to make Superman: Doomsday a bit less true to the source material than it otherwise would have been.

As for this story, it was okay. It had the feel of many Superman comics I remember reading as a kid. You know the ones, where a new superpowered character comes to Metropolis and begins wreaking havoc. Superman briefly fights him and eventually convinces him to turn over a new leaf. So, it was good to see kind of a classic comic book storyline used in the modern age, where things tend to get a lot more complicated.

The story generally skirts the Clark as messiah issue, save for a panel where he floats above Redemption’s followers in a church. Putting aside the religious aspect, it seemed that Clark was taking quite a risk, putting the follower’s lives in jeopardy by showing up at that moment–given the previous events, intended or otherwise. You could say that Clark had “faith” that his plan would work, but had his own faith been misplaced, others would have died for his mistake.

In the end, the story, like the art and the cover, was fine but not overly memorable. It was a good read, certainly worth a look while waiting for Kubert to finish his Action work and move on to slowing down some other comic book series that hopefully doesn’t involve Superman or any other character of interest to anyone.

Story/Writing: 6 (out of 10)
Art: 6
Cover Art: 6
Overall Experience: 6