Enjoying a Super yearís end of Steel

April 2, 2004

By Avi Green

Thereíve been two recent issues of Action Comics that have really pleased me, done specially for the yearís end, and here, I am proudly reviewing them with pleasure.

Action Comics #809: The Creeping Death
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artist: Pascual Ferry

The Man of Steel and his loving wife Lois Lane are taking a cruise on a ship, specially prepared as a trip for several journalists, and Clark finds himself in the wrong places at the wrong time, since, as we discover, during one point when he changed into his costume as the Big Blue Boy Scout to help save a freight liner in trouble, at least two other people ended up frozen, in either what looks like ice or in suspended animation during the cruise. And since he doesnít have any solid alibis, this puts him under suspicion at one point. And then, as he discovers, the real culprit involves something like witchcraft and voodoo. And another reporter on board, Jack Ryder, raises his suspicions too.

This was a pretty nice mystery-like story, with Clark getting to take some time out of costume too as he and Lois try to figure out whoís behind this strange string of attacks on a few of the passengers, who all had what to do with a notable journalist taking a cruise on the ship as well. And the narration boxes by Clark, which are meant to reflect a diary style of writing worked pretty well too. Overall, a good, fun single story.

Action Comics #810: Walking Midnight
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artist: Pascual Ferry

In this ďyearís endĒ story, the Man of Steel answers some of his Mailbox of Steelís intake, and we get a glimpse of how he meets people from around the world and does what he can to fulfill their requests and wishes, not only within different countries, but within different time zones as well! Whether it be Greenland, Rio DeJaneiro, Australia, or Italy, Superman does his best to be there and fulfill his fansí greatest wishes and such, and also makes sure to pop in to visit the Kent farmhouse in Smallville with Lois as well.

This was quite a delight, featuring one of the most interesting things about Superman, that being his attention to fans and people in need all over the world, even to the US troops stationed in Middle Eastern countries like Iraq (metaphorically/allegorically, of course), and does what he can to both make them happy and to inspire them.

Itís an excellent way to end the year, and a great way for Kelly to conclude his four-year run on Action Comics as well, and heís also got a good farewell message on the last page too.

Iím very pleased with these issues overall, and now, itíll be interesting to see whatís to be the outcome of the split in timelines thatís being done for the Super-franchise this year. But the really great news relating to that? Itís that over in Superman/Batman, Kara Zor-El, cousin of Kal-El, is back in the DCU after years of overall limbo since the Crisis! And that too is something that I look upon with great delight.

Copyright 2004 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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