Action Comics #31
Story: Greg Pak
Pencils: Aaron Kuder, Rafa Sandoval, Cameron Stewart
Inks: Aaron Kuder, Vicente Cifuentes, Cameron Stewart
Colors: Wil Quintana
Letters: Dezi Sienty, Taylor Esposito
Action Comics #31 picks up the “Doomed” story line directly from the one-shot Doomed issue, but this issue succeeds in pretty much all areas where Doomed failed to impress.
Pak picks up all of the good elements from Doomed, in particular the triumvirate of Lois, Lana, and Diana, and how they each deal with Clark’s changes differently. In terms of those changes, we get to see how Clark has dealt with the aftermath of his battle with Doomsday, and actually get a peek into Superman’s thoughts and emotional state rather than just seeing panels of him punching a big monster. Even something that was handled awkwardly in Superman: Doomed (a conference call of sorts with the Justice League) comes off more naturally here, and even includes a fun scene with the Justice League’s newest member, Lex Luthor, which is really fun considering how he’s been handled in previous issues of Action dating back to start of the New 52.
Art wise, similar to last month, there are three different people on penciling duties and another three on inks, and this book deserves better. Kuder has turned in some really great work and hopefully he can return to penciling and inking the entire issue in upcoming months. None of the art in this is particularly bad – it’s just that the styles don’t always match. At the very least, the last panel of the issue is one of the best and really helps to instill an “Oh, damn!” moment that, even though it was clearly coming, is still a bit of a shock to see.
This issue did a lot to redeem the Superman: Doomed one-shot and bring a level of characterization, tension, and emotion that were missing from that issue. It’s odd that in a comic titled Action that it’s specifically the non-action scenes that are the most compelling and engaging.