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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin! - Action Comics #9

Well, I’ve finally made it to the end. After this post, I’ll have a couple of more things to say about Superman. Since I’ve done two Grant Morrison stories this month, I might as well do another one. Today’s issue is Action Comics #9 and it actually features a completely different Superman… or at least different in that he’s got my skin tone. Not only is he black, he’s also the President of the United States. “Hmm… I wonder who he’s based off of,” I sarcastically say.

This isn’t the first time this Superman has made an appearance. The Superman of Earth-23 made his first appearance in the weird event known as Final Crisis. He’s actually made a bit of a comeback in another Morrison-penned book called Multiversity. In a lot of ways, this issue is kind of a prequel to that new book. Of course, Grant Morrison is the writer of the main story. Sholly Fisch handles the back-up. Gene Ha handles the art duties on the main story for this issue while Cully Hammer handles the back-up.

Action Comics #9
Writers: Grant Morrison (main) and Sholly Fisch (Back-up)
Artists: Gene Ha (main) and Cully Hammer (back-up)
Colorists: Art Lyon (main) and Dave McCaig (back-up)
Letters: Patrick Brosseau (main) and Carlos M. Mangual (back-up)
Assistant Editor: Will Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson

The Curse of Superman
On Earth-23, we see Superman taking down a pretty white Lex Luthor. I guess Lex didn’t get the memo. After Superman thrashes Lex’s robot, he finds some sort of musical cube that rings at different frequencies. As he ponders on this weird machination, the cube activates and three people come out of it. It’s eventually revealed that they are Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen from another Earth. Lois attacks Superman while the other two writhe in pain from burns they received. When she finds out that Superman isn’t a threat, she checks on her two companions and she finds out that Jimmy’s dead.
Uh... it stand for hope?

After we get a quick origin on this Superman (President Calvin Ellis aka Kalel), we find out about this Lois’s Earth and the threat she’s running from. On their Earth, Lois, Clark, and Jimmy created a machine that could generate thoughts. They actually created a Superman with the machine but the creation didn’t last long. The three went to a company that was apparently owned by the Little Man aka Lord Vinnie (that’s my nickname for him) in order to fund their project. After some reluctance, they sell over the idea and machine to the company. As Clark realized the machine could be used to go into other universes, the company used the machine to create a darker version of Superman. The company stuck the brand everywhere. Lois, Clark, and Jimmy used the machine to escape their universe but the dark Superman followed them and it’s killed most of the other Supermen in the Multiverse.
A robot  talking about foreign policy? Yay?

The Dark Superman comes through the cube ready to attack. Superman then gets a call from the White House on a hostage situation in Libya. He casually tells Brainiac to take care of it which he does by using a robot copy of the President. You know, there’s probably a joke in there somewhere about the President being a robot. Anyway, Superman fights the Dark Superman with the help of Lex Luthor. Superman is able to push the Dark version through the portal and keep him trapped between dimensions. The story ends as the Justice League shows up to study the cube as Superman talks to Lois.

The back-up looks at how Superman does his job. The Leader of Qurac has weapons of mass destruction. While his staff talks over things, President Calvin Ellis has other plans. Superman talks to the leader as the President via phone while he and Nubia (this Earth’s Wonder Woman) take the facilities out. He’s able to “talk” the leader into joining the UN I believe. Afterwards, Nubia questions Superman on his own actions. The issue ends on that pretty interesting conversation.


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I thought this was an interesting issue. It’s pretty much a filler issue that doesn’t tie into the New 52 Superman at all really. It tells us a story about another Superman and it succeeds for the most part. I like this version of Superman. The idea of Superman being President has been played with, but I don’t know if it’s been done this way. While this version has a different job and a bit of a different background, he still felt like Superman to me. His skin color didn’t matter here and I like that. The story of the other Earth’s Dark Superman was fine. I do wonder if Morrison was basing that part off of what actually happened at DC involving the creators of Superman. At the time the issue was released, there was some talk about that aspect of the story.

The back-up story was also pretty good. We see Superman trying to do both jobs and more or less succeeding. The question that Nubia poses at the end is what really makes the story worth reading. Since Calvin Ellis is now leader of the free world, what can Superman do or not do now? It’s something that definitely should be brought up if you’re going to do a story like this. The question doesn’t get answered but I do like that it was mentioned.

The artwork was pretty good. It seems like Gene Ha is usually the fill-in artist to go to at DC. I liked the designs of all the heroes that show up. I also liked the overall look to the art. It had a bit of a realistic feel to it. The action flowed well and the quiet moments were good. The artwork in the back-up was also pretty good. It was a little more stylized than the main story’s art, but it succeeded to show a nice story.

Overall, I liked this whole issue. We got to see Superman in a different light. We also got a nice prelude to a story that is currently kicking butt. Well, I'm done for now. I’ll be back later with my final post for this month. Peace, God Bless, and hope our President isn’t a robot. You can never tell these days.

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