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Action Comics #22 - Atomic Knights, Part One; The World of Krypton, Part 3: Darkest Depths Review

3

Superman flies off to the moon to help Hector Hammond with a creature that's out of this world.

The Good

Hector Hammond contacts Superman, who is posing as Clark Kent at a movie premiere with Cat Grant, to help him with a menace in space, which is too big for Hector and his gigantic head to handle.

Give a big round of applause for artist Tyler Kirkham here. He does a fantastic job on this issue. There's some amazing detail within these pages. There's a great splash page of Superman flying out of Earth, to reach Hammond in space, that just looks awesome. It has a great sense of perspective and the background, of the Earth with the Sun starting to peak out, looks great.

In addition, I really like what Kirkham does with Superman's face here. He looks younger. So many of us are used to an older, more stoic looking Superman, and Kirkham draws him how I see him in the New 52, a person in his early-twenties.

Writer Scott Lobdell has got me interested in Superman again, but it's mostly through his work on the actual SUPERMAN book. Hammond transitions well over to this book. I became very intrigued with some of the smaller pieces in this issue like Clark and Cat at the movie premiere and what Clark finds out there more than anything else. I'm sure, at some point, these two things will connect to one another.

Spoiler tag time... Back-up stories are a mixed bag sometimes, but I thought this one was solid. What truly won me over was the reveal page, which "revealed" a reboot to Eradicator. He has a completely new design, and no longer is he wearing those ridiculous sunglasses... Actually, wait...I kinda liked those. I like how the back-up is adding to the world of Superman by telling stories from different perspectives and not just a quicky back-up featuring Superman.

The Bad

I like Hector Hammond, and I like Hector Hammond as a part of this book, but the look on his face, on the first page of this book was pretty weird. I know he's supposed to be in awe of what he was looking at, but it looked a bit weird, almost silly. Maybe it's because this character is simply a giant head on a normal sized body, but this character showing emotion like that seemed a bit out of place. Hammond, to me, works best as almost catatonic.

Pax Galactica wasn't that interesting to me. I found some of the other sub-plots in this book, as well as Hammond and Superman teaming up to be incredibly interesting, and tough aliens traveling around for galactic peace wasn't my favorite part of the issue.

The Verdict

ACTION COMICS #22 is a pretty good issue. Nothing really blew me away here. Lobdell's work is much stronger on SUPERMAN, but I have a feeling this issue was put together a bit quicker than usual since the creative team changed. Kirkham's art is really the stand-out here, and I found myself really enjoying the brief moments we had of Clark Kent being an average, everyday person. I wasn't into the Pax Galactica, although I really enjoyed the Battlestar Galactica reference thrown in at the end.

Overall, I give this book a mild recommendation.