the_mighty_monarch's Action Comics #5 - Rocket Song; Baby Steps review

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    The Morrison Effect

    This issue has a really nice cover. It lets you know what you're in for with the interruption in terms of story and artwork, and it's got a really smart design. The destruction of Krypton is so massive it stretches out beyond the bounds of the image, but really, it's behind us now. We look the baby Kal-El in the eyes as his cradle ship heads right for us.

    Andy Kubert's art is a really nice fit for this story, like Gene Ha was a few issues back in his fill-in portions. I absolutely LOVE the way the panels are shaky, just a little bit tilted and swaying as Krypton falls. It really helps you feel like you're there, the planet falling apart beneath you. The tension is high as the instability of everything threatens to collapse at any moment.

    The beginning of the story is very emotional. The sacrifices made to ensure Kal-El's survival are as poignant as ever, no matter how many times you've seen Superman's origin. The whole issue takes an interesting perspective, as the ship is almost an outsider to the story. It's there to carry events along, but it's not completely a character of its own. A couple of little moments from earlier issues get some explanations, and the story coasts along right to the same place as where the story left off last issue, and then carries itself on a strange tangent down into a side story cemented in the middle. In reading order it's an interruption, but technically it does take place in the right order. With the time travel involved, this story has Present Day Superman arriving at a time where Action Comics' '5 Years Ago Superman' was doing what he was doing. It makes it clear that the ship will play a role in the conclusion of this first big arc, and the Anti-Superman Army simultaneously stole the first Kryptonite and set up Superman to be doomed.

    After the weirdly placed backup story last issue, this one completely turns it around and gives us a perfect companion story to the main one. We got a touch of how impactful it was when the baby Kal-El arrived in the Kent's laps, but the backup story REALLY makes that point hit home. It's a touching journey of two people in love just trying to have a child.

    In Conclusion: 5/5

    After four issues all with some kind of flaw, Morrison FINALLY delivers an issue that is both flawless AND more up to what I was expecting from him. I'm sure a lot of people will be turned off by this odd interlude AND the way it starts to show traditional Morrison confusing complexity; but I for one was able to see the emotional and structural beauty of this issue.

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