Comic Vine Review


Action Comics #16 - The Second Death of Superman; Future Tense


Superman faces the fight of his life and Grant Morrison reveals more about the past and future.

The Good

Grant Morrison is unleashing the latest chapter in his Superman story before ending his run next issue. As you can expect and if you read last month's issue, we're going to be jumping all over the place as Superman battles the mysterious 'little man.'

Also, as we've been seeing, there is some jumping around in time. Superman is fighting the battles at different moments and has experiences some future events despite the fact that they haven't occurred yet. Whenever Superman is involved with time travel, you should expect the Legion of Super-Heroes to be close by. We've seen them pop up before in Morrison's run. I've made it clear before that the Legion and their various timelines has always been something I've struggled with. I enjoyed some of the older stories as well as what Geoff Johns did with them back in the pre-New 52 ACTION COMICS. It's no secret that I didn't keep up with the New 52 Legion books but I love seeing them here.

As we witness the chaotic seeds being spread for Morrison's story, one point, which is mentioned on the cover should be noted. There is the mention of the "Second Death of Superman" occurring. That brings about the question, when did the first one occur? The mention of a certain character will definitely raise your eyebrow.

Superman appears to be in a massive fight. Comic book logic dictates that he'll come out on top. But because we know Morrison is wrapping up his story, you can't help but feel the energy and excitement as we have no idea what's coming next. The story has definitely been amped up here as we've seen the occasional issue let us down a little. You can see he is not holding back here. The big question will be how this will all fit in with the current continuity or how Superman seems in the SUPERMAN title.

Brad Walker and Rags Morales do a great job on the art. The action scenes are intensified with what they pour onto the pages. If this is the beginning for Grant's exit, we can be happy knowing they're on board to depict it.

The back up gives another fun look at the Legion in a "Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes" story by Sholly Fisch and Chris Sprouse. Once again, I have fun with a Legion story. If they keep this up, they're going to actually make me a fan of the characters once again. There is an interesting development here. I'm assuming there's a reason we're seeing this story here. Based on the history of the character that pops up here, it's not going to lead to good things for the heroes.

The Bad

I can fully appreciate a frantic and chaotic story. You can see the different layers being presented in the story. Despite all the action going on, the jumps in time (we get another reference to Superman's recent adventure on Mars that hasn't happened yet again), almost make you feel like you need a scorecard to keep track of what's going on. The issue starts out in the future (the year 3030). That's not a problem. When we get to the part taking place in the present, it's not fully clear if it actually is the present.

The time shifts to "A.D. Yesterday: 1st Age of Superhumanity." Are we supposed to know when that exactly is? Lois and Jimmy seem closer to the ones we've seen in the earlier times of ACTION COMICS versus the ones in the modern day SUPERMAN. The mention of Superman's previous death, at the hands of Doomsday, adds to the confusion. That and the way Superman looks in his memorial statue is another odd moment. Yes this is all part of a bigger piece of Gran Morrison's puzzle but the action in each individual issue should be clear. You shouldn't have to go back and read an issue after reading the next one in order to fully appreciate the first.

The Verdict

The end is near and you can see it coming. With just one more issue from Grant Morrison after this, you can feel everything building up to an explosive finale. There is plenty of action here gloriously drawn by Brad Walker and Rags Morales. Morrison and Sholly Fisch (in the back up) even won me over with the way they wrote the Legion of Super-Heroes. There's some bad stuff happening to Superman. This is shaping up to be a crazy and epic run for Morrison. We're assuming he has something big planned for his final issues so you'll definitely want to be caught up and on hand when it happens. There were moments of confusion but there's so much excitement contained here.