After a little trip down memory lane, the action returns to the present...well the present continuity of ACTION COMICS, which is still in the past of other comics...
It took the abduction of Metropolis to get the authorities to accept Superman's presence. It's up to Superman to uncover the purpose of the alien invaders and attempt to save the lives of the millions of residents that have been miniaturized and placed in a bottle. We still have the younger version of Superman that feels so different from the one in JUSTICE LEAGUE and SUPERMAN. It might be because he seems to have less power but seeing him jump into the action and get a little beat up trying to save the day has been interesting. He's not all-powerful and that makes him a little more human. As he makes his way to confront the aliens and figure out what is happening, we continue to get flashes of information that builds up who Superman will become. What doesn't make sense is how such an interesting character at this state can become a bit of a bore in his other appearances in the "New 52."
It's a treat seeing Grant Morrison's story unravel. There may not be an enormous amount of new revelations here but you'll find yourself clinging on to every little detail, trying to decipher if there's more on the page than there appears to be. There's also something about Rags Morales' version of the t-shirt and jeans wearing Superman that I totally dig. I hate the thought that eventually we'll just see the current costume-wearing Superman in this series.
The back up feature by Sholly Fisch and Brad Walker has more with Steel and gets you wondering where his place in the "New 52" will be.
The action is split between Superman trying to save Metropolis and those stuck inside. Something about the way Lex Luthor is depicted rubs me the wrong way. We assume the story is just over five years ago (sometime before the first arc in JUSTICE LEAGUE) but Lex seems older than he should be compared to how young Lois and Clark seem.
We do have some cool moments but the action is a little lighter than what we're used to. It's all building up towards a bigger showdown set for the next issue.
I did enjoy seeing more of Steel but a good back up story ended up getting a little cheesy. The bigger question is what happens to Steel from this time to the current continuity? Unless I've missed it, I don't recall any mention of him in SUPERMAN or other titles. If he's making himself out to be this big time hero in Metropolis, you would think he'd still be active or there would be some mention of him. Either something happens to him between then and now or he's locked himself away somewhere.
ACTION COMICS is one of the comics that sits high on my list of favorite "New 52" books. Seeing Grant Morrison write Superman's past keeps you on the edge of your seat. Even though we pretty much know where he ends up and who he becomes, Morrison makes the development of his character an interesting read. Rags Morales continues to win me over with his depiction of this younger Superman and I hate the idea that soon he'll be in his regular costume rather than what I at first thought was a silly look for Superman. The action is toned down a little as Superman tries uncovering what the aliens/attackers are doing and those trapped in the bottle are figuring out what's going on but there is still some exciting moments within.