Action Comics #819 Review

Reviewer: Mathan “I do enjoy Smallville” Erhardt
Story Title: Sodom and Gomorrah

Written by: Chuck Austen
Penciled by: Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
Inked by: Marc Campos & John Sibal
Colored by: Guy Major
Lettered by: Comicraft
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics

So Superman’s powers are fading in and out. He needs to recuperate. Fortunately Lana Lang is there to watch over him.

Lana and Clark have a heart to heart about their relationship. Lana is Clark’s friend, but she also loves him as woman would, and Clark knows all this. When Lana addresses her concerns over Lois neglecting her wifely duties (taking care of a weakened Clark) Clark dismisses her concerns. She even goes further to suggest that Lois only loved Superman and settled for Clark.

Then Lana confesses that she still loves Clark. She adds that she hooked up Pete as a way of settling. Lana gives Clark the most honest talk of his life, but all that he hears is the talk of a jealous ex. Then he goes on to battle a husband and wife team of villains; Sodom and Gomorrah. They can turn people and things into salt. They’ve decided to kill Superman, because he’s weakened.

They need to be in physical contact with each other for their power to work. Superman eventually separates them and defeats them.

I enjoyed the talk that Lana and Clark had. Austen did a fine job of constructing an awkward conversation that felt real. The battle with Sodom and Gomorrah felt extremely forced. Of all the new writers on the Superman books Austen seems to be taking the easy route. The title is called “Action” so that’s what he provides. Are we every going to see Sodom and Gomorrah again? Not likely. Does he need to explain why any villain turns up? Not really because everyone knows Superman is weak. Lame. This book is just thoughtless fights. This was finally a literally half decent issue, but the fighting and the extra forced parallels between a couple that needs to stay together to function and a couple that can operate independently really turned me off.

The book looked cool. I’m not big fan of Reis’ work. I don’t see what all the hype is about. But Prado & Sibal did a fine job on the tender Clark/Lana scenes. Lana looks fragile, hurt and angry. And Clark looks like he doesn’t have a clue. Reis’ fight scenes are par for the book, but nothing special.

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