Action Comics: Grant Morrison, Rags Morales, Cafu, Brad Walker, Rick Bryant, Bob McLeod, Andrew Hennessy, Brad Anderson, Gabe Eltaeb, Steve Wands, Cliff Chiang
I like how a lot of the #12 issues have felt like entire chapters in the lives of the heroes closing. This ish has that as well. It’s nice because it IS a year later, and so it’s this nice round number to wrap things up with. Kind of like a season finale. What’s great about this title in particular is that, even though it has that “ending” feeling, there are still mysteries that are discovered and new questions that will lead us anxiously into next year!
I’m calling this villain “Captain Comet,” as Lois’s niece does. Captain Comet uses his telepathy and other psychic powers to battle Superman as he tries to defend the girl, the people, and a severely injured Lois. Susie still seems conflicted on what to do. She thinks Captain Comet’s powers are great, but she’s concerned about Lois and Superman.
We find out who Comet really is, and that Superman actually knows about him a bit, thanks to growing up in Smallville. I had mentioned, last ish, about the motivations of these neo-sapiens being unclear. I guess it makes sense, because Comet’s so-called “masters” show up…the Oort-kind. These are the craziest looking things. And their motive seems different than Comet’s, so we can chalk it up to Comet being crazy and confused, and following blindly while the Oort-kind make the real plans. It’s not often you see an evil “underling” deceived like this (or so I’m assuming), and it’s refreshing.
Superman does this crazy thing where he saves Lois by reading all of the medical books ever published, because she won’t have time to live through the long surgery she needs. So Superman pulls a Bart Allen and reads through a library before performing the surgery himself. It feels like an old-fashioned solution, something we’d see out of comics from the 50s or 60s, but it’s endearing because we get to see how desperate Superman is to save Lois. I like that.
Batman makes another appearance in this issue, and it’s still really fun seeing them work together. It seems so casual, so familiar and relaxed and— oh, did he just put a bat-tracer on Superman’s suit? Well…so much for being open, Batman. Still paranoid as ever? Still, it’s nice to see them working together. They decide to try and rebuild Superman’s alter ego of Clark Kent…bring him back from the dead somehow.
What’s even better is…waaaay back in issue #1, we were given a character that Clark lives with, Mrs. Nyxly. Well…(spoiler alert) her full name is Nyxlygsptlnz. I’m pronouncing that as NYX-ul-ig-SPIT-ul-enz. And Mxyzptlk is her “dear,” though it’s unclear exactly how they’re connected (remember to pronounce that as MIX-yez-SPIT-ul-ick. You’re welcome). She talks about being from someplace bigger, where there are more dimensions to reality. I’m assuming she’s talking about the fabled 5th Dimension, where Mr. Mxyzptlk was originally from. We get a bunch of what sounds like nonsense, but is said so seriously you just can’t help but feel sorry for Nyxly. We get a great image of her multi-dimensional form…which is awesome. I’m really glad we’re seeing higher dimensions portrayed properly, and not like just some crazy little world like it’s been in the past.
Action Comics #12, the verdict: What a great way to end the year. It’s been a really great run, and I’m excited for what’s coming next. The tease for Mxyzptlk at the end is fantastic, and I’ve never seen anything like what Rags has drawn here, it’s so brilliant. I can’t wait to see what the genius of Morrison will cook up for this enemy. Here’s my one concern, though: that the attitude of the “DCnU” will change Mxyzptlk into a serious villain. He’s an imp. He’s supposed to be fun, and I would really like his issues to be fun still…even if he’s causing serious trouble. Make sense?
(Photo Source: Comic Box Commentary)