Action Comics #850 (DC) - Comic Review

850 issues.

That’s a lot.

I haven’t actually picked up Action Comics in a while, but something about this issue grabbed my interest as I walked by it on the shelf. Was the cover? The issue number? I’m not sure, but regardless, I picked it up, and was very surprised by what I read.

At first, I was afraid that I was about to dive into 48 pages of retread – which, in a way, I did – but the story is told from a different perspective than I’ve ever seen the Superman’s origin approached from before, and I found it to be a very compelling read, and an interesting spin on Superman’s existence.

The story begins in the 31st Century, with Supergirl and the Legion working on a why to get her home…Brainiac 5 creates a time viewer that – while not capable of sending Supergirl physically back in time, does allow them to see the past. With Supergirl not wanting to view her own past, they opt to view Superman’s history instead.

This, of course, is merely a vehicle for us to explore Superman’s history and revisit his origin. The origin we see is very much pulled directly from the Birthright mini-series from a few years back. It starts with that book’s version of Krypton, his rocketing to earth, and flows all the way up to present day, and even into the future.

The angle that everything is approached from is what makes this book unique, and special. The focus of everything we see in Kal-El’s life is centered around his loneliness. He is a man with no family…no one like him at all…and even in a group he considers his peers (the Justice League) he is still idolized by other member’s of the team, and held above them in their own minds. He truly feels alone, and the creative team behind the book has managed to convey that message without becoming overly sappy…even using Supergirl as a tool for readers to “roll their eyes” if necessary.

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Superman’s isolation and loneliness is the driving force behind this story, and when we see glimpses of the future at the end of the book…it appears as though that problem will be solved…and I have a feeling that that issue (his loneliness) is going to have a direct effect on whatever the next big “Crisis” is…perhaps with him struggling with siding with the “right” side, and siding with his “family”…

Regardless of what it leads to, by itself, this is a fantastic issue of Action Comics, and a great jumping on point for new readers wanting to get back into the super-swing of things.

850 issues is a remarkable achievement, and this is a great issue to pick up. The artwork isn’t my favorite style for Superman, but everyone involved does a top-notch job.

Grade: A

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