Hey everyone, welcome back for my next installment of my DC New 52 breakdown! This time we are breaking down the second volume of Action Comics, and this is a pretty hefty volume covering serval different topics and stories. Before I jump in, if you want to read my breakdowns in order then scroll to the bottom of this page, they are all linked in order!
In the start of this volume, Issue #9, we deviate from Clark Kent as Superman and look at Calvin Ellis. He is on another Earth and serves as President of the United States. Yes, he is loosely based on the real like Barrack Obama. To manage his duties, he uses Brainiac to cover at the White House while he runs around as Superman.
In the start of the issue he faces off against Lex Luthor, who he easily takes down but then stumbles across this Musical Meta Machine where people from another Earth begin to appear. From the portal comes Lois Lane with her best Nick Fury impression, a powerless and crispy Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen. Lois warns Superman that she has seen another Superman, but they were all to weak to face what is following them.
In a brief back story, we see the fall of this Krypton and the exodus of Kalel, who was then adopted on Earth by a kind young couple.
His base of operation is not the fortress of Solitude, but Fort Superman, which is where he suggests they head for medical treatment. Lois explains how they have come to be here on this Earth. That they had created a machine that would bring thoughts to life, and they had created a good and wholesome hearo. However, they didn’t create enough power with their mind to make him permanent. They then sought out the help of others and eventually sold out. This led to the creation of an Anti-hero that has followed them to other worlds and has already taken out Optiman, Flashlight, Iron Knight, and Red Racer.
When the Evil Superman arrives Calvin, it taken back almost instantly, however, Lex Luthor is there to step in and help stop him. This allows for Calvin to regroup and then stop him by trapping him between the wavelength in the machine. That’s about when the Justice League arrives, and Calvin shows them the door to the Multiverse. He is also able to take a dead Clark Kent to their Lazarus Renewal project to bring him back to life.
In Issue #10, we jump back to Earth 1 Nimrod looking for Clark Kent after following a trail back to Smallville Kansas. Superman in the meantime, is looking for the killer of a littler girl and locates David Marigold in his apartment and turns him into the police. He also adopts out his hamster to Lois Lane’s niece Suzie.
Superman with the Justice League looks for them to be more involved with other world issues but with the politics of the world he doesn’t get far. The one thing here that Clark also takes with him is that Batman drops that he knows Superman is a reporter outside of being Superman.
Later, when hanging out with Lois and Jimmy he tells them about his time in Smallville and he looks through Lois’s scrapbook on Superman but notices that there are somethings in here from before his time as Superman. Lois has connected the “Blake Farm Ghost” with Superman. In a quick glimpse we see the real “Blake Farm Ghost” Aaron Blake. He claims that he is here to assume control of Earth.
When Clark is heading for his Lunch interview with Perry White, he notices a commotion coming from Daily Star, the paper he worked at before. Outside is Grundig Angus Grundig, associate of Glen Glenmorgan, who he took down in the last volume. Grundig, accuses Clark of ruining him and then blows them both up and Clark is presumed dead. Of course, the man looking for him arrives too late and learns that Clark and now Superman is dead. However, Superman isn’t dead and gets a nice whooping after he tries to kill Superman. While at the hospital he is visited Vyndktvk, the same man we have seen with Glenmorgan, and in on the other earth that created the evil Superman in Issue #9.
Issue #11 starts with the arrival of Metalek, an alien that has come to Earth recently along with a few others which has raised Superman’s suspicions. After the death of Clark Kent, Johnny Clark is born. He was a Keystone Fireman that recently moved to Metropolis and has been an asset to the fire department.
Later, Superman reaches out to Batman for help with what to do. He himself set up his death as Clark Kent but misses the life he was living and isn’t sure what to do. He tells Batman about his space station and they agree to meet there later. Of course, Batman has way to space.
Now with Suzie, Lois Lane’s niece and the little girl that took over the hamsters from the David Marigold, the serial killer in Issue #10. Pretty quickly we learn that Suzie is not your average girls when she talks about the spaceman in her dreams and the things that the hamsters have seen.
With Superman, he is working with his spaceship to figure out what has been attracting all this attention to Earth and is concerned about this Multitude that Brainiac warned about. We dive even deeper into that train of though when Aaron Black or Comet, shows to take Suzie. He warns Superman that Earth has been targeted by a few interstellar agencies and that others, like Metalek, will come. Superman tries to stop Comet from taking Suzie, and while physically Comet isn’t a threat to Superman, he is able to control him mentally. This takes Superman out while Lois lays on top of a car dying after being injured in the fight.
Superman starts Issue #12 in a Comet induced dream of him marrying Lois Lane but quickly realizes that this is a vision and not real life. Suzie is putting up an argument not wanting to leave with Lois dying, Comet tries to explain her importance as a Neo-Sapiens. By this time, Superman fights the mind control and fights Captain Comet. Aaron ends up leaving with Suzie staying on Earth. Superman then rushes to save Lois, even learning all the surgical procedures needed in minutes.
As the dust settles, it is learned that Johnny Clark dies in the attack, although he supposedly also dies in Keystone three years ago. Batman and Superman meet again, and he shows all the good work that Clark Kent was able to accomplish and convinces him to some how bring Clark back to life, even if his friends are already mourning him.
When going back to his landlady Mrs. N, she reveals to him her true identity as an alien as well and that her husband is missing. She also warns of Lord Vyndktvx who we see is currently recruiting Suzie.
That sums up most of the main story but there are a few short stories that fill in the blanks.
In Executive Power, we are with Calvin Ellis’s Superman as he manages to be Superman and President at the same time, and it is brought up by Wonder Woman that maybe he is breaking laws by being Superman. For example, he wasn’t exactly born in the US and the cleaning out of Nukes in another country, even if needed, breaks some international laws as well.
In Absent Friends, we have the memorial for Clark’s death with his friends and co-workers. Probably my favorite was in Clothes Encounters where the man tells the story about how he sells t-shirts to Superman and explains the robbery that Superman saved him from. Of course, no one believes him.
In “The boy who stole Superman’s Cape”, this is very early superman days where Superman is knocked down and his cape is taken by two boys. They then use the cape to save them from their abusive father. Later as Lois is looking for Superman, who is only a rumor at this point, she sees the boys being attacked by the man. Superman then stops a train to save the boy giving Lois and Jimmy the proof that Superman exists.
The on the end of the comic is the Annual #1 Vulnerable with the creation of K-Man at the others of Lex Luthor after he is canned by General Lane. Of course, before that he stole a shard of Kryptonite which is what was used to make K-man. K-man is Clay Ramsey, a man angry with Superman after he broke into Clay’s home to stop him from beating his wife. His wife was then moved and is now protected but Ramsey wants revenge. The project works better than they thought, and in this process, they learn Superman’s vulnerability to Kryptonite.
When the showdown happens Superman only wins because he gets the help of Dr. Irons and his Steel suit. K-Man ends up in General Lane’s hands which is only slightly better than Lex, since he wants to use him to neutralize Superman and even promises to bring Ramsey his wife.
Then in Anchiale, there is the brief origin for this character where he is stuck on an island with powers. A S.T.A.R. Labs submarine crashed with one of its scientists is exposed to experimental radiation. When a leopard finds and attacks him, he blasts it with radiation that vaporizes it. Eventually, he learns to use this power to his benefit, killing animals for food, and blasting away holes in the rock faces for shelter. Eventually, the radiation soon takes its toll on him, as he remembers how he had caught his wife flirting with someone at a dance club and murdered her in a jealous rage. In anger, he destroys most of the island. His face, meanwhile, practically melts away, revealing his radioactive skull.
While I did really enjoy this issue, with the addition of Calvin Ellis, I feel like the main story with Captain Comet fell a little short to me. I do like that all of these issues and villains are leading up to the Anti-Superman Army under the direction of Lord Vyndktvx. The short stories were also really great fillers.
Read All of My DC Comic Breakdowns!
- Batman Vol. 4 – Zero Year Breakdown! (New 52)
- DC Comics: Zero Year Breakdown! (New 52)
- Batman Vol. 5 – Zero Year: Dark City Breakdown! (New 52)
- Batman/Superman Vol. 1: Crossworld Breakdown! (New 52)
- Action Comics Vol. 1: Superman and the Men of Steel Breakdown! (New 52)
- ‘Justice League’ Vol. 1: Origins Breakdown and Review!
- Action Comics Vol 2: Bulletproof Breakdown and Rating!
- ‘Action Comics’ Vol. 3: At the End of Days Breakdown and Review!
- Action Comics Vol. 4: Hybrid Breakdown and Review!
- Animal Man Vol. 1: The Hunt Breakdown and Review!