With the end of Grant Morrison's run on Action Comics, so ends Sholly Fisch's back-up features. As I have said before, Fisch's back-up features have been the perfect 'after dinner mints' to Morrison's entree. Seamlessly bolstering the main story, Fisch has a knack for choosing a moment in the story and showing how it has incredible impact on not only Superman's life but his supporting cast as well.
Action Comics #18 ended the Morrison arc and included Superman unifying the world to help him defeat Vyndktvx. Superman is a true hero, inspiring and pure.
So how could Fisch follow that up?
With a perfect look at how Superman can inspire!
As with prior stories, Chris Sprouse's art is perfect here.
In the 23rd century, at a Museum of our Terran Heritage, a young alien boy sees a fellow child being bullied. A group of bigger boys has pushed a smaller boy to the ground and is standing over him laughing.
Afraid to stand up to the bullies, the young alien runs into the Superman wing of the museum.
While walking through, he hears snippets about Superman and sees images of him helping people. Look in the background and you can see the poster of Donner's Superman movie.
And some of the lines are classic. 'Try again doc' from Action Comics #1 when a physician is trying to give Clark a vaccine. 'You've got me, who's got you?', the famous Lois line from Superman the Movie. 'It tickles' said too many times as Superman shrugs off lightning, bullets, bombs.
And this young boy sees Superman stop the locomotive and re-acquire his cape, a scene from this title's Action Comics #0.
It is inspiring.
In fact all the kids in that wing are inspired.
They return and stand up ... en masse ... to the bully. Even when facing that fist, he doesn't stand down. He is fighting his own never-ending battle here.
And like most bullies, when confronted, they leave.
As if the Superman/Krypto page ending Morrison's story wasn't perfect enough, the last image of this run on Action is a Superman statue winking.
There is no dialogue in this story, only these blurbs on the museum tape. But none is needed. Fisch and Sprouse tell us everything we need to know with just the pictures on the page.
Again, this was the perfect after dinner liquer, a sweet treat while digesting the main story. Even in the future, the idea of Superman can inspire.
Heck, aren't we looking for a creative team for Action Comics to come in after the Diggle/Daniels 3 issues?