Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: Action Comics #11 Back-Up Feature

Action Comics remains one of my favorite titles from The New 52 and one of the reasons has been the Sholly Fisch penned back-up stories. While Grant Morrison is moving things along quickly, keeping the main storyline churning along, Fisch has had the luxury of dwelling a bit over the smaller moments in Superman's life. Working with a cadre of great artists, Fisch has applied some of the mortar around the bricks Morrison is laying in the Superman mythos, strengthening the foundation that is being built.

This month Fisch teams up again with artist CAFU to tell the tale of Superman's t-shirts.

The story starts with 2 tourists heading into a printing shop where Superman shirts are being sold. The store owner says that his store is the one Superman bought his shirts from. He tells the tale of a young man in a hoodie asking if he can print the then unknown Superman symbol on blue t-shirts.

Of course this is an unknown symbol here so I like how the printer assumes it's for a softball team.

In a past issue, I wondered if Superman might be wearing different colored t-shirts based on his emotional state - red for rage, white for life, etc. That idea was correctly shot down as being nonsensical and awful by some folks here. I agree ... I don't need the long fingers of GL's rings creeping into Action.

Here we learn the reason. The owner didn't have enough blue shirts so he threw in some red and white. Small details like this explaining the other shirt colors are appreciated.

With the way things go in comics, a robber comes into the store while Clark is there.

As I said before, Fisch gets to show us the small moments ... like this one where Clark learns the hard way that he is bulletproof. He is surprised that the robber's bullet bounces off him. I always wondered just how Clark tested his invulnerability. Here we see it is a sort of happy accident.

Unharmed, he makes short work of incapacitating the criminal. When the

When asked how he can repay Clark, Clark says he should help someone else out.  Just when you think that he has inspired the man to do something great, the shop owner's 'pay it forward' is a mere 10% off.

Hey ... it's a start.

Superman inspiring others is always welcomed.

While this story has a ring of truth to it, it might just be a hard sell as we see every shirt shop claiming they are the 'first store'.

This reminded me of a letter I read way back in the Byrne Superman where his cape would frequently be shredded or burned or destroyed. Someone said Superman's secret identity could be figured out by seeing who bought the most bolts of red cloth in Metropolis (to replace the capes). Has Clark burned through 50 tees yet?

Anyways, nothing but compliments here. Cafu's art is solid and Fisch continues to shine in showing us the little moments that helped Clark become the Superman he is.

Overall grade: A

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