Action Comics #18

by kanchilr1 on March 20, 2013

The image above echoes the way most readers will feel about the issue, Morrison leaves out all the important bits of the plot and cuts the camera away before any emotions can be felt. Action Comics #18 is an ideological mess. This has the been the case since the second issue, however a small piece of my being prayed he would some how fit together all of the dangling threads from the run for the last issue. Readers should not hold out any hope because this series has ended without taking the time to wrap it up effectively.

Instead another slew of ideas stream throughout every single page with small tiny flashes of brilliance hidden in the middle of the mess. Explaining the plot of Action Comics is pretty much futile. Only the most hardcore Morrison fan may have a chance of putting all of these strange pieces together. As completely incomprehensible as this entire run of Action Comics is and will continue to be, it is charming to see the mind of Grant Morrison completely unleashed. In most of his other work he will eventually give an emotional hook to sink the reader into the issue. In Action Comics the only hint of an emotional hook were the backups written by Scholly Fisch.

The entire run has been plagued with inconsistent writing. The first Issue was of course action filled although now it seems that it was pretending to be something else to rope the new readers in. Action Comics #9 had the very timely and bold discussion of creators rights within the confines of a superhero comic. This idea was so smart and well executed it was a shame the rest of the Morrison saga failed to live up to that potential. Finally issue issue #15 took this story that Morrison was creating and retained the weirdness while delivering an emotional gut punch that hit the reader like a ton of bricks. If he had chosen to write this entire run more grounded it could have been so much more than the sum of its parts.

Rags Morales has always looked inconsistent and rushed throughout this series. While drawing five dimensions cannot be easy in any context, based off Identity Crisis we know Morales can more than deliver when given the proper time. Chris Spouse is always a delight. His pages break up the serious action and he renders the fifth dimension in such a lovely and playful manner. Sprouse has injected some humour into the books when he first started doing his backups. While Morales is great at drawing facial expressions sometimes his faces tend to blend together in a disheartening manner. At the top of his game Rags Morales is truly one of the best pencillers in the enitre industry.

I had the opportunity to ask Morrison where he was taking Action Comics this past summer at a convention, he gave me a strange response that was full of pauses and breaks in speech. He seemed not to be entirely confident in the direction of the series. After a breather from monthly superhero comics hopefully Grant Morrison comes back refreshed. Despite this issue and run there should be no doubt in the minds of the readers that Grant Morrison is and will always be one of the very best talents in our industry.

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