Super League Part 6: Action Comics #52 Review


In the latest Action Comics, Superman’s condition is going downhill fast. The Trinity’s tracking of Superman’s imposter also leads them to a surprising discovery.

Super League Part 6: Action Comics #52

Story and Words: Peter J. Tomasi / Pencillers: Dale Eaglesham and Scot Eaton / Inkers: Eaglesham and Wayne Faucher / Colors: Tomeu Morey / Letters: Rob Leigh / Cover: John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson & Dean White

The sixth installment of Peter J. Tomasi’s Super League story arc has Superman going into a tailspin in regards to his condition. Like all past issues in this eight-issue storyline, Action Comics #52 mixes emotional scenes with high-octane action.

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I think I figured out Peter J. Tomasi’s structure for “The Final Days of Superman”—and it’s not a bad thing. Each issue seems to start off with a sentimental musing and then escalates into mystery and action. Again, this is not a criticism—in fact, it’s a rather smart way of covering multiple bases without sacrificing and muddling your readers with a confusing narrative.

I’ve really come to appreciate Tomasi’s method of “organized” writing. Although some readers may feel that this approach is too clinical and hygienic—ruining a story with too much structure. Coming from a screenwriting background, I enjoy this type of “predictable” narrative—if that’s what you want to call it. The writing is clear and can be broken down into digestible chunks, helping the reader to understand the many dimensions of Superman.

We start off with Superman and Wonder Woman sharing a moment—though Wonder Woman does seem to want a bit more time with Kal-El. Superman quickly falls ill and is promptly rescued by Batman in his Batwing. The Man of Steel—as always—tries to keep a jovial attitude about it (only Superman can face death with a smiling face).

Meanwhile, the Superman imposter takes Lois Lane to a Salinas, California where the Pre–Flashpoint Superman has been residing with his wife and son. The imposter invites himself into their home for a breakfast-for-dinner meal. Lois is shocked that this Pre–Flashpoint Superman exists, a reaction that the imposter also shares. The meeting quickly delves into a battle between the two Supermen.

Back to our Trinity. Because of the “flare-up” (pun intended) between the aforementioned super-beings, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are able to track the location of the imposter. They fly there and witness the existence of the Pre–Flashpoint Superman, who quickly takes off with his family to parts unknown.

The imposter then confronts the three Justice Leaguers and requests to join their team to hunt down the Pre–Flashpoint Superman—someone who he now calls an “imposter.”

The story is very interesting, and it definitely starts to lay the groundwork for Rebirth. Readers are finally getting an interaction from the various Supermen. The key to Superman’s survival must have some type of relationship to the Pre–Flashpoint Superman. Maybe the imposter, Pre–Flashpoint, and current New 52 Superman represent three sides of the Son of Krypton. And we all now how much DC likes to make a Christian allegorical connection between Superman and Jesus.

The art in this issue is fantastic. The results of having the penciller and inker be the same person—Eaglesham—can definitely be seen. It’s a sort of surety or confidence in the way the lines are laid out. Wayne Faucher—who was also on inks—probably had the luxury of consulting with Eaglesham before putting down the first permanent stroke or line. Everything just looks accurate and right.

The pencils and inks are only half of what made the art stand out. Tomeu Morey’s colors of slightly off-tones and steely shades really make the battles stand out. There’s a definite clarity to his work here.

Next: Super League Part 5: Batman / Superman #32 Review

Tomasi is consistently proving that he has a strong grasp of Superman as a character. From the way Superman handles sentimental moments to the way he faces danger, this is the Man of Steel we know. Paired with some very nice art from Eaglesham, Faucher, and Morey, this is another great issue that takes us closer to Rebirth.