Action Comics #775

Posted: Friday, June 1
By: Brandon Thomas
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Writer: Joe Kelly
Artists: Doug Mahnke/Lee Bermejo (p), Tom Nguyen/Dexter Vines/others (i)

Publisher: DC Comics

Superman confronts a league of proactive global defenders known as the Elite, who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty in the pursuit of justice. Their brazen disregard for innocent life, and a willingness to engage in large-scale battles, resulting in extensive collateral damage put them at odds with the Man of Steel, who is equally disturbed at the public’s acceptance of these new heroes. Could it be that the concept and principles of the Man of Steel have grown outdated, causing the need for a new wave of heroes not content to sentence their adversaries to the revolving door of the prison system?? What’s so funny about Truth, Justice, and the American Way??

Fireworks ensue as the new and old collide in this over-sized anniversary issue that succeeds in telling one of the most engrossing and poignant Superman stories in years.

In obvious response to the wave of heightened violence and intense superheroics ushered into view by the Authority, Joe Kelly pens an incredible tale that identifies once and for all who the greatest superhero is. Superman is tested not only as a man, but also as a concept when facing the Elite. The public has grown tired of frequent transgressions at the hands of psychotic villains such as the Joker and Parasite, and their reaction to the more decisive Elite is natural and understandable. But then again…so is Superman’s response.

It is apparent from the opening splash page that Supes will collide with this band of so-called heroes, but the events leading up to it are the real fun. Listening to the everyman’s views on the Elite and an especially touching scene involving a group of playing children make the reader themselves question the logic behind Superman’s relentless pursuit of justice, while never allowing himself to step over the line.

A revealing segment of dialogue between Lois and Clark almost overshadows the grand battle that occurs at the height of the festivities.

Superman’s refusal to play by the Elite’s rules of conduct leaves him on the receiving end of a world of pain, but in the end we have to remember who we’re talking about. This is Superman, the world’s greatest hero, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…he may refuse to cross the line…but he also refuses to lose. Joe Kelly reminds us of this and I’m thanking him for it.

Final Word:
This is comics storytelling at its best. Script and pencil collide to show us the true magic of the industry. If you’re a fan of The Authority, if you’re a fan of Superman, if you’re a fan of comics period…Joe Kelly has something for you. Action Comics #775 is worth the price of admission, and one of the best single comics released this year.

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