Action Comics (vol.2) #51 (2016)

Action Comics (vol.2) #51 (June, 2016)
“The Final Days of Superman, Part 3: Dazed and Confused”
Story & Words – Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller – Paul Pelletier
Inker – Sandra Hope Archer
Colors – Tomeu Morey
Letters – Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor – Andrew Merino
Group Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $3.99

Another week, another Superman title that I am incredibly impressed by.  I must sound like a broken record by this point, but I am so optimistic and excited by the direction of the current and upcoming Superman books.  It almost feels as though we are about to enter a sort of golden age for this family of titles.

Again, with this one being so current I will earnestly attempt to remain as unspoilery as possible… I will try to keep the details as nebulous as possible so that anyone interested in nabbing it up can do so without having it completely ruined.

We open in National City where Superman is in search of Supergirl.  He arrives at a Department of Extra-Normal Operations facility only to find her slumbering while hooked up to some heavy machinery.  Kal’s got no time to chat, and frees Kara from the mechanical apparatus and takes off with her.

She comes to as they fly away, and begins protesting.  After the recent Super-events, including the revelation of the secret identity and the Vandal Savage affair, Supergirl checked herself into the D.E.O. facility to have her power-set studied.

As they squabble, Superman begins to fall.  Kara is easily able to swoop him up, and Clark comes clean.  He tells his cousin that he’s not long for this world.

Meanwhile, at the Daily Planet an odd fellow barges in claiming to be Clark Kent.  When he is questioned he becomes extremely violent, causing injury to those who inquire… even going as far as blasting a group of security guards with his heat vision.  Once he makes it to the newsroom, Lois Lane is able to taze the creep, and Perry calls A.R.G.U.S.

We rejoin Kal and Kara as they approach the Fortress of Solitude.  Inside Superman explains the entire situation to Supergirl and asks that she take over for him once he’s gone.  After a bit of hesitation, Kara relents.

With the decision made, the cousins attempt to leave the Fortress, only to run into a very upset Wonder Woman…

Well, I guess I kinda put the cart before the horse in my opening paragraph… yeah, I really liked this one.  This month’s “Superman World Tour” has been an absolute delight to experience.  I always enjoy seeing Superman interact with his allies and supporting cast.  With the urgency behind this current story, it is only made more satisfying.

The odd man who arrived at the Daily Planet was quite intriguing.  I’ve been avoiding a whole lot of the comics news sites of late… for a multitude of reasons… so I don’t know if his purpose is already widely known in internet circles.  It made my ears perk up, and I look forward to where it’s going.  The only part of the scene I didn’t care for was Perry calling in A.R.G.U.S.  I hate to think that there’s an acronym group taking care of all the business in the DC Universe.  One of the reasons I’ve (for the most part) walked away from Marvel Comics several years back was their over-reliance on S.H.I.E.L.D.  It seriously got to the point where not a single Marvel issue would come out that did not have at least a passing reference to the organization.  I miss comics being full of colorful heroes, instead of monitor-filled darkened war rooms.

Not only do we see Superman relate to these characters… we see him do so for what may perhaps be the final time.  There’s a certain tentative melancholy to it… Hesitation… It’s as though we know the characters are saying goodbye… yet, they just can’t summon the words.  Everyone he’s met with during the “Final Days of…” story line has been informed of the situation surrounding Clark’s mortality… but, we haven’t had a “goodbye”.

I’ve said it before but, this is becoming a far more emotional arc than I had prepared myself for.  Ask me in 2012 and I’d have sworn I’d be dancing on this Superman’s grave.  With the likelihood of his passing becoming stronger with each passing week… I can’t help but feel kinda bad.  I thank and curse Peter J. Tomasi for finally making me care about this incarnation of the Man of Steel.  I am also completely psyched to see that he will be continuing on the Superman (vol.4) title in the post-Rebirth DC Universe.

Don’t just pick this issue up… grab the entire “The Final Days of Superman” story arc, and enjoy a wonderful story that finally made me care about the post-Flashpoint Superman.

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