ACW #616 – Superman

Action Comics Weekly #616 (Superman)
“Dead Men Tell No Tales”
Writer – Roger Stern
Pencils – Curt Swan
Inks – Murphy Anderson
Letters – Bill Oakley
Colors – Petra Scotese
Editor – Mike Carlin

Since it’s Superman Day (aka. Notta Lotta to Talk Abouta Day) I figured I’d share the latest piece in my Action Comics Weekly collection.

If you’re a listener to the Chris is on Infinite Earths Podcast (every other Wednesday at chrisandreggie.com), you’ll know that I’ve been reading some Action Comics Weekly Letters Pages as part of my “Hot Takes” Segment.  Those earliest letters came from letterhacks and retailers who didn’t have to wait for ACW #601 to hit the stands.  Indeed, they actually received an advance photostat copy of #601!

Well, upon realizing that was a thing, I decided to scour the internet in hopes of finding more information, or at least a scan or two from it… annnnnd, I couldn’t find diddly squat.

Until!  I came across a dealer on Amazon who just so happened to have a copy for sale!  Bada-Bing, Bada-Boom… fifteen bucks (and a week) later, and it’s now in my hot little hands.

Below you can check out the cover, and the first four pages… including notes from both Senior Editor Bob Wayne and ACW Editor Mike Gold!

I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll do a “full” review of this… maybe using that wacky juxtapose vision like we did for Hardcover/Softcover Weekend last Fall.

Considering that this is Superman Day, that kinda assures me that even fewer people than usual are tuning in today… so, I’ll share these pics (and solicit ideas) again during our full-blown Action Comics Weekly #616 Discussion in a few days.

When last we left the Man of Steel, he had unwittingly killed a dude!  It was a dude with bad intentions, but a dude nonetheless.  Superman is incredulous, claiming that he barely pushed him at all.  A dubious claim to be sure, considering the velocity he smashed into the wall with.  The Doctors aren’t so sure… but, in any case, don’t hold it against him.

Superman engages in some X-Ray vision, which reveals a little doohickey lodged in the dead guy’s brain.  He assumes that when the heat got turned up, whoever this fella was working for decided to “shut him down”.  As he explains this theory to the doctors, the dead guy… explodes!

The Docs are shocked, wondering who could’ve done this.  Superman smirks (yes, really…) and assures them he’ll find out.

Well, stuff actually happens… which is more than we can say for most “chapters” of Superman.

Naturally, Superman is off-the-hook for murder… that was never really in doubt.  I do appreciate the doctors not holding it against him in the first place though.  It just illustrates the amount of trust they place in him… which, feels right to me.  I mean, even if the would-be smotherer did die… Superman was only trying to save Culpepper’s life.

The brain doo-dad is, well, unimaginative… but, it works for what it is.  I mean, what else could it have been?  The baddie going boom at the end also works… especially when we consider that the very same thing “happened” to Culpepper earlier on.

I think my only real complaint here would be… Superman’s odd smirk in the final panel.  I mean, this is a morbid scene, Superman really shouldn’t be smiling.

Overall, a step in the right direction for this serial… though, we’ve said that before!

Tomorrow: Roy makes a house-call.

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