ACW #623 – Superman

Action Comics Weekly #623 (Superman)
Writer – Roger Stern
Pencils – Curt Swan
Inks – Murphy Anderson
Letters – Bill Oakley
Colors – Tom Ziuko
Editor – Mike Carlin

Hey all!  Considering this is Superman Day… which means, more often than not, a shorter-than-usual blog post from yours truly… I figured I would share a recent milestone I reached in my Superman collection.

After twenty-something years, I have finally completed my “triangle number” library.  Floating in-and-out (though, mostly “out”) of Superman collecting during my youth, I missed a great deal of the triangle era.  It was one of those things I always wanted to collect, but when it cam to comics-buying, my meager lunch money didn’t allow me to veer too far out of the X-Men Universe.

I nearly celebrated this “milestone” several weeks back when I finally found an affordable copy of Superman: Emperor Joker (Triangle # 2000/38), which I had assumed was the last book I needed to complete the run.  It was only after doing some research that I realized I needed the Supermen of America one-shot (March, 1999).  I wasn’t even aware there was a SoA one-shot!  I knew about the six-issue miniseries that came out a year later… but, didn’t know anything had preceded it!  What’s worse, none of the comic shops in my town had a clue either!

And so, the hunt was on!  A couple weeks, and several hundred miles on my car later… and:

I finally found it… in, of all places, a 50-cent bin.  I love it when that happens!  The hunt is over… all three “triangle eras” are done and collected (the 90’s run/New Krypton/New-52: Last Days of Superman).  I’m left wondering what my next “hunt” will be.  I considered those 90’s Legion books that were “numbered”… buuuut, I dunno.  I’m just not that into the Legion.

Below you can see my complete checklist.  Darkened cells show where DC Comics misnumbered/skipped.  To my knowledge, this is complete.  If you see anything I missed, don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know!

Our strip opens with the Consortium… that group of baddies we’ve learned far too little about to this point.  Their gimmick is that they’re big into R & D… and they’ve made some technological breakthroughs.  The thing of it is, they see the arrival of Superman as a sign of the Apocalypse.  Alrighty then.

We get a shot of Superman on their giant monitor… and, hey… it’s just like the one on this week’s cover!  They run down the Man of Steel’s accolades, and discuss how what was once “hero worship” has now, for some, become full-blown theological worship.  The Consortium is certain that Superman isn’t the Messiah… but, the Anti-Christ.  Stands to reason they wanna wipe him off the planet.

Ya know what?  I enjoyed this one!

Over the past many weeks, I’ve complained about this strip… mostly framing my misgivings in the fact that so little happens.  That was probably a bit unfair, considering the minimal “real estate” Superman gets each and every week.  My other complaint was, irrespective of the amount of “action”… we also haven’t been getting all that much in the way of information.  We knew so little about what was going on, that even using my go-to descriptor of “nebulous” would’ve been too gracious.

Here, however, we’re starting to learn more about the motivations behind the Consortium’s actions… and, it’s a welcome thing.  Would I have preferred getting this information say… a dozen weeks ago?  Sure, but whattayagonnado?

If future installments of this strip continue to deliver even half as much exposition as this one, I think I might just stop dreading “Superman Day”.

Tomorrow: The Return of Hunter S. Thompson?

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