There's really not much I can say here for an introduction... It's Superman! It's Lex Luthor! It's Grant Morrison! Let's get to it!
Action Comics #1:
Summary: First, some background. This ISN'T set in the modern day DCU, but the past, apparently 6 months from the time Clark Kent/Superman arrived in Metropolis. We get started with Supes torturing a corrupt business man/crime boss named Glenmorgan until the terrified man gives a full confession of his crimes... Now I'm no lawyer, but I don't think that confession is gonna hold up in a court of law... Anyway, the cops don't like this Superman guy doing their work(well, not the torturing, but the confronting criminals thing), and fire a few shots at him, but needless to say, no bullets can hurt Supes. With that, Supes runs away from the fuzz, with the law hot on his heels. From there we head to a secret army base in Metropolis where we meet General Lane and Lex Luthor. Lane doesn't like the idea of a “man” like Supes running around on American soil, and Lex suspects that Supes is an alien parasite, sent to destroy the Earth. Since they both have doubts about Supes, the army has hired Lex to capture Supes, and Lex has promised to get the job done by 8pm, which was a half an hour away. To that end, Lex has a wrecking ball sent to destroy a derelict building in Metropolis, even though there were some squatters living inside. Supes rushes over and stops the demolition of the building, and as he exits the building, he is immediately met by a pair of tanks. Supes uses the wrecking ball to destroy the first tank, but is blasted by the second tank, which puts Supes down. Before the tank can fire again, the squatters Supes saved earlier run in front of the tank and buy their savior the time needed to get away from the tanks. Supes manages to run/jump back to his little apartment(which reminded me of Peter Parker's apartment in Spider-Man 2), where he pays his landlady some back rent. From there, we head out to Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen(goddamn it!!! Jimmy Olsen is in the reboot but Wally West isn't?! Is there NO justice?!?!), and learn that they were on the trail of one of Glenmorgan's ex-enforcers on a train. Supes(as Clark) gets wind of this because his little love affair with that damned Jimmy Olsen has already started, and Supes somehow realizes that something was wrong... I'm still not quite sure how he knew, but whatever. Anyway, Glenmorgan's enforcer threatens the passengers with some guns, and Supes arrives on the scene to stop the train since the tracks had been blown up and the train was careening out of control. Long story short, Supes DOES manage to stop the train, but gets pinned between the train and a building in the process, leaving him helpless and ready to be captured, just as Lex Luthor had planned it.
Thoughts: This was an odd issue... There were parts I REALLY enjoyed, and others I didn't really get, which is par for the course when talking about a Grant Morrison written comic book... At it's heart, and in simplest terms, this comic was basically an edgier Superman trying to save the people of Metropolis while Lex Luthor tried to eradicate what he saw as an alien menace sent from the stars to destroy humanity. That's fine and good. However, there were a few things that did bug me... Right off the bat, the way Supes tortured Glenmorgan to get a confession out of him seemed wrong for Superman. Batman? Sure, I could see it. Apollo? Definitely. But Superman? The paragon of all that's good in the world? I just can't see him resorting to terrorizing somebody in order to get a confession. Like I said in the review, it's not like the cops/lawyers could even use a confession gained in such a manner. Another thing that bugged me here was the odd Spider-Man-ish feel this comic had. As I stated, the first thing I thought of when I read the scene where Supes met his landlady was Peter Parker and his landlord in the Spidey movies... In a lot of ways this was more like Spidey-lite than a Superman comic. Supes is misunderstood and hated by the cops, even though he's obviously a good guy. The only thing missing here was Perry White smoking a cigar screaming about what a menace Supes was! Anyway, back to the story. I enjoyed it overall, but there were some bits and pieces that left me cold. The scene with Lois, Jimmy and Glenmorgan's goon on the train was just off for me. One minute Supes is talking to Jimmy on his cell phone, the next he's talking to the editor at his newspaper(I think?), the next minute he suddenly realizes Jimmy and Lois were in terrible trouble and is off to stop the runaway train. Am I looking forward to the next issue? I guess so... But out of the three DC reboots I've read thus far, this one was the weakest of the bunch by far.
Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.On the plus side, Lex Luthor is still the same, awesome character he always was.