Action Comics 23.1
Special “Villains Month” Title: Cyborg Superman 1
Michael Alan Nelson, Mike Hawthorne
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Why this is labeled as an Action Comics issue is beyond me, but for those who are curious, it’s actually a Supergirl tie-in. And say what you will about the various Superman books post-Flashpoint, but Supergirl is one of the few that has recently picked up quite a bit of steam. And whether or not you love or hate the new direction the series has taken these last few months, it has accomplished something that hasn’t been done for years: It’s getting a reaction. Supergirl herself is no longer a one dimensional obligatory female superhero character, but rather actually well-developed and realistically-portrayed. And her new main adversary, the New 52 Cyborg Superman, is one of the more interesting villains to appear since the reboot.
That being said, I’m not entirely sure if I even liked this incarnation of the Cyborg Superman before this, and I was even more conflicted when the title page listed Dan Jurgens as his creator, even though this is essentially a brand new and completely new interpretation of the character. But after this issue, I can say that I’m on board. It’s a well-crafted story and after being given enough time to get over my genuine shock in the pages of Supergirl when they revealed that it wasn’t Hank Henshaw, but rather, Kara’s long-believed-dead father, I’m proud to consider myself a fan. I also like the Brainiac cameo. He’s one of the few Superman villains they got right with the reboot. He’s just as creepy and evil as ever. And even though I was a huge fan of good old Hank Henshaw back in the day (and even in Johns’ run on Green Lantern), this new version just seems to be so much more complicated. He’s not a flat-out evil villain. He’s conflicted, has a past, and certainly will play a vital role in Kara (and most likely Superman’s) future. And I, for one, can’t wait to see what that role entails.
Overall, it’s not worth the extra dollar, but it’s still a decent enough issue. Save yourself a buck and get the regular cover if you’re a Supergirl reader of if you like Kryptonian flashback sequences. Or, if you’re not a fan of the current take on the Man of Steel, give it a try. It’s a far cry from Grant Morrison’s Action Comics run (which, in this case, is sadly a good thing) and it moves at a much faster pace than even the industry’s top talents (Jim Lee and Scott Snyder’s Superman Unchained is beautiful, but man oh man is it moving at a glacial pace). The title is misleading, but the product will not disappoint.
My Rating: 4/5