Action Comics 23.4
Special “Villains Month” Title: Metallo 1
Sholly Fisch, Steve Pugh
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
The final Action Comics tie-in to Villains Month and Forever Evil featured a villain I had long ago written off, especially with his less-than-stellar Grant Morrison appearances in the New 52. That’s right. Metallo. But let me say, that just like the Bizarro issue earlier on in the month, writer Sholly Fisch (joined this time by artist Steve Pugh) delivers a well-done Superman villain tale that simultaneously washes the bad taste out of our mouths as well as sets up a potentially great future for a character long-since forgotten. Or worse, disliked.
We are reminded that John Corben’s origin is tied to that of General Sam Lane and that he was originally created to (first and foremost) save his own life, but possibly more importantly, to end (if necessary) Superman’s. He is designated “Metal-Zero,” and before he goes rogue and tries to kill a bunch of people, he’s Lane’s golden boy. That doesn’t last very long (for those of you who remember his last appearance in the pages of Action Comics). So now he’s a bad guy and wants to kill Lane and anyone who gets in his way. There is a cool fight between Corben and his replacement, ending in the replacement’s noble and heroic death and Corben’s secret escape. But the biggest highlight of the issue was the Scarecrow cameo at the very end. Even though it’s only one page, there was something so absurdly creepy about it that just added the extra oomph to an already pretty good issue.
I’d advice saving the buck and buying the regular cover, but this is definitely not an issue to miss. Though I personally do not like the new character look, he seems to be relatively unchanged in terms of motivation. And I’m okay with that. It’s nice to see that writers aren’t just completely ignoring the Morrison run, however unpopular it may have been. It’s always easier to just ignore or flat-out disregard a previous story. It takes actual talent to acknowledge and redeem one. I’m glad to see that DC is moving toward the latter in most Superman books.
My Rating: 3/5