Thursday, June 25, 2015

Comics Rant: Action Comics #584

Action Comics #584
Written & Penciled By John Byrne
Inked By Dick Gioradano
Colors By Tom Ziuko

This was the point where Action Comics pretty much became the Superman team up book. John Byrne was also writing and penciling his title along with the new Superman title. Dude must have been on coke. That’s clearly the only way he could get two monthly comics done. Word is this is how Jack Kirby got his work done. Or he was a robot of some kind. That robot is probably still around to this day in secret. While still not getting his original pages back from Marvel. Giving the pages to inkers, cuz you know, nothing says like “We Care!” like giving the art to the guy who traced over it. Ah, I kid. Inkers are people, too. I think.

Wait, what the hell was I talking about? Only I could turn a rant about John Byrne’s Superman into a rant about Jack Kirby.
So this issue begins with Superman attacking Metropolis. Really? Someone attacking THAT city? Unheard of. I mean, Superman is doing some crazy damage and Cyborg just happens to be eating a hot dog and think “ Oh shit, yo! Supes done gone crazy.” Byrne has to add the jive talk. He can’t fight it. It’s just in his nature.

Superman vs. Cyborg goes as well as you think it would. Cyborg gets his ass kick. Oh and he also gets his leg pulled off. Thankfully,it was the one made of metal and not of flesh. Lucky Cyborg. Laugh out loud moment comes when Cyborg needs backup and finds a phone to dial the Teen Titans. Dude better not have called collect. Shit, man , the Teen Titans aren’t made out of money. So uhm, yeah, Wonder Girl and Beast Boy go to Cyborg’s aid. Beast Boy last about as long as a Mormon in a bar against the newly angry Man of Steel.

Wonder Girl holds her own. More Byrne scripting when Angry Superman wants to get down and dirty with Wonder Girl instead of killing her. But then some handicapped (crippled?) guy shows up and says that he’s the real Superman. Since he’s not a raving asshole, the Teen Titans are inclined to believe him. Jericho (of Teen Titans fame) shows up to lean a hand and he does. But using his mutant power to take control of the raging Superman. (In your Face, Prof.X!) Superman (in the handicapped body) says that he was lured to help out this scientist who invented a body swap machine and took Supes body from him. I’d make a homoerotic joke about tons of dudes wanting Superman’s body but I’m above all that. Oh wait, no I’m not. When Fake Superman and the Titan back at the Scientist home/lab, they all learn that the body switching machine is so easy a child could do it and they put Superman back in his right body. Superman then gets all preachy, (Like Ziggy, no less.) and tells his once again handicapped foe that he is back to being in a prison……of his own mind.

Fun little romp, even if it was a little bit too much on the nose, but hey, where Superman stories at one time were nothing about him hooking up with Mermaids and making Lois Lane his baby mama, this was light years ahead and brings his Science Fiction vibe that was so prominent on Byrne’s Fantastic Four run. I really did like this issue, just to see Superman break up building and just be an all around jerk. Kind of like Snyder’s Man of Steel movie. Yup. That’s where I’m leaving you guys, be back soon with more Superman in the 1980’s. You know, when the book was raking in cash.  Unlike now.

-Tash Moore

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