Following its two-month Convergence event, DC Comics is making some significant changes to its characters and publishing lineup, giving established heroes fresh status quos and introducing 24 new series-starring characters like Bizarro, Midnighter, and the Omega Men (all of whom have first issues debuting this week). Assorted sneak previews released by DC last month revealed that Superman would be considerably depowered and have his secret identity exposed, and while that story still has yet to be told—it will be detailed in Superman #41, puzzlingly released at the end of the month instead of the start—the repercussions will be felt immediately in the pages of Action Comics.
Writer Greg Pak and artist Aaron Kuder have done remarkable things with Clark Kent and Superman in the pages of Action Comics, and this preview shows that they have some very interesting things in store for the future of both characters. The great thing about this new status quo is that it eliminates the line between Clark Kent and Superman while forcing the hero into the Clark role by getting rid of his powers, creating a dynamic that is far from the old secret identity relationship. Different is very, very good in a genre that operates in repetitive conventions, and after trying smaller-scale changes for Superman in the New 52, DC is going big with this new storyline for the Man of Steel.
Kuder’s evolution as an artist has been one of the most exciting things about this run, and this preview of Action Comics #41 spotlights the meticulous detail and animated characterizations that have made his art immensely engaging and lively. New colorists Tomeu Morey and Hi-Fi are joining Kuder this month, and these opening pages by Morey bring a softness to the art that works very well with Clark’s new grounded situation. This preview is light on action and heavy on hunkiness, but if readers want to see what the new Superman looks like in a fight, they can check out this 8-page Action Comics sneak preview, an atmospheric, monochromatic short story pitting the hero against shadow ninjas.