Comic Conversations: Superman, OMAC, Spider-Man and Thor!

Comic reviews for the week off 12/7/11! Action! Superheroes! Robots! Mole People! Cyborg Alligators! What more could anybody ask?


I've been reading comics for a long time now and in all that time, I've bought the majority of them from . When I first started buying comics on a weekly basis, they were still in their small location in Waterbury. It was there where I bought all those JLA collections written by Grant Morrison that are still among my very favorite comics.

Now they're in Middlebury and I still go every week to buy my comics.  While I bought 11 comics on Wednesday, I'm really only going to talk about four of them.

Action Comics #4

Feature story: "Superman and the Men of Steel" by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales

Backup story: "Hearts of Steel" by Sholly Fisch and Brad Walker

Grant Morrison has been my favorite comic book writer for years and his and Frank Quitely's "All Star Superman" is my favorite comic, so I was pretty excited to see him tackle a younger Superman when Action Comics started over again back in September.

As you can see on the cover, this is a Superman with a very different costume. Really, it isn't a costume at all.

Superman is the very first superhero, so the idea of mystery men dressing up in 'action suits' to fight crime is a new one so all Clark does is wear a T-shirt with the Superman crest on it and a cape which was the blanket he was wrapped in when sent to Earth as a baby.

Of all the new costume designs DC came out with this past September, this one is my favorite.

In the first issue of the new Action Comics, Superman was first seen attacking a corrupt businessman and then using the information he obtained about the dirty deals in Metropolis from Mr. Glenmorgan as Clark Kent while working for the Daily Star to write the story to expose this corruption. Meanwhile, the Metropolis police, the US military and Lex Luthor are all after Superman.

In this issue, the city of Metropolis is being attacked by the alien menace Braniac who has sent a computer virus into factories so they start building robots called 'Terminauts' which are stealing Earth artifacts while Braniac shrinks Metropolis and seals it in a bottle.

Superman also has to deal with military officer John Corben in the "Metal-Zero" suit, the "Ultimate Anti-Superman Weapon." The backup tells the story of Dr. John Henry Irons and his fight against Metal-Zero and how he becomes the steel-driving hero known as Steel.

I highly recommend Action Comics. It really lives up to the 'Action' moniker with a Superman who rarely slows down. Even if you've never been a big Superman fan, it's worth checking out to see a Superman just starting out. The first three issues are still around to pick up both physically and digitally.


"Offline Messaging, Annoying Circumstances" by Dan Didio and Keith Giffen

OMAC was created in the seventies by the King of Comics, Jack Kirby, while was working for DC. It didn't last long as a series but it is a concept that keeps coming back.

OMAC is an acronym for One Man Army Corps and the stories both now and then are just what you would expect from a name like that.

The new OMAC in Kevin Kho, a scientist working for Cadmus Laboratories, who is turned into the hulking OMAC against his will by the satellite called Brother Eye to further its agenda against Cadmus.

This series has been a lot of fun so far and this issue doesn't disappoint with Kevin on the run from cyborg alligators in the sewers.

Kevin's regular life is in shambles after being missing for a week while he was OMAC in other parts of the country so he goes down into the subways after work where Brother Eye can't get a signal near him.

So that's when the alligators show up. Some sub-plots with agents of Apokolips working at Cadmus moved forward a little which makes me pretty happy since that's part of another Kirby series from the seventies featuring the New Gods that I love.

Finally, the last page sets up a crossover with another one of my favorite new series from DC Comics, "Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE," with Frankenstein himself showing up on the last page to help Cadmus with its OMAC problem. So keep an eye out at your local comic book shop for two giant monsters fighting each other!

Spidey Review Double Feature!

The Amazing Spider-Man #675 "Great Heights Part Two: Partners in Crime" by Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli

Avenging Spider-Man #2 by Zeb Wella and Joe Madureira

Two Spider-Man comics in one day! Amazing Spider-Man is the second part of a story about the Vulture's new gang going on a crime spree in the city while Avenging Spider-Man has Spidey teaming up with the Red Hulk to rescue Mayor J. Jonah Jameson from Molans, a subterranean race that was in the midst of a civil war. Got all that?

Amazing Spider-Man has been really good under write Dan Slott since he took over about a year ago. This particular issue has Peter Parker working with Carlie Cooper, forensic scientist for the NYPD, who had recently broken up with him after she discovered he was keeping his other identity secret.

While Spider-Man succeeds in defeating Vulture's gang, as Pete, he has new trouble when his ex-girlfriends meet each other.

This is only the second issue of Avenging after it started last month and it's been pretty fun so far.

Of course, J. Jonah Jameson is one of my favorites and you probably remember him from the Spider-Man movies where he was portrayed perfectly by JK Simmons.

In this comic, the moloids believe he's the ruler of the overworld so they put giant spiky armor on him so he could fight for the surface. Then Spidey and Red Hulk show up.

Avenging only just started so it wouldn't take much to catch up now. It's pretty fun and I've liked Joe Madureira's art for some time now and he draws a great Spider-Man. The first few trades of Dan Slott's runon Amazing are out now and I think they're worth checking out.

Collected Edition of the Week:

"Thor The Mighty Avenger" Volumes 1 and 2 by Roger Lagridge and Chris Samnee

At some point in this past year you probably saw commercials or trailers for "Thor," which came out in May, or you may have even seen the movie.

"Thor The Mighty Avenger" was one of the many comic series that came out in advance of the movie. Sadly, it only lasted eight issues before being cancelled.

I picked it up when it originally came out because of Roger Langridge who had been doing a fantastic job writing and drawing "The Muppet Show" comic that used to come out from Boom Comics.

After these comics, Chris Samnee became one of my favorite illustrators, because of the expressive acting of the characters. I also love the one panel of Thor eating a plate full of hamburgers while watching TV.

The whole series was a great introduction to Thor through the eyes of Jane Foster who, in this version, is a museum curator and one of the first people to meet Thor when he is banished to Earth.

Through the series, Thor meets a bunch of other Marvel superheroes including Giant Man, Wasp, Captain Britain and Iron Man. There's also a clever Muppet cameo in the last two issues.

The entire series is collected in two digest sized books and each one also has a few issues of the original Stan Lee/Jack Kirby run on Thor from the early sixties. I just bought these myself recently to give my cousin for Christmas (I don't think he'll read this so I'm not worried about him finding out) because it was a very well done all ages superhero series and there really aren't enough of those out right now.

Next week: Atomic Robo! Batman! Batwoman! Frankenstein! Star Trek! And more!

Legends of Superheroes, where I buy the majority of my comics, is located in Middlebury, CT at 1655 Straits Turnpike. If you have any comic book related inquiries I would be glad to answer them. Either leave them as a comment or send them to me @BJDowd on Twitter.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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