“Action Comics” #30 wraps up the first big storyline from Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder, and the bad news is that the sense of wonder where anything can happen is seriously diminished. The good news, though, is that new villain Harrow is interesting enough that I want to see more, and the conclusion is still solid.
With the trip to the underground kingdom gone, it makes sense that “Action Comics” #30 feels a little more grounded. That’s not to say that it’s entirely rooted in reality, thanks to both the Ghost Solider abilities and Harrow’s powers over literal ghosts. But it’s still a story where there were truly wild and wonderful ideas presented for four issues, and this one misses that sheer fun craziness.
Fortunately, what Pak doesn’t bring in a wow factor, he makes up for with Harrow. She’s not only someone who believes strongly in her ideas, but she’s not a crazy megalomaniac. Instead, Pak spells out her reasons for attacking Superman very carefully, demonstrating that she’s someone who genuinely believes she’s doing the right thing. Not because she wants to rule the world, or because she hates Superman; this is a defensive idea on her part, one that she believes will help everyone. It’s a different tactic than we normally get, and one that makes her far more interesting as a character than someone just wanting to sink Iceland to the bottom of the ocean floor.
Bizarrely, even though it’s the one out of the ordinary part in the comic, it’s Harrow’s abilities over ghosts that slightly detracts from the rest of the issue. She’s so well written that she doesn’t need that additional edge. On the other hand, the images of all of the real ghosts rising up looks so amazing that in the end, I can’t complain too much.
Kuder is joined by Jed Doughtry and Karl Kershl this month, and while their three styles don’t mesh perfectly, all three are strong artists. Some pages are drawn in an angular style, others with a softer and rounder edge, but they all look good. When readers do get the money shots, like a warrior riding a mastodon towards Superman, it’s a moment worthy of a splash.
I’ll admit that I was a little worried when I heard that Doomsday was coming back (and that storyline is kicked off at the start of this issue), but if Pak and Kuder are involved, at this point I’m willing to feel a bit safer about the prospect. This has been a fun storyline overall, and I feel like “Action Comics” is in good hands.