Action Comics 23.2
Special “Villains Month” Title: Zod 1
Greg Pak, Ken Lashley

Forever Evil Crossover

Spoiler alert! You have been warned!

 

The Action Comics tie-in accomplished something that I thought was impossible: It made me actually care about Zod. Sure, I liked him on Smallville. And he was a decent choice for a rebooted Superman movie franchise in Man of Steel. But I’ve never really bought him as a legitimate villain in the comic books. That is, until now. Greg Pak (with good artwork from Ken Lashley) is continuing to take the DCU by storm and my excitement grows with each and every issue that he pens the Man of Steel and his supporting cast.

The origin tale is nothing too spectacular, but it does the job that countless creators in decades past have failed to accomplish. Young Zod is sympathetic and even though he is ruthless as an adult, he is still, in his own way, very much justified in his actions. I’ve always enjoyed the “ends justify the means” type of bad guys, but they are few and far between in DC. That’s more of a Marvel thing, for the most part. But by introducing (or reintroducing, rather) a little tragedy into Zod’s origin, he is not only likeable, but scarier. After all, there’s nothing more threatening than a soldier who believes in his cause so ferociously. I was surprised at just how violent this flashback tale was, but after seeing Man of Steel in the theatres and soldiering through the current New 52 interpretation of Superman in the comic books these last few years, it really makes sense. We live in violent times, and it’s about time that Superman (and his villains) caught up.

Villains Month

I’d say it’s not worth the extra dollar for the fancy cover, so save the buck. But definitely pick up this issue if you’re reading Batman/Superman (also by Pak) or you’re planning on continuing to pick up Action Comics after Villains Month concludes. It’s leading directly into a new story and I for one am actually excited to see Kryptonian villains take on Kal-El in the New 52.

 

My Rating: 3/5