The interface between comics and cinema continues in Action Comics, now co-written by Richard Donner in same the month as his new cut of Superman II debuts.
Superman’s post-IC reintroduction to the DC universe “One Year Later” in the 8-part “Up, Up, and Away” story by Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns was in effect an in-continuity reimagining of the Superman Returns plot: Superman returns to Metropolis after a long absence (one year instead of five) to thwart Lex Luthor’s discovery of Kryptonian technology resulting in giant crystals sprouting up through the Earth’s surface during which Superman is overexposed to Kryptonite and loses his powers culminating in a dramatic free-fall to earth, and while Superman is weakened Lex gets in a few punches (also evoking Superman #164, October 1963).
But the arc’s most explicit acknowledgment of the film series was its ending which for the first time since 1978 introduced Donner’s “crystal cathedral” style Fortress of Solitude into DCU continuity.
Now, with Richard Donner collaborating with his former assistant Geoff Johns, Action Comics is exploring another theme from Superman Returns: Superman as father. But rather than following Singer’s recapitulation of Superman’s Kryptonian relationship, with Kal-El succeeding Jor-El role as the genetic father of a boy adopted by human parents, Donner is letting Superman imitate his earthly father Jonathan Kent as the surrogate parent of an orphan boy evidently from Krypton.
However, I’m not reading the series (waiting for the trade) so I’ll have to direct you to Double Articulation for Jim Roeg’s analysis of the story’s imitation of the characteristics of film practice. But having flipped through a copy last week, I concur with his praise of Adam Kubert’s art which in my opinion overshadows his brother Andy’s current work on Batman.
Kubert’s Clark (shown above) takes a cue from Morrison and Frank Quitely’s interpretation over in his All Star title — hunched over, slightly dishevelled, hair mussed — reinforcing New Earth’s departure from John Byrne’s depiction of Metropolis Clark as confident and slick.
I just love Adam’s work on this and can’t wait till it’s collected.