REVIEW CORNER: Action Comics # 810

Action Comics # 810
Writer: Joe Kelly
Pencillers: Pascual Ferry, Kano, Dave Bullock, Duncan Rouleau & Renato Guedes
Inkers: Marlo Alquiza, Keith Champagne, Jorge Correa, Jaime Mendoza & Cam Smith
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: Comicraft
Cover Date: February 2004

For this week’s installment of Review Corner, I’ll take a look at Action Comics # 810, which is without a doubt, a heartwarming New Year’s story but also serves as the finale to Joe Kelly’s four-year tenure on Action and he really delivers big time with this story.
With Lois Lane spending time with Clark and their parents for New Year’s Eve, it gives Clark a chance to answer a couple of letters so he can perform some of the good deeds that were requested of him. As Superman, he helps a woman who’s about to give birth to helping a man propose to his fiancée as well as foiling a terrorist attack by a Neo-Nazi youth in Japan (A powerful segment that both Kelly and Duncan Rouleau delivered to perfection), to even doing a brief flyover for an ailing man who can pass away in peace, the whole idea for this concept came from Clark’s talk with his father, Jonathan Kent, who’s New Year ritual involved checking every room in the house for noise, either for fault windows or any damage which Clark takes to heart, mainly because he’s keeping the tradition alive by answers the letters he gets around that time.

What I’ve always loved about Joe Kelly’s Action run is that he’s very great at bringing out the down to earth aspects of Superman, as well as taking the whole element of him inspiring hope within people and really giving us such timeless stories, and this issue is no exception. The artwork, however, really shines as it features a group of artists who have collaborated with Kelly during his run and they all bring something unique to this issue, From the dynamics of Pascual Ferry’s art and the animated-like style of Kano & Duncan Rouleau to the Golden-Age style of Dave Bullock and Renato Guedes’ realistic style, this issue is a masterclass of wonderful artistic styles that will is better than having one artist do the interiors because the visuals here make this story more fluently as well as bringing the beautiful element of Kelly’s script to life.

I even enjoyed how Kelly brought his story full circle by doing a callback from his very first issue (Action Comics # 760) which really helped end his run on a fun note. While I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Eve (It’s rough getting over Christmas), I really liked every single bit of this issue, because instead of seeing Superman punch out the villain of the week (Which is always run to read), this issue of Action really showed us how much Superman means to people and the joy he brings when it comes to helping people. And while I do feel like Brian Michael Bendis may have missed the mark when it comes to giving the general audience timeless Superman stories during his time writing the Superman titles, at least we can say that Joe Kelly’s astonishing run on Action Comics will always be the gold standard when it comes to those type of stories.

Well, that’s it for me. I’ll be back next week with another review so thanks for sticking around and I will see you all next time.

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