Cover to Cover: a short-winded spiel on humanism in Action Comics #870

Well, Wall Street is falling, and the Chicago Cubs and the White Sox are out of the play-offs.

Is there any reason to live anymore?

Oh wait! I know!

Action Comics #870
by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank

Okay, I know I pretty much ragged on last issue for being really formulaic and un-creative, but this issue just kicked so much butt.

There were so many perfect moments here, and even though they're based on some really old concepts (power of humanity, emotion, blahblahblah), those concepts are never going to get tired so long as you believe in mankind.

There's almost no need to review Action Comics #870; I just need to roll the clip:

1. The power of love: it's Lois's love that gives Superman the power to break free of Brainiac's constraints. It's not his Kryptonian strength that makes him strong; it's the concept that makes us all human, Superman included.

And shucks, don't that just beat all?

2. Superman as a role model: You don't really see this every day, but this is one of the ways that Superman should be used -- to give ourselves strength, as Supergirl shows us.

3. Learning: We don't learn by bottling ourselves up and reading, in a case parallel to Brainy's.

Learning is an active process: we need to ask questions, we need to discuss about it (whatever it is. . .), we need to go out there and interact with the world around us. We learn about the world by being a part of it, not by separating ourselves from it.

In conclusion: if you didn't get these in singles but are interested in it, get it in trade, since that's ultimately how the singles were written. I've pretty much given the whole darn thing anyways, but whatever. This issue individually was probably the best though, because the arc probably could've been written in three issues, compressing the first four and then ending with this one.

If you had anything to say about these that I didn't cover (<-- VERY likely), feel free to speak up! I guess that'd be an example of active learning!


***Cass said...

Wow....that's deep. And.....yeah. I don't read [i]ACtion[\i], but now you're making me want to go get it so I can sneak it into class on the grounds its educational.
High School is [i]so[\i] Lame.

Sea_of_Green said...

Hey, I used to sneak comic books into my high school textbooks and read them in class. AND when I grew up I became a book editor. Go figure. :-)

Kevin T. said...

Gee, thanks cassie! usually when people call me deep, it's 'cause I got myself stuck in the town well again.

But yeah, I guess a part of being able to say a lotta hokey jargon is reading, so I'll tell you what I shouted to that kid across the street today: "Read! Then do it again! Then do it some more!"
It helps to say even more hokey jargon about a comic if the writer is really darn good, and if it's about some concepts you really like, like the power of the individual in society or the sentience of fruit or somesuch.

You could also try Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. I read it maybe when I was 14, and I didn't understand a single thing, but it might help, because college is not a much more enlightening place than high school.

Yeah, you get free stuff in college, but high school was when I really got to learn who I am, and who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. That's the most important knowledge of all, and that'll be the drive for what you do in life.

Hope I didn't sound like a self-righteous douchebag. Now maybe I can get out of this well if I just wait for it to rain. . .

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