Midtown Bloggerinos! It’s Raph, here this week with a special Q&A with Paul Cornell, writer of Captain Britain & MI-13, Doctor Who and this week’s Action Comics 900! (Special Thanks to David Hyde and Austin Trunick!) This was a great opportunity for me, as I’ve been a Superman fan since I was about 3 and Christopher Reeve in his light blue Superman suit told Lois Lane (and a very young impressionable boy) that he was “a friend”, before soaring into the night sky. Superman was, and still is, my favorite  character. I’ve joked with a couple of friends and comic creators that I’ll be writing Action Comics #1000, but for now, let’s take a look at 900. There will be some minor spoilers, but I’ll try to keep it as sparse as possible for the benefit of those who don’t get to the book before this review.

Paul Cornell

Q&A with Paul Cornell

1. Action Comics has been one of the institutions of the comic book industry since 1938… How does it feel to write the lead on issue 900?

It’s a great honor, obviously. If I let myself worry about fitting into other people’s shoes I’d be quaking, so I have to keep reminding myself there are no shoes.

2. You’ve had a long run on Action involving Lex Luthor, and you’ve toured the “DC Villian-verse” so to speak, how’s it been like approaching such diverse baddies as Luthor, Vandal Savage and Gorilla Grodd?

Great fun. I gave my editors a shopping list of villains, and I was so pleased to get so many I was after. I do my best to introduce them anew, to help show off what a great range of villains DC has.

3. In issue 900, you know who returns, what’s next in store for yourself and Kal-El?

900 is both the end of Lex’s quest, and the start of Superman vs Doomsday, and it’s all one story. It’s very satisfying to give Lex a proper ending, and also end the issue on a huge cliffhanger.

4. As a writer myself, is there any advice you have for writing a centennial issue of Superman? (Having done Superman #700 AND Action Comics #900) I have every intention of being in Action Comics #1000!

Well, you’ve got less than a decade to do it! I’d say the challenge is the same as any other issue: surprises; crispness; humor; an ending.

Action Comics 900 Hughes

Cover by Adam Hughes

ACTION COMICS #900 REVIEW

This issue sees the wrapping up of Lex Luthor’s story involving the search for these mysterious Black Globes, which seem to be made up of Black Lantern energy. Lex’s quest has had him encounter the cream of DC’s villain crop: Grodd, Vandal Savage, the Joker… all of which has led to this moment: Lex seizes the power of the creature who created the orbs, and now has ultimate power… which of course means he’ll use it to finally “save humanity and bring it to a place that Superman never could”… right?

WRONG

… Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Lex and Superman engage in an encounter that is typical of Lex , as well as Kal-El. Lex wants to break down his enemy, to show him that he’s a cold alien who knows nothing of humanity, to show him how he is a force against humanity. Superman is none of these things. He may not cure cancer or resurrect the dead, but Superman is a symbol of truth, justice and hope. He’s there when all the chips are down, when no on else can stand up to a threat. It’s what I love about the character. It also makes it hard to have him in a knockdown, drag out fight. He still manages to get one in with Lex, pushing him aside from the spotlight in Action Comics, just in time for… REIGN OF DOOMSDAY! The ending involving Doomsday was mildly surprising, but the cliffhanger is the part that really hooked me.

Paul’s Action Comics run has been more of a wild madcap adventure with Lex, and now, I think we’re going to get a big action romp with Superman, his family and Doomsday. I’m looking forward to future editions of Action Comics… but I now only have about 8 years left to finish writing Action Comics #1000!

That’s all for this week, I hope you guys give Action Comics a shot, even if you’re not a Superman fan. He’s not the slickest, coolest character, but I’d pick him over just about anybody if I had to face down a universal threat… him and Darkhawk.

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