Action Comics #826
Writer: Judd Winick
Pencils: Ian Churchill
Inks: Norm Rapmund
Colors: Beth Sotelo
Part one of the three part “Lightning Strikes” storyline guest starring Captain Marvel begins in Action Comics #826. Featuring a gorgeous cover by interior artist Ian Churchill, the issues shows promise for the art if nothing else. Luckily for the reader, there is a cryptic story featuring the return of Eclipso, who was last seen fleeing in JSA that accompanies the ravishing artwork.
With Eclipso on the loose, former body donor Bruce Gordon is in pursuit of the entity, hoping to reclaim him to gain a semblance of control. Unfortunately he has missed him time and time again on a global search. In the meantime, the wizard Shazam is warning Captain Marvel that things are coming which has been sealed in a fate he cannot change. Cryptic, huh? Making things weirder, a high profile rock singer kills himself on stage, and other seemingly happy people are causing havoc all over the city. As Lois is off on a scoop to interview the singer’s girlfriend, Clark must change into Superman and save the day. He isn’t prepared for what Eclipso has planned for him at the end of the issue, though. Things are certain to get much uglier before they get better in this three part story.
Writer Judd Winick has been all over the DCU this past year, so it is no surprise to have him on the Superman titles for a month. If I were to guess, I would say that this story will have repercussions on the “Infinite Crisis” that is going to change things forever this fall. As Winick was one of the contributors to the “DC Countdown” issue, and the fact that Captain Marvel is to be one of the main figures featured in the “Days of Vengeance” mini-series, it would greatly surprise me if this doesn’t figure into it.
The highpoint of the story for me was the take Winick has on Lois and Clark’s relationship. Lois takes a look at Clark’s sandwich and drinks out of his milk carton as a secure wife in a committed marriage would. She is blunt and to the point, but in an affectionate manner. I liked how Winick penned it and Churchill drew it, they captured it perfectly.
I really enjoyed Churchill’s art on this issue. Ably inked by longtime collaborator Norm Rapmund, Churchill’s art has gained a maturity to it. His background work has come a long way since the old days, and his characterization has stretched miles from its original state. I was thrilled with the artwork, and am glad he is doing the entire story arc.
Action Comics #826 was the start to a potentially good story. I am looking forward to picking up chapters two and three to get a better sense of where this is going, but I am sure that it isn’t going to be pretty. With the re-establishment of the villains in the DCU as bad assess, I am sure Eclipso is at the top of a list of hokey characters that will become insanely dangerous. I am looking forward to seeing that, and am hoping to see Captain Marvel and Superman in the same panel before this is through.