Action Comics #23.2 – Zod

I review Action Comics #23.2 – Zod, written by Greg Pak and published by DC Comics as part of their Villain’s Month.

ACTION COMICS #23.2 – ZOD

Action Comics #23.2

Story: Greg Pak | Art: Ken Lashey | Cover: Gene Ha | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $3.99 (3D) / $2.99 (2D)

General Zod storms into The New 52! Witness the origin of this genocidal maniac, and learn how far he will go to destroy those who oppose him! 

And so, the second week of Villain’s Month begins with Action Comics #23.2 – Zod. My first introduction to the character was through Man of Steel, and having never enjoyed Superman before that – aside from Andy Diggle’s brief Action Comics run (which only lasted one issue), and the Superman Unchained series that debuted shortly before the film’s release – I was looking forward to this one. Michael Shannon, whilst playing a somewhat stereotypical bad guy, played him well – delivering a capable nemesis for Superman to face and gained some many awesome moments in the film to boot.

So, coupled with the awesome cover, The Zod issue was always going to be a Villain’s Month book that I was going to buy, unless it was by somebody like Rob Liefield, Scott Lobdell or Ann Nocenti, whose works I avoid where possible.

The book, for the most part – is a one-shot flashback to before the destruction of Krypton. Differing in the format from most Villain’s Month issues in the fact that it doesn’t tie-in to the events ofForever Evil – there isn’t really any cliffhanger that we’ve seen in this issue and as my first introduction to Greg Pak’s writing, it’s a fairly solid one.

Ken Lashey’s art is pretty awesome as well, and I loved his take on General Zod. Gene Ha may be responsible for the awesome cover, but the interior artwork is still pretty impressive with Lashey well suited to the various Krypton-set scenes. The book serves as a nice little backstory for Zod showing us how he survived Krypton’s destruction, undergoing a slightly different approach to Man of Steel and it was welcoming that the issue didn’t feel like a direct copy of the events that took place in the film, with a fairly fun and entertaining twist.

The book portrays a strong, firm and interesting Zod that sets him up to be as a really badass opponent for Superman to face and I hope we see more of him soon, and that Pak brings Zod into his upcoming run on Action Comics, which based on the strength of this issue, I will probably be picking up depending on whether it’s a light week for new releases or not. I loved the monologue of the main character, and it’s always good to see that the Villain’s Month issues that I’ve read so far are actually putting the titular character in the spotlight, rather than just focusing on another character with a brief appearance of the featured villain. You want Zod, you’ll get Zod.

I enjoyed the take on Zod’s origin here and despite a few flaws, such as a fairly muddled plot, Action Comics #23.2 is a strong addition to Villain’s Month as a whole. Initially wary about this issue because of the negative reception of Pak’s previous work from fellow Founding Fields reviewer Shadowhawk, the book beat my rather low expectations and whilst it’s not a book of the week, it’s nonetheless a strong entry in a pretty solid week.

VERDICT: 4/5

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