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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Infinite Crisis in the 5th Dimension
The stories from Superman - Action Comics issues #13-18 are all collected in Superman Action Comics Volume 3: At The End of Days HC (The New 52), Grant Morrison's final volume of Superman stories (this time round). It turns out that this entire run of stories are actually all interconnected, as that little man who has been popping up everywhere turns out to be the evil...
Published 10 months ago by Mr. Mice Guy

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars At the end of the run
The cover gives you a very good idea of what to expect from the book with bits and pieces that are clearly fragments making up a more-or-less coherent whole. That’s basically what reading the final volume of Grant Morrison’s Action Comics series feels like.

If you know anything about Grant Morrison, you’ll know he has a bit of a reputation for...
Published 8 months ago by Sam Quixote


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars At the end of the run, 16 April 2014
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Superman Action Comics Volume 3: At The End of Days HC (The New 52) (Hardcover)
The cover gives you a very good idea of what to expect from the book with bits and pieces that are clearly fragments making up a more-or-less coherent whole. That’s basically what reading the final volume of Grant Morrison’s Action Comics series feels like.

If you know anything about Grant Morrison, you’ll know he has a bit of a reputation for mixing in avant-garde, experimental storytelling techniques into his comics that continually divides readers – some hate being confused at all when reading and some enjoy the twists and turns. Arguably the most suitable characters in the DCU for Morrison to write are the 5th Dimension Imps, like Mister Mxyztplk, which is why Action Comics Vol 3: At the End of Days is one of the best suited mainstream Morrison books ever because it’s all about those characters - but it’s also why the book disappoints.

Simply: I don’t care about Mister Mxyztplk. I get that he’s an interesting oddball of a character who’s not your usual Superman villain in that he’s not super-strong with a plot likely to end with a dull beat-em-up fight scene, and that’s fine; but to put him and another imp, Vyndktvx, as, not just the main villains of this book, but the main reason behind everything in Morrison’s Action Comics run… it doesn’t feel epic, it feels very small and underwhelming. Basically this whole series is about a feud between the two imps and Superman is their battleground.

The way the book is structured is really smart but super frustrating to read. The 5th Dimension Imps distort reality so time no longer becomes linear, events that happened become undone, dead characters momentarily come back to life, and characters from other dimensions show up in our dimension – it’s a very disorienting experience and Morrison reflects Superman’s feelings of confusion in the book’s structure with panels and events skewing every which way, so the reader feels disoriented as well.

It’s typical of Morrison’s brilliance that he would take this creative and enormously imaginative approach – but it’s hell to read! I had to keep going back and re-reading pages just to figure out how we made it to certain scenes, even going back to the previous two volumes to see how the series as a whole synced up. Look – I love the creativity here but (and I know how dim and unadventurous this makes me sound in the face of Morrison’s genius) when I pick up a comic, I prefer to read a comic, not a piece of performance art and/or abstract art project that is disguised as a comic but is really something else. I appreciate the effort but it made the book very easy to put down.

Which isn’t to say the book is a wash – there’s lots of great stuff outside of the arty framework. The opening story of Superman going into the Phantom Zone to get back Krypto, his dog, was my favourite part of the book. I think Krypto’s a great character and gives Superman this relatable quality to readers everywhere as a pet owner, but it’s also a great Superman Halloween story with ghosts!

Sholly Fisch and Chris Sprouse deserve a big mention for their contributions to this series. They did the backups to these issues and I found myself enjoying Fisch’s stories more than Morrison’s, in part. I mean, Neil Derasse Tyson meets Superman in this book!!! This wonderful story sees Superman on his annual NASA visit to watch a planet 27 light years away – Krypton – before it exploded. The distance to Earth means the images we get from our satellites show it still there prior to explosion.

And, in keeping with the time-travel weirdness in this book, present-Clark goes back in time to the past for a brief chat with Jonathan Kent in a very sweet story. I wish Sprouse had drawn the whole book as I’m not a big fan of Rags Morales’ work which is just ok in this book – fine for what it is, but nothing exceptional, though seeing Lion-Head Superman and Ant-Head Superman was a funny surprise! I do miss t-shirt and jeans Superman from the first volume whose look was one of the highlights of this series.

I can’t fault Morrison’s ambitious, complex storytelling – I wish more writers were like Morrison, but then his unique talent is what makes him so darn special, right? – but I have to be honest as well and, while I see what he’s doing (and I’m probably missing a whole lot more too), it was so disjointed and manic so often that I had no problem setting the book down and picking up something else. I got through this, and it’s got a great ending, but for long stretches of the book I found myself not caring what was happening. I wouldn’t say I was bored because, if nothing else, Morrison is never boring, but I wasn’t as engaged as I usually am with his work with this book – still, it was an interesting finale to an uneven but above-average Superman series. 3.5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The End of Days, 11 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Superman Action Comics Volume 3: At The End of Days HC (The New 52) (Hardcover)
A lot of interesting ideas here like beings from the 5th dimension living as normal humans to hide from maniacs also from the 5th dimension, but it feels a little jumpy to me. I know this is part of the time and space bending nature of the plot but sometimes a character is around just long enough for you to get interested in them, then they're gone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Infinite Crisis in the 5th Dimension, 1 Feb 2014
By 
Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Superman Action Comics Volume 3: At The End of Days HC (The New 52) (Hardcover)
The stories from Superman - Action Comics issues #13-18 are all collected in Superman Action Comics Volume 3: At The End of Days HC (The New 52), Grant Morrison's final volume of Superman stories (this time round). It turns out that this entire run of stories are actually all interconnected, as that little man who has been popping up everywhere turns out to be the evil dictator of the 5th dimension - Vyndktvx - and he has been gathering an army of Superman's enemies for a showdown that takes place across history and space and time and whatever; and all because Mr Mxyzptlk got the girl and he didn't. It all starts off straightforwardly enough, with a villain escaping from the Phantom Zone, and imprisoning Superman in his place, where he meets the Phantom Stranger and the long lost Krypto... and goes on to take in the death of the Kents, the Legion of Super-Heroes changing the future, all those strange characters who have been popping up, fitting in that Legion story from the first volume, establishing the Doomsday event in continuity and even explaining how higher-dimensional objects can interact with lower-dimensional planes.

I have always found Mr Morrison's stories in the past to be big on ideas, concepts and archetypes, but poor at handling people and human-level stuff; this time out, he manages to handle the people stuff perfectly, while still juggling the big ideas and concepts without dropping them. This really is his masterpiece.

The backup short stories by Sholly Fisch are also reprinted here, and they are also superb.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Painful to read, a real chore of a job., 14 April 2014
By 
S Ablett "Orange Grunt" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Superman Action Comics Volume 3: At The End of Days HC (The New 52) (Hardcover)
I have a huge backlog of graphic novels to go through, but Superman use to be my favourite and so jumped to the head of the line. But im having a major problem liking the new 52 Supes and had almost given up hope before reading this book. I now officially hate this version of him and it will be a long, long time before I buy anything else.

As for the book. Well its a mess. Time shifting panels means in one panel he is in chains, in the next panel he is flying with his dog. And no explanation is given for how he got out the chains. It was confusing and a headache to read.

One of the reviews said it will take multiple reads to understand it all. Well that is never going to happen. I hated having to read it through the first time and I wont subject myself to that again, when there are so many other books I have to read.

Superman use to the best of the comics. But not a single story since this new incarnation has had a satisfactiory ending. Fights just end without a finish. The bad guy just runs away. There are no consequences for anybodies actions. Nodobdy ever dies. There is no emotional connection to any if the charcters and all the human side of Clark has been killed off (literally). He is so alien and unlikable now that going up against a fifth dimensional alien is just boring.

I miss the old Supes, but I was willing to give this new one a try. He failed miserably.
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