Action Comics #36

Written by Greg Pak
Drawn by Aaron Kuder
Colored by Wil Quintana
Published by DC Comics

PREVIOUSLY: Action Comics #35

This is the first chapter of HORRORVILLE. Things are getting wonky in Smallville. Lana Lang is having recurring nightmares about her dead parents rising from their graves as zombies. She’s shacked up with John Henry Irons and the two of them have been medically screening the townspeople to see if there’s any after-effects from Brianiac’s attack months ago. Then the local sheriff informs Lana that someone has dug up her parent’s graves and their bodies are missing. Naturally she freaks out about this, as it reminds her of her dream. John tries to call for help, but his phone and internet service has all suddenly cut out. And then a mysterious fog starts to come in.

We cut to Superman, still sporting that manly beard, flying to Smallville, because he had a “feeling.” When he gets there he sees that the entire city is now covered in fog. He can’t see it through. And when he tries to fly through it, it automatically teleports him 3 miles away. Meanwhile inside the fog, Lana suddenly sees her zombified parents speaking to her, saying they missed her. When she sees sees that the zombies are being manipulated by a human-sized slug-like monster with tentacles she totally freaks the f**k out (which is understandable under the circumstances). Superman finds a way to get through the fog (which he discovers is ALIVE) and inside Smallville in time to try to save Lana.

Will Superman defeat the monster? What will that do to Lana’s Zombie parents? Will Superman be able to get outside the fog and find what’s causes it. And why does it look like certain members of Smallville’s population have something to do with all this madness? NO SPOILERS! You’ll have to read it yourself.

But I will say that Pak infuses a suitably sinister tone throughout the story. From the opening fake-out of Lana’s nightmare, to the slow approach of the fog. And Kuder’s artwork captures the mood. I particularly like the way he draws the slug-monster that raises the zombies. That thing looks GROSS. The new version of The Toyman, a Japanese teenage scientific genius, also makes an appearance in this issue, as an ally of Superman’s trying to help him decipher the cause of the fog. And as I said last issue, I’m not sure about John’s status as a superhero in this continuity, but there’s a science here where he appears to be covered in liquid metal, so I guess he still some kind of powers, but they’re not on full display yet. Anyway I think Pak and Kuder have got this horror story off to a good start.

Action Comics #36

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