After seeing the 3D lenticular cover for Action Comics #23.2 Zod I decided to skip it, it did not offer as much 3D motion as the other issues available. But after reading the issue I wish that I had not turned down the opportunity to own one of the best comics that Villain Month has to offer.
Like Justice League #23.1, this story is also written by Greg Pak and it is backed up by some lovely visuals too. Pak manages to capture the essence of Zod within this one shot. He gives a true origin tale that will leave you quivering. As a young kid, The General was always different. Action Comics #23.2 opens with “My name is Zod. And I have always loved monsters.” Zod seems like your average kid. He does not understand why his parents have to dissect these monsters and why they fear the unknown. Then on an expedition he and his family encounter a similar alien threat. This encounter leads to the demise of his family. After a year in the jungle he is found, surviving against all odds with a makeshift bow and arrow. The look on his face shows that he might have actually enjoyed the year alone. He even takes the time to berate his rescuers, as he actually ended up rescuing them.
There have been lots of complaints about Ken Lashley’s art. Some say it is sloppy and looks as though it were drawn in haste, but it really creates an awesome looking Krypton. A Krypton lush will alien life. Pete Pantazis colours also really add to this issue. Action Comics #23.2 Zod exudes so much visual appeal for the eye that you just flow from one panel to the next. It really also re-enforces the darkness of the character. In this brightly coloured issue he still manages to instil fear into the reader with a mere glare. He and his lieutenants are drawn is such a way that they look powerful and domineering. Their uniforms clearly show that they are the warriors of Krypton and their actions surely back this up too. So expect oversized muscles and unrestrained violence being exacted on rather threatening looking life-forms.
Action Comics #23.2 gives you a great origin for an antagonist that all have come to know. Zod remains true to his character throughout this issue, even from his youth. He looks upon Kryptonians with disgust. He is the man that believes that there is no time for the weak and lazy, that it is about survival of the fittest. In his eyes Krypton has gone soft and only he can restore it to its former glory. It would seem that the reason he loves monsters is because he is one, and the conclusion to this issue makes all of the above apparent… in an extreme way!