In Action Comics Lex Luthor outthinks Gorilla Grodd, but later events set up next issue’s much-heralded story with Death from Sandman appearing in the DC Universe. Of more significance (to my mind) is that the fill-in artist is Sean Chen, whose work I’ve enjoyed ever since he illustrated Kurt Busiek’s Iron Man series a decade ago. Unfortunately he hasn’t regularly drawn a comic since then, so we only see him for a few issues at a time.
The back-up story has gotten some advance press because it introduces Chloe Sullivan (from Smallville) into the DCU, as a rather grumpy ex-girlfriend of Jimmy Olsen. Jimmy’s now being portrayed as something of a slacker, compared to more successful members of his generation, and his friendship with Superman being a bit overblown. It’s rather the opposite of what Grant Morrison did with the character in All-Star Superman, and though I give Morrison a hard time these days, I much prefer his take on Olsen. So the story is actually rather depressing, and the sudden reverse at the end (in which Jimmy seems a bit more heroic, albeit contingent on him actually doing something) just makes it seem ridiculous on top of that. One wonders what the point of this exercise is – I’d rather see Cornell write a companion story to the lead, as I’m sure he’s got plenty of ideas in his head. But this Olson story is not really much fun, so why bother?