Occasionally, on TV and in movies, 3-D is trotted out as a desperate gimmick to boost ratings or box office. For whatever reason, the effect is always disappointing; the last truly good 3-D seems to have been in Vincent Price’s 1953 classic “House of Wax.”
But the comics are another story, at least in the case of “Action Comics” #851. Here, in part four of writers Geoff Johns and Richard Donner’s “Last Son” story arc, 3-D is utilized with actual purpose and “ better yet “ truly works as it is intended: to fly off the page.
Superman learns he wasn’t the last son of the doomed planet Krypton; that would be another caped kid, Mon-El. The latter schools the former on the hows and whys while they traverse the Phantom Zone, the other dimension where intergalactic prisoners are held, and it is all these sequences in which 3-D is used. Readers can experience it via the cardboard “Phantom Zone Vision” glasses included.
When Superman gets out of the Zone, the comic reverts to the 2-D norm. With film director Donner as one of the writers, the issue continues to read like a continuation of his much-beloved “Superman: The Movie.” That’s a good thing for Superman fans, and his touch “ coupled with Andy Kubert’s vibrant art “ have made “Action Comics” something it hadn’t been for a while: a title worth reading.