Superman: Action Comics #995 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Brett Booth, Penciller; Norm Rapmund, Inker; Andrew Dalhouse, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: Accepting the Past
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Superman and Booster Gold’s road trip makes its way to the future in Superman: Action Comics #995, as Brett Booth steps on art duties for the issue. While Booth usually isn’t one of my favorite artists, I feel like he’s well-suited to the fast-paced action segments of this issue, and his character work is stronger than usual. But the star of the issue is Jurgens, as he takes on a surprisingly character-driven narrative that brings with it some major developments for Booster. Superman and Booster aren’t on great terms at the moment, due to Booster being forced to pull Superman away from Krypton before he got the answers he sought to preserve the timeline. Now, they’re in Booster’s timeline, pursued by both a rogue Eradicator – and more dangerously, a ruthless local policeman who is determined to make sure Booster doesn’t get away from the timeline again. And Superman isn’t sure whether or not he should help his fellow hero.
We know the bones of Booster’s past – disgraced former sports star banned for betting on games, stole a suit from the museum where he worked as a janitor – but this issue fleshes out his story a lot, giving his con man father a bigger presence, and giving him a better motivation for betting on games. His father, once he and Booster are reunited in prison, proves to be one of the most despicable characters I’ve read in a while – he and Arthur Brown should meet up and have a drink while complaining about their heroic blonde kids. But the strength of the issue is in both Superman and Booster’s development, as Superman is forced to let go of his grief over the alternate past he lost, and Booster is able to rise above his less-than-savory beginnings. Although I was a bit surprised to see no mention of Booster’s sister, the issue has a great emotional capper before they’re thrown into yet another timeline. As the title marches towards 1000, it hasn’t been this good in a long time.
Corrina: I’ve been a bit disturbed that this arc of Superman: Action Comics makes no mention of the parents that raised Clark, Jonathan and Martha Kent, so it was good to finally hear that they were on Clark’s mind throughout this whole ordeal.
But this story is far more centered on Booster Gold and the choices he’s made to travel through time. He knows he’s viewed as a joke, a criminal, or worse but does the job simply because it needs to be done. It’s a more in-depth portrait of Booster than usual and it works nicely in concert with Superman’s own idealism.
But sometimes I wonder if this arc has been treading water a bit in order to have everything line up in Superman: Action Comics #1,000. I had hopes that I would be able to see glimmers of what’s being planned for the landmark issue but, so far, I’m not sure. Aside from trying to find Jor-El, and the mystery of who’s changing time–which is being handled in a crossover–it remains to be seen what will make it epic. For certain, it’s bound to be a super-sized issue.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.