Superman: Action Comics #996 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Will Conrad, Artist; Ivan Nunes, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: It’s About Family
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Superman and Booster’s jump through time continues in Superman: Action Comics #996, as the series marches on towards the biggest anniversary issue in comic history. But after last issue’s drop-in on the 25th century and Booster’s family, this issue doesn’t quite deliver the same punch in the main narrative. Fortunately, it’s not the only narrative, and what would normally qualify as the “B-plot” winds up being the starring attraction for me. That would be Lois Lane’s search for her father, which takes her to the dangerous nation of Logamba. It seems she has a history there, complete with contacts, but the country’s become a lot more hostile and repressive since then. This is Lois at her best, acting like a reporter and an adventurer in a plot that has nothing to do with Superman. Jon doesn’t have all that much to do here, but Superboy sneaking around a foreign country is fun.
Then there’s Superman and Booster’s plot, which finds them in the future this time. But it’s very clear from the moment they arrive that this isn’t any future we’ve seen before – by the giant statue of Zod. We last saw the Kryptonian villain when he and his wife and son escaped from the Phantom Zone, and now it seems he’s successfully turned a new planet into New Krypton, which he rules with an iron fist. And there’s apparently been a war between Earth and New Krypton at some point. This plot plays out in another book this week, actually, but here it’s mostly Superman and Booster fighting Eradicators during this segment. Will Conrad, who did a lot of the work on Cyborg, is a good fit for this action-heavy issue, but overall the future segment falls flat compared to Lois’ story. I did like the twist involving the “Zod” at the end of the issue, though.
Corrina: Contrasting Lois’ mission to rescue her father with Superman’s mission to find out the truth about Jor-El and Krypton is a nice narrative symmetry, though given we’ve been time traveling for several issues, Superman’s search did meander a bit and while I like Booster Gold, he’s has become something of a co-starring character for this arc. Wth Action Comics #1,000th issue (with a companion coming as a special hardcover) coming up, it’s natural that it will feature Zod, Krypton and other parts of Clark’s heritage. I only hope we see some of Smallville and the Kents as well.
Lois has been given less screen time for her mission to rescue Sam Lane but it’s opened up every issue with the best parts being in this story. I’m a bit concerned that Jon might end up rescuing her, as Jurgens has written several times in the past, but I’m hoping this will turn out to be the Lois story I’ve been waiting for. While Ray noted Conrad’s work on the Eradicator robots, I thought he did nicely with the covert sequences for Lois’ story.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.