Superman: Action Comics #997 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Brett Booth, Penciller; Norm Rapmund, Inker; Andrew Dalhouse, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: That escalated quickly
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: As Jurgens’ run rockets to its conclusion in Action Comics #1000, Superman: Action Comics #997 provides a no-holds-barred showdown on “Planet Zod” – the first of two showdowns with the Kryptonian supervillain in comics this week – as Booster and Superman find themselves up against the next generation of Zod. Lor-Zod, the son of Zod and now emperor of New Krypton, leads the charge alongside the Eradicator as he proves to be just as powerful as any Kryptonian. I do have to say, though, this showdown lacks some of the emotional heft it could have had if it wasn’t for retcons. In another timeline, Lor-Zod was Superman and Lois’ foster son for a brief time before he was sucked back to the Phantom Zone. That context, as Superman goes up against an enemy who would very much remind him of Jon, could have been extremely powerful. As it is, Lor-Zod is sort of a standard villain.
Brett Booth’s art is well-suited to this story, and there’s a real sense of tension throughout. However, the Booster/Superman story isn’t on the level of the b-plot, focusing on Lois Lane and her son. It’s great to see Lois back in the kind of story that she used to be known for – no-holds-barred reporting and adventuring, as she enters a hostile nation to get her father back. Unbeknownst to her, Jon is along for the ride, although he’s staying out of site – until an emergency forces him to reveal himself. He’s never met Sam Lane, who it’s clear has serious bad blood with his daughter and still doesn’t know about Jon’s powers. The way the issue ends, though, raises some interesting questions. Superman and Booster being annihilated by the Zod family, while Lois and her family are gunned down by Logamban rebels. Are we heading for some sort of time-travel retcon to clear the deck for Bendis? I’m intrigued.
Corrina: Nah, I figure Jon stopped all the bullets and they’re pretending to be dead. Or something like that. Jon is apparently very popular, so I don’t see how DC would write him out. Indeed, they’ve paid much more attention to developing him as a tentpole character than they have with Lois Lane. There is also too much story potential with Sam Lane as a supporting character in the Superman books to have him be dead either, especially given how Jon was interested in his other grandfather.
We’ll see. I could be wrong. (Who knows, Lois could be dead again for a while.) The presence of Booster seems to promise a reset of sorts but I’m hoping this will be solved without one. DC has been resetting the Superman Family far too much lately.
I, too, wished for a more interesting Lor-Zod than this somewhat one-note villain. I think the fun here is supposed to be the banter between Booster and Superman, however, and it definitely succeeds on that level.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.