Superman: Action Comics #998 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Will Conrad, Artist; Ivan Nunes, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Status Quo Again
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: The conclusion of Superman and Booster’s trip through time In Superman: Action Comics #998, (only a month before Batman and Booster have their own similar adventure) ends with an action-packed, emotional issue with a few surprising twists. The last issue saw the entire cast in grave danger, with Superman and Booster at the mercy of Zod, Ursa, and their deranged son Lor-Zod, while Lois, Jon, and Sam Lane were seemingly gunned down by Logamban rebels. On New Krypton, the heroes seem to be defeated, but they get a surprising assist – from the thought-destroyed Skeets, who has hacked an Eradicator android and is able to free them and turn the tide of the battle by hacking the minds of the Zod’s entire robot army. I do have to say I was a bit surprised and disappointed by the characterization of Lor-Zod here – the boy was Superman’s foster son in the old continuity, and here he’s completely devoid of any redeeming qualities, even willing to sacrifice his own father.
After Superman and Booster escape Zod’s planet, though, that’s where the issue really picks up. Despite needing to get out of this alternate future timeline, Superman convinces Booster to give him the chance to see Krypton explode up close and confirm Mr. Oz’s story. He manages to get his answer, seemingly confirming Jor-El as Mr. Oz, but it’s also a deeply traumatic experience that the issue manages to sell very well. But the biggest trauma is yet to some, as he returns to Earth to reunite with his family – only for Booster to find out that Lois and her father are dead, ambushed by the rebels who shot them fatally. Before Superman is able to get to Logamba and find out the truth, Booster is forced to make the fateful decision to break his ultimate time-travel rule, even if it could basically destroy his life. Jurgens is the defining Booster Gold writer, arguably even more so than he is for Superman, so it’s no surprise he shines in his guest appearance.
Corrina: The first section of the issue, which depicts Superman and Booster’s escape from the world of Zod with the creative use of Skeets is terrific and another reminder of how well Jurgens handles both characters. And that scene with Superman watching Krypton be destroyed, and Lara die, in particular, was brutal. I believe it’s meant to set up why it’s important Superman keep the family he had.
Which, of course, means that Superman needs to rescue Lois and her father. I had hoped that bit was a fake-out at the end of the last issue and Lois was using a trick up her sleeve to fool her pursuers. Instead, it was real, she screwed up, and they died until Booster fiddled with time a teeny bit to let Superman save them. Which is fine, I guess, but it’s yet another instance of Lois having to be rescued and a lost chance for a writer to show that she can be competent on her own. :sigh: Will Bendis handle Lois any better? I have no idea.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.