ACTION COMICS 962 Review

Action Comics 962 Cover

Path of Doom: Conclusion

To say that I was excited for this story after reading Action Comics 957 would be an understatement. There were so many story hooks in that issue that I couldn’t wait to pick up Action Comics 958, which was another solid issue. Both those issues got you wondering about plot points like: Who is Clark Kent? Who released Doomsday? What is Oz up to? Who’s side is Super-Lex really on? Can Superman throw down with Doomsday and survive?

Throughout the six-part ‘Path of Doom’ storyline some of these questions got answered, but overall, I didn’t feel like a payoff occurred. Even though I feel like that, it’s not like this was a bad Doomsday story. Maybe a bit too long, but it’s got to be tough to write a Doomsday story.

Doomsday Superman Lois Wonder Woman and Jon

Issue Summary

In this issue, Doomsday is able to decimate Oz’s cronies and the device they were using to try and trap Doomsday (aka Ugly, aka Old-Mullet-Guy). This means that it is up to the Boy Scout to stop Rocky-Face. Supes throws everything he has at The-Boulder-That-Wears-Biking-Shorts, but nothing is stopping him. Lois and Jon are still safe in the Justice League satellite with Wonder Woman as they watch Supes getting the crap kicked out of him.

Diana decides to give Clark a hand because it looks like the guy who got bested by Muhammad Ali is about to fall to Doomsday. Luckily, Superman is able to lure Doomsday to his version of the Fortress of Solitude (remember this isn’t the New 52 Superman, so it isn’t the fort in the Arctic). While in the fort, Superman blasts Doomsday with a Phantom Zone ray-gun  which we think sends Doomy to the Phantom Zone, but nope, unbeknownst to Superman and Wonder Woman, Oz is able to trap Doomsday before going to the Phantom Zone.

The Rotten Rating

‘Path of Doom’ started out strong like Usain Bolt…

but then the story slowed down to a bit of a grind like Bolt in the club celebrating his 30th…

and then it ended like Usain giving you a passionate, but somewhat sloppy kiss.

Usain Bolt Make Out

ROTTEN BRAINS gives Action Comics 962…drum roll…3 out of 5 rotten brains.

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Action Comics 961 Review

Action Comics 961 Cover

Path of Doom, Part Five

I never thought Action Comics was ever going to be on my pull list again, but then DC Comics threw me a curve ball and put writer Dan Jurgens on the title. I couldn’t have been happier because this was the same writer that got me into Superman during the ‘90s. Dan’s story has been good so far even though the last issue was a bit of a hiccup (you can read why here). This issue got things back on track and added a bit more heart (something that had been missing in recent issues).

Interestingly, Action Comics 961 was drawn by Stephen Segovia, the third artist assigned to the series. I thought Stephen’s art was a lot closer to Patrick Zircher’ art style, which is a good thing because it gives the book a bit more consistency. Colorist Arif Prianto does a commendable job of keeping the color scheme that was established back in Action Comics 957. 

Issue Summary

Superman and Wonder Woman have a tough time of keeping Doomsday in check with Lois and Jon nearby. Doomsday was a total beast (no pun intended) in this issue as he warded off two of the most power heroes in the DC Universe. We get a touching moment between Superman and his family about how much he loves them before facing off against Doomsday alone – that’s what I love about Superman – the dude is willing to go against the monster that killed him in order to keep his family and humanity safe. In order to ensure the safty of Lois and Jon, Wonder Woman transported them to the Justice League satillite.

Action 961 Superman and Lois Kissing

Remember in my last article when I said the series needed to bring something new because things were starting to get a bit stale? Well, Dan did just that. It turns out the green cloaked guy has some kind of devise that, I think, has the capabilities to capture Doomsday. It will be interesting to see if Doomsday actually gets captured and for what purposes he is being capture.

ROTTING BRAINS gives Action Comics 961…3 1/2 out of 5 rotten brains.

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Action Comics 960 Review

Action Comics 960 Cover
Action Comics 960 Cover – Supes is Pissed

 

 “I Believe in Dan Jurgens, but we need some answers” 

The cracks are starting to show and I’m beginning to wonder how much story there is to be told regarding the return of Doomsday. I say that because the majority of this issue didn’t interject anything new into the overall storyline. It was nice to see Wonder Woman giving Supes a hand and the threat of Doomsday reaching Lois and Jon, but the issue had the same story beats as the previous three issues.

The ratings I gave the previous issues (#957, #958, and #959) were all positive. This being the fourth issue in the story, I wanted to see some kind of progression regarding the questions that were raised back in issue #957. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and we are left with a lot more questions than answers. We still don’t know who the green-cloaked guy is; what the deal is with the dude claiming to be Clark Kent; Lex is still pretending to be Super-Lex; and Superman and Doomsday are still throwing punches at each other – over 3,000 punches to be exact (read the story and you’ll see what I mean).

Issue Summary

All you really need to know about this issue is that Diana saves Clark Kent from getting pulverized by Doomsday; Jon ends up making too much “super” noise while watching his dad fight Doomsday on TV which results in Doomsday tracking down Jon and Lois; and the issue ends with Wonder Woman and Superman fighting Doomsday. Like I said, not a lot of meat in this issue.

I’m still not entirely sold on Tyler Kirkham’s art – it’s scratchy and has an anime look to it. Not that it’s bad art, but to me, the art is too much of a deviation from Patrick Zircher. Maybe I’m too old school, but I like my books to maintain a certain look to them. For example, I don’t want my issue of Spawn to look like it was drawn by someone from Pixar.

Wonder Woman Saves Clark Kent from Doomsday
Tyler Kirkham’s Interior Art in Action 960

Writer Dan Jurgens and company better give us some answers in the next issue, or else, or, else, nothing I guess. Even though this wasn’t my favorite issue, I’ll keep buying to see how everything plays out – I believe in Dan Jurgens.

ROTTING BRAINS gives Action Comics #960…drum roll…2 ½ out of 5 rotten brains.

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Action Comics #959 Reviewed

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First of all, the cover of this issue is stellar. Cover credit was given to Clay Mann & Sonia Oback with Dan Jurgens. It’s an amazing, amazing cover guys. Great work.

The last issue ended on a cliffhanger and it looked like Lex was going to get the beatdown of his life by Doomsday. Supes saves the day and continues his fight with Doomsday as Lex uses a mother-box in his suit to repair the damage done to it. While Big Blue and Ugly are going at it, Clark Kent falls and snaps his arm and cries out in pain…or so it appears.

Action 959 Clark Sanps Arm

Do I believe that Clark (whomever he is) really snap his arm? No. Have I become cynical after the whole 90s Reign of Supermen where I believed at least one of them was who they said they were? YES. Fool me once…shame on you. Fool me twice…shame on me.

Let’s take a closer look at this alleged arm snapping. In the picture above it’s his left arm that gets snapped. Clark thinks he broke it and continues to hold it…it being his left arm.

Action Comics 959 broken arm

BUT…shortly after getting rescued from the sewers by Lex, Clark presses his left arm/hand against Lex to drive his point home that he is only Clark Kent, not Superman. If his arm was all busted up I don’t think he would do such a thing. Lex even looks at him oddly, maybe it’s because of what Clark said, or it could be because Lex noticed something was not right. Ah, HA! No broken arm…or so I’m guessing.

Action COmics 959 no broken arm

The issue ends with a huge explosion where Superman and Doomsday were fighting because of a gas line getting ruptured. Doomsday emerges and locks on to Clark as his next victim. Last issue it was Lex in Doomsday’s crosshairs, this time it’s Clark.

DC’s Rebirth is really doing well because it looks like the characters are getting back to what made them special. The only thing now is – how will fans respond to the change in creative teams in order to keep up with the monthly shipping? This issue was drawn by Tyler Kirkham and colored by Arif Prianto two new individuals who had not worked on the previous two issues. There is a noticeable difference in the look of this book compared to the last.Tyler has a more anime look to his art than did Patrick Zircher. If there is a creative team shift, I’d like to see DC select teams that are similar.

ROTTING BRAINS gives Action Comics #959…drum roll…3 out of 5 rotten brains.

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Action Comics #958 Reviewed

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Action Comics has quickly risen to the top of my read pile. I haven’t been this excited to read a Superman story in a very long time. What makes Action Comics stick out is that writer Dan Jurgens is packing each issue with so much mystery that you can’t wait to get your grubby hands on the next issue to see what’s…what. If you haven’t read Action Comics #957 stop everything that your doing right now (I don’t care if you are performing brain surgery) and go grab it, and this issue too, because Dan is weaving a great story that rivals some of his 90s Superman work.

The story in this issue gets ramped up because pre-Flashpoint Superman (who was killed by Doomsday before) is face-to-face with him again. This time around though Superman has the help of robotic-Superman looking Lex Luther. Surprisingly, SuperLex is coming across as a good guy as each issue progresses. The majority of this issue is a throw down between Superman (with the help of Lex) and Doomsday.

“In this corner, weighing in at 6,000 pounds, from underground, theeeeee Superman Slayer, DOOOOOMSDAY!”

Doomsday Zircher

“In the other corner, a farm-boy from the heart of Kansas, who has beaten the unbeatable villain known as DEATH, SUUUUUUPERMANNNNNN!”

Superman Zircher

Peppered throughout this issue is the strong relationship that Jon has with his dad and mom. In the last issue, we saw that Clark and Lois have taken the roles of Jonathan and Martha (MARTHA, why did you say that name?) Kent.

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They have been raising Jon with as much love and direction as possible, but Jon is still dealing with the learning curve of when to use his powers or not. At one point, Jon, knowing that he has powers that can help his dad, looks like he’s about to fly off to help his dad.

At the end of the issue, Lex looks like he’s about to get crushed by Doomsday, watching on is that mystery figure from the last issue (Ozymandias?), and who Clark Kent really is…is still a mystery.

Patrick Zircher is still bringing his A game to this issue. I wish we would have gotten more than one splash page from him in this issue though because that’s where his work really shines. This issue is colored by Ulises Arreola and although not the same person who colored the last issue, I did not even notice. So, thumbs up to Ulises for keeping the look of the book in continuity.

ROTTING BRAINS gives Action Comics #958…drum roll…4 ½ out of 5 rotten brains.

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Action Comics #957 Reviewed

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Remember that time when Superman eerily peered into the house of Lois Lane using his x-ray vision in Superman Returns?

Remember slouching in your seat as the cringe-o-meter in your head started to go off while watching that scene? Ah yes, good times for sure. What does any of that have to do with Action Comic #957 you ask? Well, you see there are good ways of writing Superman, and there are bad ways of writing Superman. I prefer the good ways – the traditional ways.

After reading this issue I can say that Dan Jurgens knows how to write the Big Blue Dude. It doesn’t hurt that Dan’s story is being drawn by the amazingly talented Patrick Zircher, and colored by Tomeu Morey. From start to finish, the book showcased the talent of everyone involved. By far, it was one of the best Superman comics I have read in a long, long time. Action Comics is back on my pull list.

In this issue, Lex Luther tries to replace Superman as the protector of Metropolis due to the death of New 52 Supes (see Superman #52). What’s cool is that Lex is all suited up in some kind of robotic-Superman looking getup. He looks badass, and interestingly he’s wearing dead Superman’s cape.

AC_957_04_color

After appearing to prevent a robbery (I say appearing because I’m suspicious that Lex didn’t have anything to do with it), the media swarms armored Lex who declares himself the new Superman. Let’s pause here for a moment. In order to understand what happens next I need to let you know that Pre-Flashpoint Superman from the world before the New 52 universe (the Superman that died at the hands of Doomsday and came back with a mullet) at some point in time came into the New 52 universe. He and Lois Lane have a son named Jon, and they have been hiding in the New 52 so that they don’t disturb the time-stream-continuum or for some kind of Back to the Future ethical reason.

Seeing the positive media attention Lex was getting, Superman changes his mind and decides to reveal himself…as Superman in front of Lex and the media. In doing so, a battle between Lex and Supes erupts. All the while, Lois and Jon are watching it unfold on television. By the end of the book we come to find out that the robbery was staged (possibly by some unknown person using mind-control) in order for the body of Doomsday to be stolen from a facility.

Layered throughout this story is the fact that Mr. OZ (from DC Universe Rebirth) is watching this all occur from a bunch of TV monitors. Now we know, after reading DC Universe Rebirth, that The Watchmen universe has somehow become a part of the New 52 Universe. Who else have we seen watching a lot of TV monitors before…that’s right Ozymandias.

Mr. OZ
Mr. OZ
ozymandias-televisions
Ozymandias from Watchmen

Could it be him? Time will tell I guess.

By the end of the issue, Doomsday is ready to do battle with Lex and Superman, and Clark Kent shows up out of nowhere. Dan kept dropping bombs of mystery all throughout this issue because in a prior issue of Action Comics Lois told the world that Superman was Clark Kent. So how the hell can Kent be alive if he’s dead? I have no idea, but I want to find out.

ROTTING BRAINS gives Action Comics #957…drum roll…5 out of 5 rotten brains.

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