This is the fourth part of the “Superman Reborn” storyline, where last issue it was revealed who the non-powered Clark Kent was. With Superman and Lois’ son finally back in their arms everything is peachy, right?
Action Comics #976 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
“SUPERMAN REBORN” finale! As this epic tale wraps up, Superman’s life is drastically changed…and that’s all we are saying for now—except that you won’t want to miss it!
Why does this book matter?
It seems like each week DC Comics is slightly revealing more when it comes to Mr. Oz and his scheming and this issue is no different. Mr. Mxyzptlk’s amazing powers have allowed us to peer inside the inner workings, but at the cost of Superman and Lois forgetting they are married and have a son! Let’s see if Dan Jurgens can take this one home.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
He is drawn in a very freaky way.
If you enjoyed the wacky abilities of Mr. Mxyzptlk in the last issue (and in Superman #19) you’ll dig this issue too. Mxy’s reality bending powers go to work which includes pumping him up to giant size in the most freakish of ways. Dan Jurgens writes a solid conclusion to the current threat which may use the “power of love” trope we’ve seen a thousand times, but it ties well into a scene with Mr. Oz later in the issue. The last few pages of the book are where the most interesting scenes take place, which suggest the role of this super family is going to be huge moving forward.
These last few pages include a fantastic double page spread from artist Doug Mahnke who encapsulates Superman, Lois, and their child’s history together very well. It’s a nice way to honor the character’s history and long time fans should appreciate its purpose. Mahnke draws a solid issue leading to these final pages too with a Mr. Mxyzptlk that’s downright freakish looking. You get the sense that although Mr. Mxyzptlk is a silly-looking character at first glance, he’s certainly a threat to be reckoned with.
This is giving me some “Where is my song” vibes from the show Lost.
It can’t be perfect can it?
If you read Superman #19 you’ll note nearly 17 pages of this comic were already told in that issue. Sure it’s slightly different, but it’s basically an extension of the same story complete with the power of love trope working in Superman’s favor. Again. It’s a bit of a shock considering in order to read this story in its entirety you’d have to read that issue, but I suppose people who only read Action Comics will appreciate this ending.
My only other gripe is the final page of this book. It closes out in a way that continues Mr. Oz’s vague way of speaking in order to keep us in the dark. Aside from his revelation he doesn’t add much and the cliffhanger doesn’t give the reader enough to really know or care what is coming next.
Is It Good?
This issue is good and probably better than Superman #19 overall, but that said if you have read that issue you’re going to feel some deja vu since most of this issue is a repeating of the same story beats. For what this issue is worth though, it’s an entertaining issue that delivers a key point about the future of the multiverse.