A new story arc begins this week as Superman and Lois reflect on the close call of nearly losing their son to Mr. Mxyzptlk. No rest for the wicked though, as new threats loom. We dive in to answer the question, is it good?
Action Comics #977 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
“Superman Reborn Aftermath” part one! Following the epic struggle against [REDACTED], Superman examines his entire history—the birth of Jon, the marriage of Lois and Clark, their lives at the Daily Planet—to discover who tried to destroy his life. Who is waiting in the shadows? Who is Mr. Oz? All questions the Man of Steel cannot answer alone. It is time for him to unite the entire Superman-Family!
Why does this book matter?
Dan Jurgens is crafting a major epic for Superman–along with many other writers–as Mr. Oz looms over the DC Universe. The last story arc proved anything can happen even with Mr. Oz attempting to shift Superman’s life around; it’s a long game story that’s made this series all the more interesting. This issue seeds new developments for future stories, while also retelling Superman’s origin. A great place for new readers to start!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I’m not sure there’s been this much mystery in a Superman comic since the 90’s. This issue opens with Clark attempting to meet a deadline and quickly reminds us Lois and Clark are still reeling from the short term loss of their son. Due to the stress of that event, Superman goes to the Fortress of Solitude to reminisce a bit about his own childhood.
Intertwined with this main story, Jurgens starts to turn up the heat on a mysterious new threat who is attempting to empower two of Superman’s recurring villains. These short scenes do a lot to raise the stakes for future conflicts and should have long time fans interested due to who the powered up villains are.
The art by Ian Churchill is phenomenal with multiple pages worthy of a poster for your wall. The amount of detail he uses is incredible and there’s plenty of interesting angles thrown in for good measure. A mysterious villain who is new to Superman stories is particularly interesting to look at with a cool digital code look that’s reminiscent of The Matrix. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers!
Up, up, and away!
It can’t be perfect can it?
Longtime fans may be a bit bored reading this one (as I was) due to much of the issue recapping what happened on Krypton and how baby Superman reached Earth. There’s a reminder of why the entire race didn’t just build ships and fly away, but seeing these scenes as well as when Clark’s parents found him is nothing new. Maybe these scenes are being played out to remind us the Grant Morrison backstory is no longer Superman’s origin, but with 9 pages of origin story we all know and love you’ll be scratching your head as to why we need them at all.
Is It Good?
This is a fine issue that looks like a million bucks, develops some new impending threats, and recaps Superman’s origin in a visually stimulating way. Just don’t expect to get a lot new out of this issue with 9 pages devoted to an origin you already know.