Based on how good Action Comics was last week, issue #983 is my most anticipated comic of the week. Can Superman stop a team of villains who were difficult to beat one on one? How are his wife and kid going to make it out of this one? The climactic last issue spills into this week’s!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“REVENGE” part one! A beaten and battered Superman can barely hold his own against the revenge squad of his greatest foes—but hope rushes from the horizon as the Superman family arrives!
Why does this book matter?
Dan Jurgens has been writing a great series so far with many twists and turns (including two Clark Kents!) that have made it a thrill ride. It has also slowly built up to some epic fight sequences. This issue is more of the same.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Viktor Bogdanovic draws this issue with a style that’s somewhat cartoony–particularly the faces–yet sharp and clean with its backgrounds and finer detail. This issue features a showdown between Superman and Zod, so it better look good, and it does. In one double page splash for instance, Bogdanovic showcases the Fortress of Solitude interior in epic fashion and lots of detail not unlike the usual Bat-cave shot. Along the top and bottom are panels of Zod easily taking out Superman or acting as a general between these villains. Bogdanovic draws Superman with a thick jaw at times as if he’s innocent and all good, which helps sell his character well. Zod is truly the centerpiece of this issue and Bogdanovic draws him in a strong and foreboding way.
Speaking of Zod, boy does Jurgens throw readers for a loop in this issue. With Cyborg Superman seemingly in charge, Zod shows he actually is a tactician when it comes to battle and utilizes Blanque’s mind powers to full effect. This issue is essentially Superman and his friends fighting against some of Superman’s most dangerous foes. The fact is, Superman is blind and Zod realizes that quickly, which shows with a slight edge Zod can be a victor. Jurgens gives each villain something to do–and someone to punch–and there are a few surprises and some great bits of banter. The issue ends in a surprising way that changes the game quite a bit and should have readers clamoring for the next issue.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Much of what Bogdanovic does is great, although faces can change dramatically between panels which is jarring. Take Cyborg Superman, who looks fantastic with all his metallic detail bleeding out of his skin, but in another panel the metal jaw looks like it’s just hinged to the skin in one place and way too simplistic. Superman’s face can look pudgy and wholesome in one panel and then in another skinny and strong.
Seeing as this is a fight issue, expect some of the same boneheaded moves heroes do so as to get the plot in the right place. Simply put, the heroes are defeated rather easily even though if this was their own book they’d probably easily fight them off. Jurgens needs the heroes to be down for the count so they do just that.
Is It Good?
A fight comic with a surprise ending and a masterful showing for Zod. Action Comics has been extremely entertaining for some time and this issue delivers.