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Action Comics #979 Review

Lois and Clark are in need of a change; it’s getting dangerous where they live in the country and Metropolis is a good bet for where they might move. This issue delves into said move, with a surprising turn of events when it comes to Superman’s worst enemies banding together.

Action Comics #979
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Patch Zircher
Publisher: DC Comics

So what’s it about? The official summary reads:

“REVENGE” part one! Superman, Lois and Jon return to their lives in Metropolis while Eradicator, Cyborg Superman, Metallo and Mongul unite to destroy the Man of Steel!

Why does this book matter?

Though this is pegged part 1, this story has been developing over the last few issues as Eradicator has been working towards building a team of those who hate Superman most. That said, the team is finally coming together and are close to striking. Not good news for Supes!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Dan Jurgens is a great writer when it comes to misdirection. This issue opens with a major ploy as Superman is dying at the hands of Mongul and it’s not pretty. This ties well into where Mongul is and is a nice reminder Superman had the guy on lockdown until the villains banded together. The cleverness of the latest stories in Superman is how his villains typically work alone. If they work together there’s no way Superman can stand a chance, right? We’ll soon find out as a major villain of his takes on an old form and the power structure of the villains becomes more clear. The strength of this issue lies in how the villains interact but also work towards a common goal.

Not looking good for Superman.

There’s also a neat science fiction bauble of sorts introduced that reminds us Superman is tied to some incredible weapons and peculiarities. It ends up adding some tension to the issue as it can be used to change one thing about a person. Is Jon in trouble?! Find out here.

Lois and Clark also go house hunting. Okay, so that’s not the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s a nice reminder a married Superman has a much more ordinary lifestyle. It’s nice to see Jurgens putting in the time to remind us having a son requires a sort of strategy which they discuss in regards to moving.

Patch Zircher draws this one with great results if you’re into a high level of detail. The look is not unlike David Finch’s work, although Superman has a more classic look to him (which basically means the hair is classic!). Panels tend to have a good sense of position on the characters with well acted moments.

So this was unexpected.

It can’t be perfect can it?

I get that we need to see some family time for Superman, not only to set up the the potential loss of them for Superman but to continue to define him as a hero with a family, but do we need four pages of Lois and Clark talking about moving? It runs on a bit long. With this being the brunt of Superman’s actions in this issue you’re left with just the villains as entertainment with most of Superman’s other pages focused on him figuring out what was done.

Aside from that, the issue seems to think we don’t know Cyborg Superman is on the cover and instead teases his appearance. Seeing him on the cover reduces the effect of the surprise, though to Jurgens’ credit it’s still unexpected.

Is It Good?

As a kid growing up in the 90’s I can’t stress how awesome it is to see Cyborg Superman on the cover. As the villains plot and plan it’s becoming apparent Superman may have never faced such a threat. The buildup of their force is exciting and interesting in this issue.

Action Comics #979
Is It Good?
It's hard to deny how cool it is to see the villains banding together and plotting in this issue.
The villains portion steal the show
Character acting is tight and builds the villains up well
This issue has an interesting bauble that changes the game
Lois and Clark talk moving for way too long
Superman doesn't do a lot in this
The cover spoils a major reveal

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