Title: Action Comics, Issue #958
Author(s): Dan Jurgens
Artist(s): Patrick Zircher
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: June 22, 2016
Previously, pre-reboot Superman confronts New 52 Lex Luthor, who has declared himself the new Superman, and the confrontation naturally escalates into a fight after Luthor refused to take off the shield and stand down. However, this fight is, somewhat, short lived as another, bigger, and deadlier threat emerges, Doomsday. The two rivals have no choice but to put aside their differences for now and fight together. Throughout this fight, several spectators witness the Man of Steel and Luthor take on the behemoth and among them is this world’s Clark Kent, who has mysteriously returned.
Among the several questions raised from last issue include, who is the hooded figure that is watching pre-reboot Clark and his Family, how did Doomsday return, and how is this world’s Clark Kent alive. Throughout the comic, there isn’t much information given, which is good in order to keep audiences engaged this early in the story arc. The only bit of information given is that this universe’s Clark Kent has no recollection of ever dying or being a superhero. This might factor into a nice subplot where the world forgets Clark is Superman and could benefit pre-reboot Clark to some extent.
In the midst of all the action, writer Dan Jurgens is skillfully able to juggle all of these unanswered questions while entertaining with a great deal of action between Superman and Lex Luthor versus Doomsday. Readers will be enticed by these plot threads, enraptured by the enticing subplots laid out, the suspense of fighting off Doomsday, the ironic nature of Superman and Luthor working together to some degree, and the great deal of action.
However, even with suspenseful, well-paced action and with good dialogue, the story feels as if action is the only thing occurring throughout most of the comic. This is not noticeable after a first read through and readers might be more engaged by the action, art, and dialogue to notice, than the story. The story is a rather basic monster fighting issue, however, it’s not that much of a flaw as it is still early in the arc.
Seeing Superman and Lex Luthor work together is an entertaining sight, where Luthor questions the authenticity of this big-blue-Boy-Scout and Superman considering that he might have been wrong to quickly judge this world’s version of Luthor. However, while Superman does try to work with Luthor during the fight, it can still be seen that Kent still disapproves of Lex and prefers he stay out of the fight, especially when Clark says “this is a job for Superman.”
Lex’s tendency to compete for the spotlight is still very prevalent as he tries to defeat the Doomesday by himself. Readers can almost feel Luthor’s desire to be the center of attention and outshine Superman by his own actions in battle and even Luthor saving people still does not come off as genuine as seen by his dialogue.
Clark’s internal dialogue illustrates very nicely how scared he is facing a stronger version of the monster that once killed him in his own universe. This is made better when Lois states how scared she is for her husband, which makes it all the more suspenseful, especially when she turns off the news cast and appears to almost have a breakdown.
The art work is a more heavily shaded, but it is not so much of hindrance as the fight scene is during the day and the coloring does shine through. The heavy inking does decease as the comic progresses and when coupled with the coloring it creates a more of a helpful contrast from the background and characters.
Among the stand out moments in the comic are naturally the fight scenes, especially the panels where Superman is narrating how different this version of Doomsday and their fight becomes more intense and eventually takes to the sky. The art work is at its most intense when Luthor engages the abomination in the end but only to have Doomsday shred Luthor’s armor apart and soon ready to kill him. That image combined with mysterious spectator watching through surveillance, as if this was pure sport, is enough to evoke the kind of suspense for people to come back.
Superman and Lex may be fighting the same monster, but they, of course, are not a team due to their distaste for one another. None of the questions from the last issue are answered, however, at least some information was given and readers could enjoy as the comic juggles these mysteries while delivering satisfyingly, well-illustrated action. Perhaps next issue there will be more opportunities to shed more light on these subplots. Readers can still feel Lex’s egomania shine through, and they will find out whether or not Luthor’s arrogance will be his downfall. Although, despite entertaining action, the story does feel rather regulated to just action and very little plot progression, but is a minor flaw and the comic is still a decent read.
Two Supermen, one Doomsday
Super Action Peice
Lex and Superman have no choice, but to fight Doomsday, but they still do not trust one another. However, while Superman is willing to, somewhat, give Lex the benefit of the doubt, Lex’s ego still shines, and it may be the death of him. As the action goes on, several subplots occur and only some info is given, which still has enough to peek the reader’s interest, even with just a minimal amount of story occurring.
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