Title: Action Comics, Issue #959
Author: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Tyler Kirkham
Publisher: DC Comics
Genre: Action, Superhero
Release Date: July 13, 2016
The battle rages on as the abomination known as Doomsday does quick work of Lex Luthor and wreaks havoc on the city of Metropolis. While Superman may be intimidated by the monster, he refuses to let this creature continue its rampage and harm civilian lives. As the battle ensues and people run for safety, the mysteriously revived Clark Kent wishes to get his story, but endangers himself by getting too close to the fight.
It is hard to compliment the story when not much of it has moved forward. Admittedly, considering that this is a fight between Superman and Lex Luthor against Doomsday, this fight will not be finished so quickly. While the battle continues to escalate, the story would have been more fruitful if the readers were given answers to some of the previous questions. For instance: Where did Doomsday come from, who is the hooded man watching these events unfold, and how did the Clark Kent of this world return?
The story was not making much progress, but it doesn’t mean absolutely nothing happened. The only bit of new information that was given in this issue is that Clark Kent might know something from the small conversation with Superman earlier during the fight. This is an interesting piece of information, however, it does not advance the plot at all or bring any definitive answers.
Lois and Superman’s internal monologues and expressions do stress how worried they are by the possibility of Doomsday killing him again. Lois constantly recalling the last time Clark fought against Doomsday and Clark hoping to see his family. It does not seem too surprising that Superman’s death in the previous continuity still left some traumatic scares for both of them.
Like Lois and Clark’s visible concern that Lex and Superman’s back and forth is something carried over from the previous issue and was more entertaining apparently. Both of them do want to end the fight, but for different reasons. Lex wants to end the fight to make himself look good in the eyes of the people, however Clark is more concerned about the public’s safety. An example and stand out moment is when Superman even tells Lex to take care of the civilians, while he takes care of Doomsday.
It is really a nice thing to see Clark put an emphasis on the safety of the bystanders. Some writers forget that while Clark can hit the bad guys, he always tries to think of those who might get caught in the crossfire.
The artwork has exceptionally improved in this issue, with less shading and a better color pallet, which makes the character’s faces more visible as well as action pieces. While there were a certain amount of two pages that spreads and splash pages, the comic at least tries to make them more intricate and interesting instead of presenting a single image. One good example would be the use of Lois’s hair separating the panels which incorporate her memories of Superman’s previous battle with Doomsday, and, of course, his death. The art also paces the action well by not simply showcasing one powerful punch after another. Far too often, artists will have one powerful strike after another, instead of properly showing the actual momentum of the punch. In a few shots, readers can see Superman gear up before an attack, seeing both the wind up and then the attack during the fight.
The story is still moving at a snail’s pace, even with an entertaining and well illustrated action, however very little information is given with hardly any questions being answered. The inner monologues paint how everyone is worried, and when combined with the escalating action, it builds tension. As well it is entertaining to see Superman and Lex bounce off of one another.
Big on action and tension, but not on plot
Great fight, but questions go unanswered
If readers are looking for answers in regards to Doomsday, the hooded man watching the battle, or the suddenly resurrected of Clark Kent, then this issue is not the one. There is at least one bit of new information, but for the most part, this comic is still on the biggest action scene. The dialogue, internal monologues, everyone being visibly worried, and the art are what make it a decent read. If readers wish to see Superman take on Doomsday, but still concerned for human lives, then it is a plus as well.
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