Action Comic #957 resumes Superman vs. Luthor feud
Action Comics #957 certainly lived up to its name ushering in Superman’s new era with excitement, mysteries and a good old school Superman vs. Lex Luthor battle.
With the New 52 Superman dead a void has been created. Seizing one final opportunity to show up his rival, Lex Luthor steps up. Clad in a power suit and cape reminiscent of his foe, Luthor declares himself Metropolis’ protector.
That doesn’t sit well at all with the pre-52 Superman. The death of this world’s Superman hadn’t pushed him to revealing himself, but Luthor posing as a hero? More than enough incentive to show the world a true Man of Steel.
Along with Superman shocking the world with his arrival, a long thought dead character also resurfaces, raising all sorts of questions. And that’s even before the first big villain arrives wanting a shot at both Superman and Luthor.
Longtime Superman writer Dan Jurgens (Death of Superman) was a smart choice to helm Superman’s new adventures. He’s got extensive history with the character and doesn’t have to waste time conceiving a new take on Superman.
There’s no avoiding that sense of déjà vu with Luthor taking a page out of Norman Osborn’s playbook. After Secret Invasion, the former Green Goblin dubbed himself Iron Patriot and leader of the New Avengers.
While some story elements are similar, Jurgens takes a different and arguably more intriguing approach. Namely exploring the possibility that Luthor actually has changed for the better. Having Superman being the distrustful one waiting for Luthor to drop his façade is a clever twist on the familiar dynamic.
The only minor complaint was Lois Lane being stuck as the stay at home parent advising their son Jonathan. That won’t remain the case as Lois is going to become Superwoman. Hopefully Jurgens does more with Lois than having her be the happy homemaker of the Kent household.
Patrick Zircher’s artwork isn’t as flashy or dynamic as some of his contemporaries, but he’s a strong storyteller. Zircher has more of a throwback flair that would work in any era and is a natural complement to Jurgens’ writing style. And bonus: Zircher actually makes Jon look like a child instead of a tiny adult.
Like Detective Comics, Action Comics resumed its original numbering. If the quality continues at this level, I’ll happily be picking up issue on the countdown to #1000.