Action Comics #983
Superman typically fights the good fight alone in Action Comics, but when the Revenge Squad comes calling, he gets backup from his ‘family.’
Writer Dan Jurgens gets to cut loose with a full fledged War of the Supermen style conflict. One of my favorite aspects of this title is how Jurgens hardly skimps out on the action and constantly delivers super-powered slugfests.
With Steel, Cyborg Superman, The Eradicator and Kong Kenan standing in for Superboy, there’s a definite Reign of the Superman feel this issue. Add in Supergirl, Superwoman and even Lex Luthor battling General Zod, Blanque, Mongul and Metallo and there’s more than enough dance partners for everyone.
Within the pages of Superman and Action Comics, there hasn’t been much development of Superman’s ties to Steel. That stood out as Superman summed up his allies and didn’t have much to say about Steel. Hopefully that’s something Jurgens spends more time on in future issues.
The battles delivered fairly well although I got the sense Jurgens didn’t want to be too quick to declare winners in the respective fights. Even in this capsule format, Jurgens shows a strong comprehension of the characters’ voices. Superman and Zod’s showdown proves the most engaging as Superman desperately tries not to reveal his blindness while keeping Zod from learning about Lois and Jon.
Although I love his work on New Super-Man, artist Viktor Bogdanovic’s work is a little too cartoonish for this pivotal point in the arc. Bogdanovic’s style works great for more lighthearted stories, but some of his stylistic choices like Zod’s beard stand out for the wrong reasons. His art is also a major shift from Jack Herbert’s more realistic pencils from the previous two issues.
The Superman Family/Revenge Squad conflict was fun, but I was thrilled to see Jurgens has another layer to this arc beyond the team showdown. Action continues to be a vastly improved read for Superman fans.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10