Action Comics #986
Only Human wasn’t the most inspiring arc last issue and its second chapter shows that wasn’t a fluke.
The Machinist has controlled Lex Luthor into fighting Superman and writer Rob Williams brings little new to the confrontation.
Williams tries to spin this new side effect of a Mother Box turning humans into Darkseid. This seems more of an excuse to have Superman fighting ‘Darkseid.’ The dialogue reads off as well with Superman sounding like a cornball — a trait the Rebirth writers have worked hard to avoid. Luthor isn’t much better as he comes across like a generic overcome with power adversary. If Williams really felt the need to pit Superman and Luthor against each other there were more creative ways to do so with their new dynamic.
Smartly, Williams ends the fight early enough to work in some team-up moments. This interaction felt much better and Williams probably should have just made Only Human a team-up between the two ‘adversaries.’
Guillem March’s art is a bad fit for Superman. March tends to have his characters over emote. One page has Superman using a new power of super spittle and another panel has Luthor frantically clinging on to Superman while the dialogue has him gloating. March has done some solid work for DC, but his pencils and styles probably work best for street level characters instead of DC’s most powerful character.
The only reason regular readers might want to grab this is the final few pages, which has Mr. Oz confronting Luthor. It’s a fun appetizer for the big reveal and Mr. Oz-focused storyline starting next issue. Otherwise this is another lackluster chapter for Action Comics and readers can safely skip.
Rating: 4 out of 10