Action Comics #958 review

We've had a lot of Doomsday over the last few years, and he's long since worn out his welcome. So having him show up at the end of the last issue's Action Comics had me nervy. He's a big old monster who exists only to bash people to death - not very interesting, and I'd have been delighted if he'd vanished for ever after his initial appearance in the Death of Superman story. 

Superman has similar feelings - he can't believe that having relocated to a parallel Earth, a Doomsday, maybe his Doomsday, has shown up in Metropolis. And just when he was trying to sort out Lex Luthor, self-declared heir to the mantle of this universe's recently killed native Superman. 
Watching from a distance are Superman's wife Lois and son Jon, via TV, and the mysterious Mr Oz, via Secret Headquarters TV, while reporting on the carnage in the centre of the city are photographer Jimmy Olsen and writer... Clark Kent?

I've never been a fan of all-out, slam-bang, bad old battle issues, they tend to be repetitive and light on the character moments. That seminal Death of Superman story back in the Nineties was the ultimate example, interesting as an event but hardly a rich experience. 

The writer of that book was Dan Jurgens who, a couple of decades on, handles this issue too. Beautifully. I can't remember enjoying a non-stop fight quite so much. The efforts of Superman and a surprisingly decent Lex to stop Doomsday while keeping the citizenry safe add up to a more than solid A-plot, while the supporting moments involving Lois, Jon and co are plenty entertaining. And just what is the deal with this new Clark Kent? Hopefully Lois will leave Jon with a qualified babysitter - that's anyone this side of the Robot Teacher From Krypton - long enough to use her investigative skills to find out. 
Jurgens once again demonstrates that being a veteran doesn't mean you can't deliver a fresh script, while Patrick Zircher's art simply gets better. The choice of angles, the dynamism of the fight choreography, the humanity of the players... Zircher's A-game has gone A-plus. 

Artistic partners Ulises Arreola on colours and Rob Leigh on letters keep the quality high, while Mikel Janín's regular cover is attractive... as for Ryan Sook's variant, it's stunning. 
The DC Reborn Action Comics is shaping up to be an unmissable series, a fortnightly treat. Even with Doomsday. 

Comments

  1. Absolute agreement, from Doomsy to Zirchir. Loving this book so far.

    Got into an interesting discussion on a Facebook group recently, and one fellow saw Luthor as not just a good guy in his own mind, but as someone who WOULD do good if not for Superman. Interesting perspective, and it feels right here, certainly.

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    1. I think he IS the hero of the story in his own mind, but that it's Superman's presence which has him actively doing good things; otherwise he'd just be swimming in his money.

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  2. Glad to hear such high praise for what could have been a predictable even if enjoyable fight comic, this chemistry of story and art sounds like a superb match. Makes me glad to be reading Action Comics right now. Can't wait for my subscription to arrive from Forbidden Planet.

    Louis

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    1. I hope it arrives soon, I've never had a subs box, do they post fortnightly?

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    2. Monthly actually.

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    3. It must be pretty exciting the day the box arrives!

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  3. In the solicits Superman interested me lots and Action Comics not a bit. I'm glad I decided to sample Action because it turns out this book is miles ahead of Superman in every way you can use to measure quality.

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    1. I hope that Patrick Zircher finally gets the credit he deserves for his craft, he's a huge part of this book's success.

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  4. Loving this book. There is something both classic and fresh here. In this issue we got big fights, quiet character moments, humor, and mysteries. It had it all.

    And Zircher's stuff is inspired.

    Love it!

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    1. It really is, let's hope this creative team sticks around.

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  5. Solid issue. Surprisingly so. Let's hope it stays that way.

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  6. The art is soooo goooood! This book, as everyone is sayiing, really brings out such a solid clssic Superman but fresh all the same. I haven't been a fan of Luthor for some time but I really like him here. I like "Super-Lex," and I'd love to have an action figure of him. But yeah, I haven't consistently bought "Action" in years, but as long as Classic but New Supes is around and with engaging story-telling and beautiful art like this, I will be.

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    1. It's nice to feel OK about quite liking Lex again, I don't think I've felt that way since Bronze Age Lexor tales. Mind, I'm not impressed by the new version of Ardora.

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