Action Comics #971 review

Superman is convinced. L'Call the Godslayer and partner Zade have shown the Man of Steel visions of a future in which Lex Luthor is the new Darkseid. He agrees that Lex must die, that millions might live. He agrees to deliver the killing blow if they hand him the ceremonial sword. 
I think we all saw that coming, after all, we know Superman a lot better than the alien assassins. He did once execute three Kryptonian super-criminals, but they had slaughtered one universe and were threatening to devastate Superman's. He believed he had no choice. And the act weighed so heavily on him that he had a personality fracture. So he isn't going to condemn Lex for crimes he's not actually committed. But L'Call and Zade don't know this, giving him and Luthor the chance to flee via Mother Box. Unfortunately, L'Call throws a spanner in the works, causing them not to appear on Earth, but on a red sun world. There, tensions come to a head. 
That rang a bell...
Soon though, Superman and Lex are talking. While he wouldn't allow Lex to be slain for things he might do, Superman still doesn't trust this man, having known a doppelgänger Lex who was a total stinker. This Lex insists that if he was bad, he's better now. 
And, Lord help me, I'm starting to believe him. That's how good a writer Dan Jurgens is; he's lived with Superman, Lex, Lois and friends for decades, knows them back to front, yet somehow, in his hands, they always feel fresh. 

And speaking of Lois, she spends the Issue with son Jon, taking him to the Metropolis apartment of New 52 Lois. 
This looks like a set up for the ever-irascible General Lane to appear. Now that's intriguing, I assumed that so long as Lois was impersonating her alternate Earth self, Jurgens would keep dad Sam Lane out of the book. You can fool co-workers but 'your' own father? 

And Jon, as ever, is a delight - Lois and Clark worried so much about revealing his heritage and he's cool as a half-Kryptonian cucumber. 
Stephen Segovia is this issue's penciller of rote, and artist of note - he's bloody good, capturing all the drama, all the emotion of this latest chapter. And he must be thrilled to have an inker with the experience and talent of Art Thibert, who always ensures a sharp finish. I especially like the red sun planet on which the protagonists land, so evocatively coloured by Arif Prianto.  
Gary Frank once again offers a gorgeous variant cover image, coloured by Brad Andersen, while Segovia, Thibert and house of hues Hi-Fi put power behind the mass market choice. 
If you're a fan of Superman, you're likely already buying this fantastic series. If you are, and you're not, why not? 


  1. Lex Luthor as a hero just isn't working for me. We all know he's dirty, but some readers are so bored that they want to see him have a "Hero's Journey" and become good, a la Venom or Norman Osborn. No, I say. No!

    1. I think this is just a temporary deal, once this Spring's big Superman event is over he'll likely be back on the totally opposite side to Superman, where he belongs. I love Hector's insight, below.

    2. I'm just wondering when the hell Marvel ever portrayed Norman Osborn in a heroic light.

    3. If he did become good, I missed it... I suppose in his own mind - maybe - Iron Patriot was a hero.

  2. I think part of what we are seeing here is not Luthor becoming a hero, but expanding the character as a human being. And he is a human being, not an Apokolyptian or a Demon from a Hell Dimension, and so we are seeing motivations and actions that reflect the conflict in his own head. He isn't a Superman kind of hero, who believes in always doing the right thing even to his own detriment if necessary, he is a person who believes in promoting what HE thinks is the right thing even if sometimes that means taking horrible actions. We would call someone like that a villain, but the villain isn't likely to see himself that way. The villain sees himself as right, as the hero of the piece.

    1. Nice one, Hector, that's sharp. I've now read this week's Superwoman, I'm not keen on how Phil Jimenez diminishes Lex as a character there.

    2. yeah eye agree with Mart but this is Luthor the same guy who killed his assistant in his villain month issue the guy who used a train filled with passengers as a bullet against superman an with the reveal that prime earth is new earth that means this is the same luthor who denied universal bliss an peace just to spite Superman


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