Review: Action Comics #958

Action Comics #958Luthor and Superman must put aside their differences and face the common threat of Doomsday, as Jimmy Olsen and the Planet staff try to uncover the truth: who is the man claiming to be Clark Kent?

At its surface, Action Comics #958 can easily be seen as a comic whose entirety is one big giant battle with lots of punching. But, at its heart, writer Dan Jurgens does something very interesting. He uses the entire battle to set up the differences between the “classic” Superman and super-Lex Luthor. At the same time he also continues to lay the groundwork and tease out more concerning the returned Clark Kent.

The issue picks up with Superman and Lex battling Doomsday and Superman reflecting how different this creature is from the one who killed him. There’s a lot of reflection like that and it helps build upon the mystery that Mr. Oz set up in Rebirth not that long ago. There’s a lot more to Clark, Lois, and Jonathan than is on the surface.

But beyond that, it’s the small moments that are what makes the issue stand out. How Superman and Lex react to the battle are key and it reminds us that Superman protects innocents and will put himself in harm’s way to do so. It’s almost a direct response to the criticism leveled and the recent film iterations of the character. Lex just fires off bullets, while Superman saves people from a collapsing train. It’s striking.

The issue also emphasizes the family aspect of the comic too. Lois and Jonathan watch as Superman does battle, and Lois of course is worried knowing the previous result when Superman battled Doomsday, it ended with his death. Jonathan’s response is much more innocent, blissfully unaware the danger. That’s clear in his eagerness to help with his new-found power. It’s a great moment as it’s a reminder this is a Superman with a family to go to when he’s done saving the world.

Artist Patrick Zircher brings the action. The battle is fierce. The damage is a hell of a lot. And it’s strewn all over in fantastic art that puts you there in the action. Zircher also nails the details of the individual’s faces. You can see the worry, the confusion, the frustration. It plays out beautifully.

I hadn’t read Superman in quite some time, but this return of the classic Superman has brought with it new life and a return to what I remember loving about the character. This comic has action in the title, but it also remembers there’s a lot of heart at the center of the story too.

Story: Dan Jurgens Art: Patrick Zircher
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

2 comments

  • I think this fake Clark Kent is just a vehicle (maybe created by Mr. Oz?) to re-establish the secret identity for Superman. Tough to go forward in perpetuity with everyone knowing his secret identity.