Review: Action Comics #976

As this epic tale wraps up, Superman’s life is drastically changed…and that’s all we are saying for now – except that you won’t want to miss it!

DC Comics’ Rebirth event is interesting in that it isn’t a reboot and it doesn’t jettison everything that’s come before. Instead, it’s a merging of what came before the New 52 and the New 52 itself. Superman was a bit interesting case to this new world. In a storyline that began in Convergence and then carried over into the mini-series Superman: Lois and Clark, the Pre-52 Superman was brought into the New 52 world along with his wife Lois and their son Jonathan. Then, the New 52 Superman crumbled with his powers splintering off. So, short version, we had a displaced Superman and Lois attempting to fill in the lives of their New 52 versions. It made for some good comedy and drama at some points, but it eventually was going to wear out.

Superman Reborn” seems to have resolved that eventual problem along with some big revelations like who the imposter Clark Kent is. Playing out through Action Comics and Superman, the story has a mystery villain reveal (that it was Mister Mxyzptlk as Clark Kent all along) that has Superman and Lois forgetting their son Jonathan in a board game like obstacle course. What’s interesting is that the story takes fans through a lot of the history of Superman and Lois, it’s a best hits sort of way.

But…. SPOILER… by the end of the story, it’s true, it’s all true. The life of the pre-52 Superman has seemingly been merged into that of his New 52 counterpart. No more hiding, no more Clark Kent and Clark White. It’s all in continuity, the history is there. This storyline solves a lot of issues that were lining up for the character as well as put Superman’s alter-ego back in the bottle and the White’s no longer have to hide. It wraps things up in a nice little bow.

But, it’s not just this merging of two worlds that works, the story also ties in the bigger mystery that’s permeating throughout the DC Universe. Mister Mxyzptlk continues to reference a more powerful being, who we assume is the mysterious Oz, who then looks upon the Red Planet, the home of Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen. It brings so much together and does so in a pretty smooth way. That plotting and writing is impressive.

The art by Doug Mahnke is fantastic. This entire story has featured top notch visuals that twist and turn and overall the Superman line of comics features the most consistent and solid art of the DC comic series. There’s some really cool visuals and the art is as solid as the writing. The way the world crumbles during the battle and the subtle visual changes clue in the reader as to what’s happening and by the end you’ll find yourself going back to check everything out.

I’m blown away by the story which I can only describe as super. A fantastic ending that shows DC Comics has got a great grasp of mixing the old with the new. This is a model in how to pull it off and doing so in a fun and exciting way.

Story: Dan Jurgens Art: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamy, Trevor Scott
Colors: Wil Quintana Letters: Rob Leigh
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.45 Overall: 8.40 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review