Monday, August 03, 2020

Daddy Issues and Tampering with Time

Action Comics #962, 984, 989, 991-997 (October 2016 to April 2018)
#962: "Path of Doom: Conclusion" Writer: Dan Jurgens, Penciller: Stephen Segovia, Inker: Art Thibert, Letterer: Rob Leigh, Colorist: Ulises Arreola.
Lois and her son Jon are safely sequestered on the Watchtower with Wonder Woman while Superman struggles to contain Doomsday. During the battle, Superman lures Doomsday to a fortress similar to the Kryptonian one, but is hard pressed to defeat his foe until Wonder Woman intervenes. Together, they succeed in sending Doomsday to the Phantom Zone.

Part of Rebirth, this comic includes multiple supermen: Clark Kent out of costume, the Superman with Lois and their son Jon, and a super Lex Luthor. There's also a cloaked scythe-wielding stranger who somehow "intercepted the projection" and captured Doomsday en route to the Phantom Zone.

The issue includes ads for Snickers (Woman Woman is as cranky as Doomsday when she gets hungry!), Midtown Comics, DCBS, action figures, and NC Comicon. There are also several house ads: Doom Patrol, Shade the Changing Girl, Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, Mother Panic, Blue Beetle, Teen Titans, and Cyborg, as well as a checklist of comics on sale Sept. 7-28, 2016.

#984: "Revenge: Conclusion" Writer: Dan Jurgens, Art: Patch Zircher, Color: Hi-Fi, Letters: Rob Leigh, Cover: Clay Mann and Tomeu Morey.
Lois and Krypto are looking for Jon in the Fortress of Solitude just after Zod sent Superman and "his loser friends"—Lex Luthor, Kong Kenan, Superwoman, and Steel—to the Phantom Zone with Cyborg Superman and the Eradicator. Blanque is struggling to maintain telepathic contact across a dimensional gulf, and Supergirl is down for the count. Superman regains his vision before taking on Cyborg Superman and the Eradicator.

Meanwhile, Jon has hidden inside a Battle Suit and attacks Zod, guided by a mysterious voice. In the Phantom Zone, Ursa and Lor-Zod, Zod's wife and son, find the Eradicator and return to Earth. Henshaw, Cyborg Superman, is left behind.

A Snickers ad features Gorilla Grodd, and there are house ads for Wildstorm: A Celebration of 25 Years, the Dark Nights: Metal event, Mister Miracle, and other titles. The issue also includes a Dark Nights: Metal checklist.

#989: "The Oz Effect: Part 3" Story and breakdown art: Dan Jurgens, Pencils: Viktor Bogdanovic, Inks: Bogdanovic and Trevor Scott, Color: Mike Spicer, Letters: Rob Leigh.
As a suicide bomber threatens The Daily Planet, Superman confers with Oz, recently revealed to be his father, Jor-El. Oz tries to persuade Superman that the Earth isn't worth saving and that humans are to blame. Regardless, Superman goes to Logamba to intervene in military hostilities to avoid a chemical weapons disaster.

Jor-El reveals himself to Jon—the mysterious figure in #962 and voice in #984 above—taking Jon to the fortress in an attempt to instill a sense of Kryptonian pride and distaste for Earth. Miss Janet, who left the bomber at The Daily Planet, seems to be some kind of Oz loyalist with access to Kryptonian technology.

#991: "The Oz Effect: Conclusion" Story and breakdown art: Dan Jurgens; Pencils: Viktor Bogdanovic; Inks: Bogdanovic, Trevor Scott, and Scott Hanna; Color: Mike Spicer; Letters: Rob Leigh.
Attempting to persuade Superman, Jon, and Lois to leave Earth, Jor-El takes Superman to his former prison and now home. There, they fight, and Superman learns his father imprisoned Mr. Mxyzptlk and let innocent people die. Surprisingly, Oz, Jor-El, has Kryptonite vision, which weakens Superman.

Superman then finds Doomsday and breaks Oz's scythe-like staff, which was actually controlling Oz, protecting him from Kryptonite. Kal-El and Jor-El reconcile before Superman returns to Earth, his family, and his wotk to restore hope.

This issue includes several Justice League tie-in ads for the E-Class Cabriolet, several collections, and the movie soundtrack by Danny Elfman.

#992: "Aftereffects" Story: Dan Jurgens, Script: Rob Williams, Art: Will Conrad, Color: Hi-Fi, Letters: Rob Leigh.
Batman checks in on Superman after his struggle with Oz, and Superman just goes right back to work despite his slightly flagging faith. On Mogo, the Green Lantern Corps attempts to verify that only one ship escaped Krypton at the point of destruction—and Superman determines that someone has tampered with time.

So he goes to the Watchtower and uses the Flash's Cosmic Treadmill to go back to Krypton—and in time. This issue kicks off a very fun run of issues featuring Booster Gold, who tries to keep Superman from collapsing the timeline itself.

The issue includes ads for the Syfy program Happy!, Munchkin Shakespeare Deluxe, a couple of CW TV tie-in novels, and the Crisis on Earth-X TV event.

#993-997: A relatively satisfying sequence of issues, "Booster Shot," that teams Superman up with Booster Gold, almost takes Superman to Krypton before depositing him elsewhere: New Krypton, a planet overseen by Zod and his family in a splintered timeline.

Back on Earth, Lois and Jon secretly go to Logamba to rescue her father. #996 is particularly excellent, featuring art by Will Conrad and colors by Ivan Nunes. Brett Booth's pencils and Norm Rapmund's inks in #997 are also impressive.

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