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Action Comics #963

by Ian B on September 14, 2016

Written by: Dan Jurgens

Art by: Patrick Zircher

Coloured by: Arif Prianto

Lettered by: Rob Leigh

 

 

In the previous issue, a group of what look like soldiers show up to detain Doomsday, almost succeeding before Doomsday breaks out and kills them all. Superman, having had a moment to catch his breath, goes back on the offensive, sending Doomsday flying across the world, leading him back to his hidden mountain fortress. On the Justice League satellite, Lois and Jon watch as Superman attempts to disable Doomsday, but can't catch a break. Lois asks Wonder Woman to go back to Earth and help him, stating that they're safe, but he isn't. As Superman reaches his mountain fortress, Wonder Woman arrives to help, keeping Doomsday off of him for long enough that Superman can complete his Phantom Zone portal, sending Doomsday away. Unbeknownst to them, however, he was intercepted and is now in the possession of the mysterious man behind the scenes.

 

 

This issue takes a bit of a turn from the previous several, focusing on the powerless Clark Kent as he attempts to get his life back in order. Lex Luthor calls a press conference to allow Clark to tell his side of the story, when a man in the crowd opens fire, attempting to prove that he's invulnerable, being taken down by security. Clark explains that Superman came to see him, worried about his safety as he was investigating a genetics company. Superman offered to take his place due to their similar appearance, and hid Clark away where he would be safe. Clark then decides to break into the genetics company now that the New 52 Superman is dead, and find out what they are up to. Overall the story is an odd shift from what we have been focusing on before, and really the issue just presents far more questions than it answers, introducing several new plot threads that don't seem to really affect the overall narrative, making me wonder why they are important in the first place.

 

 

The artwork is okay, although most of the character's expressions run from bland to odd. The colours are fairly muted, not surprising considering superheroes hardly feature at all in this issue, but it does unfortunately give the book a bit of a monotonous feel, not helped by the relatively boring story.

 

 

Unfortunately, I thought that this issue was a bit of a disappointment. Clark acts a bit odd, which is probably justified as we still don't know what is going on with him, but therein lies the problem. It's been several issues so far, and yet we still know nothing about him, they haven't even really hinted at what is going on, doubling down on the narrative that this Clark Kent is the real Clark Kent, leaving me to wonder why they are trying to make me care so much about something that most readers will probably view as a weird, temporary arrangement. If we had gotten really any hint at an overall arc where this is going, it would be one thing (I have theories on what is going on, but as far as actual hints go, they're pretty much non-existent) but giving us basically nothing to work with was a mistake, and if this arc ends up being as long as the last one, could be a mistake that carries on for a while.

Our Score:

5/10

A Look Inside