Action Comics #961 (2016)

Action Comics #961 (October, 2016)

“Path of Doom, Part Five”
Writer – Dan Jurgens
Penciller – Stephen Segovia
Inker – Art Thibert
Letterer – Rob Leigh
Colorist – Arif Prianto
Associate Editor – Paul Kaminski
Editor – Mike Cotton
Group Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $2.99

I realized I’ve covered all of the Rebirth issues of Superman (vol.4) and have yet to write anything about his other book!  Let’s fix that.

We open in Metropolis with Super Lex taking care of business in the wake of Superman and Wonder Woman heading out.  While he stabilizes a building, a familiar face pops into frame… Clark Kent.  Luthor and Kent share some pleasantries, all the while Clark holds fast that he is not Superman.  During the fracas, the blue blur of Superwoman makes an appearance… which makes our green-cloaked observer rather curious.

Meanwhile, upstate Doomsday and Wonder Woman are going at it.  Diana gets knocked away, and the real steel deal “tags in” while Lois and Jon attend to the fallen Amazon.  Superman and Doomsday exchange blows for awhile, and again… we see our enigmatic observer.  He commands the “gate” be prepared, and declares that “now is the time”.

Wonder Woman shakes the cobwebs and hops back into the melee, lassoing Doomsday with the golden perfect.  She ain’t getting much truth outta the beast, in fact, he slips out of his bindings and begins choking Superman out with the gilded cord… that is, until young Jon unleashes a blast of heat vision into Doomsday’s ugly mug.

As one would imagine, Doomsday doesn’t react well to this.  He turns his attention to Supes Sr. and begins walking toward the tot.  Not a smart move, big guy… turning your back on Superman.  He’s knocked into next week by our man, and in the few moments he just bought, he asks Wonder Woman to take his family to safety.  He claims that nowhere on Earth will be safe… guess somebody’s getting a satellite ride…

After the tear-filled goodbyes among the Whites, we pop back in on our observer.  He is standing with a figure in a full face mask.  Apparently the “gate” is ready… and they’re currently awaiting orders.

Superman and Doomsday continue their battle while Lois and Jon arrive on the Justice League satellite with Wonder Woman.  The fight continues until a group of men in full face mask arrive on the scene and proceed to relentlessly blast Doomsday with laser beams!

Just a few months back I would have never figured I’d be writing about a contemporary release that was numbered in the nine-hundreds.  Outside of some “wacky” “special” Deadpool and Wolverine comics, nothing even came close to these kinds of numbers.  Boy am I happy to have this title… and this character back!

It really feels like coming home again… even if that home is sporting an unfamiliar shade of paint.  This is probably not the best issue to start reviewing this title, as it’s a part five.  What’s more, and I said this in my Superman vol. 4 review a week or so back… it feels like a “part five”.  I’m really hoping that after the first “for the trade” storyline, we maybe shake things up a bit.  Make things a bit less formulaic.  Maybe return to a time when subplots grew organically over long periods of time… rather than fitting everything into the six-parter format.

The writing and art are great!  This book just oozes of quality.  You can tell just by looking at it, that it’s a book earmarked to “matter”.  Even the coloring gives it an odd “event” look to it… which probably doesn’t make any sense… it’s just the impression it gives me.  Story wise, it feels as though all the pieces are starting to come together, and we’ll have some of our questions answered pretty quick.

Like I said with Superman vol. 4, I am looking forward to some solo-Superman stories.  Not that I don’t like the family, because I do… I just want to see a Superman-on-his-own story again… featuring this Superman.  I love that he’s got a family, because to me Superman was never somebody I wanted to be, he was someone I could look to for protection.  He was always a fatherly presence to me.  I didn’t need him to be a young swingin’ single to “relate” to him.  Even with that said, I’m really hoping to see some stories that don’t revolve around the “Smiths”.  Maybe I’m just impatient… to be fair, I’ve never claimed to be anything but!

Overall… this is still the book that’s on the top of my “to read” pile on the weeks it comes out.  I find myself with very little in the way of free time to read many books for “entertainment” (ie. something I’m not planning on writing and/or ruminating about)… this book, however, always has my attention.  Jump aboard as it rolls on toward issue 1000… and, hopefully (though I’m not convinced) issue 1001 and beyond.

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Man, that’s a skinny Swampy!

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