Action Comics #968 (January, 2017)
“Men of Steel, Part 2”
Writer – Dan Jurgens
Art – Tyler Kirkham
Letterer – Rob Leigh
Colorist – Ulises Arreola
Associate Editor – Paul Kaminski
Editor – Mike Cotton
Group Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $2.99
Another random “from the pile” pick… from the future! I’m not sure if it’s sad how excited I am to be adding “2017” to the tags… okay, I’m sure it is sad… I’m not sure just how sad.
We open with a blustery father lambasting a Superman-Super-Watcher helicopter tour guide due to the fact that while his family partook in a flight… the Man of Steel was a no-show. He reels back and is just about to strike the poor pilot when… Superman and Zade bust into the scene… destroying the helicopter… though missing the goofball dad. The battle rages, destroying property all along the way… we get to see that… *sigh* Jon is looking on. Gotta say… I can’t wait for Super Sons to launch, maybe then this can go back to being just a Superman book.
Meanwhile, on a nearby roof Lex Luthor kneels before L’Call the Godslayer. Ya see, L’Call is there to slay ol’ Lex… unfortunately for him, however, Lex is armed to the teeth with awesome tech. After blowing L’Call away, Lois and nu-Clark enter the scene in search of a story.
We rejoin Superman as his battle with Zade rages on. Zade gets the better of it when Superman is distracted by nu-Clark’s use of his signal watch. He uses his x-ray vision to see that Lois and Clark are in trouble. Before Zade can land a “killing” blow, *sigh* Jon crashes the scene by hitting the baddie with a semi tractor.
Superman and Superboy head off to the roof, but father (thankfully) tells son to hang back. Once he arrives, Superman is… stabbed (!) in the shoulder by one of L’Call’s blades. L’Call tells Superman his plans for Luthor… even going as far as to show him a glimpse of Darkseid-Lex’s future. This is moving into the old “Would you kill Hitler in the crib?” dilemma.
While this is going down, Lois catches a glimpse of Jon on a nearby building… and nu-Clark catches a glimpse of Lois talking to the red-caped adolescent. Hmm… indeed.
Superman is not convinced and so L’Call calmly and rationally blasts him point-blank in the face. As Superman sit prone, L’Call readies to decapitate him… until… *sigh* Jon pleads with him to back off… and he does.
Instead of killing Superman, L’Call and Zade decide just to just leave… with Lex. Superman tries to stop them, but it’s too late. Nu-Clark approaches Superman and plays devil’s advocate… if Lex is destined to become a mass-murderer… why not just let him die? Hmm… that’s not the Clark Kent I know.
I really wanted to like this more than I did. I’m not sure if we’re killing time… but it kind of feels like we are. It may be just that I really dislike Lex wearing the “S”. Hell, I dislike it that just so many people are wearing the “S” at the moment… but Lex? I mean, it was cute at first… I guess… but by now it just feels like it’s gone on for too long without any real progression. It’s as though we’re being told “Look at Lex… he is important” but he hasn’t really done anything yet. By this point we’re six months into Rebirth… we/I really want this to move along.
We get the whole “would you kill Hitler in the crib?” thing… which, I suppose is a decent enough way for us to learn that nu-Clark has some different values than the original. That I can dig. I’m really not sure where the vestigial-Clark storyline is headed… but again, I’m really anxious to get down to it… and move it into the rear-view. I guess I’m just looking forward to having all the lumps ironed out. It’s difficult for me to give this a fair/balanced review… because with Superman I kinda wear my biases on my sleeve.
Anyhoo… not overly interested in the Trial of Lex Luthor… and as much as it pains me to say… I just really want Superman stories again. I’m getting tired of other-supers… I’m getting tired of Jon… I just want some fun stories again. Granted… this is just one fool’s opinion. Don’t have any complaints about the dialogue… some good stuff there… and the art… ooh boy, the art. This is some wonderfully pretty comics. I’m not sure I’d want Kirkham on the title full-time, but I do enjoy him popping in from time to time. I kinda dig the cover too… I swear it’s an homage… but I can’t put my finger on it.
Overall… like I said, looking forward to putting this in the rear-view. I’m hopeful that once it’s all behind us we’ll start getting some great fun Superman stories. I mean, it’s Dan Jurgens… the definitive Superman writer of my lifetime… I’ve got faith that this will return to form.