Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Cliff Richards, Wil Quintana and Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 16, 2016
After eight long months, Superman finally got his powers back in the last issue of Action Comics. Don't ask me how because I'm still trying to figure that one out and I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. That wasn't the only thing that happened as we leaned Vandal Savage's true plan and got a cliffhanger promising a House of Savage versus Team Superman knock down, drag out fight. I am giving you a rundown of Action Comics because it leads directly into this issue which is indeed the penultimate issue of the whole Truth story. Is it any good? Let's find out...
The issue opens up exactly the way anyone who read Action Comics would have guessed...a huge brawl between Vandal Savage's newly "enhanced" children and Superman and his many friends. However, I don't know if anyone expected it to last so long with so little really going on. Almost the entire first half of the issue is taken up by big panels and spreads and while I always like a nice fight scene, this really felt like filler.
When we finally get to Vandal Savage, it doesn't get much better. First off, he is in a position that isn't how we left him last week. Sure, he is laying on the ground, but suddenly, he has a giant pipe through his side. I went back and looked and this isn't right. Maybe I'm nitpicking (I've been told I do that sometimes), but these things throw me off. I guess I should start expecting it in these big crossovers from now on because they keep popping up. The other thing about this scene is it again just feels like filler.
We get a pretty lame fight between Ukar and Vandal that ends quick enough and leads to Puzzler giving Savage a jet pack. I'm all for a cool backpack, but Vandal may have it on for ten seconds before he unstraps himself and starts flying on his own. If the comet was that close to affecting him, why bother with the jet pack?
While reading this issue, I kept waiting for something cool to happen, but it just kept falling flat. We go back to the big battle and get to see Frankenstein for a brief moment, learn that Vandal's wonder twins can now duplicate themselves and see more cameos then you can shake a stick at. I am a fan of cameos (even more than jet packs), but this is more like a game of see how many characters we can throw at the reader than anything that produces a compelling story.
While Superman gives chase to Vandal Savage, we see that not all is well with Vandal's children. I think Vandal might have been best served with more of an extended trial period because every one that was affected by the comet is starting to show some pretty bad side effects...like dying! The issue ends with Vandal and Superman exchanging blows in a meteorite storm as the comet has reached Earth.
I said it above and I'll repeat myself...this issue is straight up filler. It makes sense why that's the case...it is sandwiched between two big #50 issues and since we got the long awaited powers return in Action last week, the rest of the big stuff is being saved for the Superman book. I understand why, but I don't have to like it which is good because I didn't.
I also was not a fan of the art this week. Cliff Richards gets an issue full of action and fighting, but it's the lack of any real backgrounds in most of the panels that I didn't like. It gave the entire issue a drab look and feel and with not much going on story wise, didn't help convince me that it was nothing but filler.
Bits and Pieces:
With the end of the Truth story happening this week in Superman #50, this book felt like an afterthought. Not much happens and with lack luster art to boot, it can be skipped with little consequence to the reader.