Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Action Comics #961 Review and *SPOILERS*

Something New!

Written By: Dan Jurgens
Art By: Stephen Segovia, Art Thibert, Arif Prianto, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 10, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

If you loved the Death of Superman and the Reign of The Supermen story arc that followed it, then boy do I have a series for you........ because goddamn do I feel like I'm having deja vu here with this Action Comics title.  Issue after issue it seems to be the same thing over and over again.......... and the terrible thing is, I really couldn't tell you what's going on here besides for Superman and Doomsday beating the holy hell out of each other.  While that description could be pretty accurate on the surface, we've also got Mr. Oz watching everybody on a monitor somewhere...... being all creepy and we've also got a Clark Kent running around the action, who apparently isn't Superman, never has been and doesn't have any powers.  Yeah, I have no idea what's going on there, but hopefully now that Wonder Woman's entered the mix and our battle has left Metropolis we can start getting some answers to why this is all going on.  Let's jump into this issue and see if I get my wish or if it turns out like all my disappointing birthdays, where some asshole has to break out the trick candles. Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

For anyone who's been reading this series since Rebirth....... well, you pretty much know what to expect going into this issue.  You've got the big over the top Superman/Doomsday fight, with the added bonus of getting Wonder Woman into the mix........ and you have Lex Luthor trying out his own Superman thing, but as we saw in the previous issue, Superman and Wonder Woman left him to take care of the city as they followed Doomsday to the Smith Family Farm and that's where we pick up here, with Lex Luthor grumbling about having to clean up the mess.  It's funny, for as much as I like the Pre-Flashpoint Superman doing his Super Family thing in this series and the Superman series, I can't help but wish that we'd get more of Lex because while everyone who doesn't read comics and all of us who do know, Lex Luthor is the arch nemesis of Superman, but since the New 52 we've never really seen him be that over the top villain character and even though he can be an egotistical jerk, he still wants to do the right thing and I want to see that explored more now that we're in Rebirth territory because even though he was in the Justice League after the events of Forever Evil, we never truly got him as being a trusted part of the team.  What we get with Lex here though is pretty standard fare, with Lex trying to save the people, Clark Kent going on again about how he's not Superman, but we do get an added bonus that doesn't really mean anything and that's the inclusion of a Super Woman shout out since that series just started this week as well.  

So yeah, the fight rages on between our heroes and Doomsday and I spent the portion of this book just being pissed at Superman and his family because all he asked of them was to drive in the other direction for as long as they can because it's a pretty dire situation going on around them, but instead they argue with our Man of Steel about how they want to stay and so on and so forth until Superman, I guess, couldn't take it any longer and decided to forgo his backup in the form of Wonder Woman by making her take Lois and Jon somewhere safe while he takes on the monster alone.  I was so angry here because if Lois and Jon would have just shut the hell up and done the one thing that the most powerful being on Earth asked of them, he would being doing twice the damage in this fight because Diana would have still been there........... but no, instead Wonder Woman, Lois and Jon teleport up to the Watchtower and watch their friend, husband and father get his ass kicked. 

In the end, something new does happen in this book, in that Mr. Oz has decided to speak up and participate in the story.  After what looks like him not liking that Superman is getting his ass kicked, he unleashes some mysterious troops, who detain Doomsday with their sci-fi ray guns and prepare him for something called "The Gate" and I don't think it has anything to do with the Stephen Dorff flick, where demons come out of the backyard and while that's probably a good thing, I do kind of want to see that now.  

That's it for this issue of Action Comics and besides for Mr. Oz finally getting into the game....... kinda, there wasn't much new to this issue that we haven't experience before.  Yeah, I wish I could say more about it, but I'd have to make some shit up and you know they call me "Honest Eric" on the streets and I'd hate to lose that rep by telling all you nice people anything different.  Besides for the very standard story that we've all come to expect from this series, the art this issue didn't quite live up to my expectations and that's a shame because if you wanted to label this series as anything at this point,"consistent" is what I'd go with, but here I found myself losing some of what was being conveyed here and was even confused at times at what was going on in the action.  I don't know if this was a pencil thing, ink thing or color thing....... since really I don't know shit about art and the work that goes into it, but I just didn't think this issue was as strong looking as the previous issues have been.  That's not saying that there weren't some excellent looking pages here, it's just overall not as impressive as it has been.  With one more issue left in this story arc, all I know is that you'd expect to have one big info dump coming our way....... and the sad part is, I don't know if it will help........ or if it will even happen.  

Bits and Pieces:

While we may be leading to something in the next issue of this series from the events here, it seems like too little too late at this point because even with a new development added here, it's still the same old song and dance that we've been dealing with since the renumbering of this series.  On top of that I also didn't think that the art was as strong as it's been previously and while I've been hoping for something to change here, the art wasn't what I was talking about.



  1. After listening to the podcast, I had to laugh when Wonder Woman questioned Lois about allowing Jon to watch the fight ("are you sure you want the boy to see...")

  2. You're nicer than I am Eric. This is an F YOU 5 for me!!!! This goes way beyond padding out a story. This is taking an entire story arc worth of issues to tell a story that so far could have fit in one. This story did take a tiny step forward, but yet again we get more questions and no answers. I doubt that Jurgens is going to give us a big pay off at the end of this arc, but he better because this is ridiculous!

    1. Ditto! I said I'd quit reading after last issue, but for some reason I picked it up again and now the end maybe hooked me. I'm in for one more issue...dammit.

    2. Hahaha. I know. Im afraid that my expectations are going to set me up for disappointment, but I'm committed through this arc. It better be worth it!

    3. There has to be some payoff that will make all of this feel worthwhile........ right?

  3. This issue was a rather quick read.
    I got a kick out of how Lex was responding to Kent. I especially enjoyed Kent: “I’ve already told you, I’m not--” Lex: “I heard you the first hundred times, Kent.” It seems like ever since Kent showed up, he says that every other sentence.
    I was hoping that this issue would end the fight with Doomsday. I’m curious who these people working with Dr Oz is, but I just know Doomsday is going to get the upper hand somehow.

  4. Jim from the Future: This gets dragged out a bit