Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Action Comics #976 Review and *SPOILERS*

Something Old, Something New, Something Red and Something Blue

Written By: Dan Jurgens
Art By: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamy, Trevor Scott, Wil Quintana, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: March 22, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

It's finally here, the end of the Reborn arc and with it hopefully some answers about what everything means since for the most part we've just been dealing with Mxyzptlk's nonsense and a whole bunch of stuff that hasn't been explained that we've just simply had to go with.  In our previous chapter to this arc, we saw Jon connect with the Red energy versions of Superman and Lois Lane to break the confines Mxy had him in and what looked to me to save his parents from certain death, but when we ended that issue it seemed that the Pre-Flashpoint Superman and Lois were gone and replaced with the New 52 versions of them.  Let's jump into this issue and get the answers we deserve and see what the landscape of Rebirth will look like by the time this arc has ended.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with Jon realizing that his parents look different and not only that, but the fact that they have no idea who he is.  Yeah, it seems that little red energy boost he used to save his parents in the last issue kind of backfired on him because while he saved them, it seems that he now replaced the bodies of his parents with their New 52 versions, leaving him to be an orphan because neither Superman or Lois want to say that he's their kid.  It's weird though because they were just red energy that was speaking to him previously, but it seems that they don't have any memory of that and actually picked up like they've been around this whole time......... Hell, when Mxy tries to get his digs into the New 52 Superman about how he actually helped him with his whole "secret identity" problem, Superman takes this information like it was nothing and I'm left a bit confused about what's actually going on in this issue up to the ending.  

Yeah, it seems like mostly filler now that we're at the final issue of this arc, with Jon whining about his parents and Superman just going after Mxy wanting to know what he did, but Mxy's done playing because initially it seems that nothing could be sweeter revenge than having Jon's parents forget about him, but by the end of the issue it seems that Mxy wants to take Jon with him to the 5th Dimension to save him from the wrath of the mysterious big bad of Rebirth because he'll surely notice a change in the Superman character............. even though we already had two on this Earth and one died, but either way Mxy's motivations here seem all over the place.  

In the end, Jon starts talking to some blue energy orbs that have shown up and like last issue, he uses their energy to fight Mxyzptlk off so that he can escape his fate of being the imp's new play thing in the 5th Dimension and after the villain of the story disappears back to his home, the world around them starts to crumble.  It's at this point that Jon pleads for the New 52 Superman and Lois to hear the energy and trust him, which they do and the blue energy enters the bodies of the New 52 pair and all of existence seems to be fixed from what Mr. Oz starts saying........... and yeah, it's weird that he's been watching everything this whole time, even though Mxy was probably messing up something that he had planned, but the point is, both the memories of the Pre-Flashpoint Superman and Lois merge with that of the New 52 versions and both existences became one............ and also from what Mr. Oz says....... the existences of the people around them.  So yeah, I don't know if this means that the missing ten years that made up the New 52 Universe have been put back in because of Superman fusing with himself or what, all I know is that Mr. Oz seems really impressed with this act and doesn't know if the big bad that originally made these two Superman separate will allow it to continue.

That's it for this issue of Action Comics and our Reborn arc and at the end of the day I realize that Mxyzptlk was simply in this story to fix Superman's secret identity problem from the time he spent as Clark Kent and........... well, little else.  Nothing in the four issues of this arc made me think that Mxy had anything to do with the Blue and Red energies of Superman and Lois and here they just fly in and out out of nowhere and complete their task........... because Jon is somehow the key.  It seems that this would have happened whether Mxy was there or not and by the end of the issue we're still left in the dark about what it all means or why our Supermen were split in the first place besides for it was what "He" wanted.  It's all rather ambiguous and even the ending acting like the past continuity universe and the New 52 one have merged, fixing all the timeline stuff is still up in the air to me because we don't know if that means just the Superman family or everything............ plus.......... why the hell was Lois split into energies?  I really wished there was some explanation there because it was just presented and then fixed without anything behind it.  Yeah, so was Superman, but at least we have a precedent of that happening years ago.  With all that, the art in this issue was great and I look forward to hopefully finding out all the issues I have with this arc and this ending because there has to be more of an explanation than............ "just because".

Bits and Pieces:

Well, our conclusion to the Reborn arc is here and while we do get to see something new and interesting out of it, nothing is really explained about the hows or whys of all this going down.  Plus, it seems that the antagonist to this story really had no reason to be here other than to fix Superman's secret identity problem.  We did have some excellent art in this issue though and I'm eager to see if the writers of the Superman books will present us with something to make this arc more understandable because after getting all of this thrown at us....... I need some sort of explanation.



  1. Yeah. I'm not usually a fan of making a story longer, but this crossover really needs an epilogue. Because I'm not sure what the heck happened. It's frustrating to be getting more and more questions and no answers. It's been almost a year now. But in Geoff Johns I trust.

    1. All the Super books (except for NSM) have Superman Reborn Aftermath tie-in issues next month. Action Comics (and Trinity to a lesser extent) seem to be the issues that will recap what happened to Superman and his new past.

  2. retcons are coming...retcons are coming!

    1. I don't understand why is it a bad thing to go back to the source when everything Flashpoint has done is damage after damage. It isn't retconning but restoration.

  3. What's up with the Mars close up, another hint at Manhattan or yet another red herring. I'm looking forward to seeing what's become the new reality I think.

  4. Fuck retcons,and fuck Mxy, no stakes, bad story telling. Why can't anything be new?

  5. So I liked the superman Red/blue call back that they were doing but it was so rushed its pointless and this recon is dumb it would change trinity and supersons and is just unnecessary

  6. Mxy has dialouge bubbles full of speech that literally only ask US the questions WE'VE been asking for one year ... that is not the ending/explanation to a story that taking my money, slapping me with a comic book, and telling me to be happy.

  7. This is terrible. Now we are back in the same place we've been for the last 5 years wondering what events are still in continuity. I don't want to see how Superman met Batman and Wonder Woman. I've seen it...many, many times! I'm too old for all of this!

  8. It seems to me this is a case of the more things, the more they stay the same. I expected Superman Reborn to be a big deal but after the four issues I don't get it. Enough with the mind-bending multiverse multiple versions being a story for it's own sake. It's just not compelling for me. I loved COIE and the comics published in the years that followed and then Kingdom Come and then Infinite Crisis and One Year Later. But ever since then it's just not for me. Now DC just get it together and tell better stories.