Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Action Comics #978 Review and *SPOILERS*

Making The Pieces Fit

Written By: Dan Jurgens
Art By: Carlo Barberi, Matt Santorelli, Hi-Fi, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: April 26, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Ever since the Reborn arc all we've wanted are some answers to what it meant when the Blue and Red energies of Superman combined and the Universe apparently changed according to Mr. Oz, but up until this point all we've gotten is Superman not really remembering what happened and also him not wanting to talk to Lois about it.  Yeah, that's a big kick in the teeth and then in the previous issue we had ourselves a big recap to Superman's origin and besides for Lex apparently being in Smallville when Clark and Lana were kids, I didn't really see anything that would allude to big changes happening to the world we've come to know since the New 52 began.  Hopefully that all changes here and we get some real answers going forward............ Not to mention, seeing all kinds of big bads like we had going on in the previous issue.  That's right, someone is gathering up some of Superman's baddest villains and even though the Metallo that we saw getting recruited might have been a tell-tale sign of how the Universe changed, since it wasn't the New 52 version, I still wanted more of an explanation....... Hopefully we get one.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins by making me frightened for what the rest of the book would bring because we're still dealing with Superman going over his past with the Crystal Font, but thankfully, where I found the last issue ridiculous because it only seemed to be giving us the classic Superman tale, we've all seen a million times before, here we start seeing some changes that give us the idea that the Universe has indeed changed.  First off, it seems that jeans and a t-shirt Superman is no longer in continuity and we're dealing solely with the Pre-Flashpoint Superman showing up in Metropolis on his first day at the Daily Planet and saving Lois Lane, kick starting his career as a super hero thanks to his future wife's good press.  

For the most part, the Pre-Flashpoint aspect to the story maintains, going through Death of Superman, to Reign of the Supermen, to Clark and Lois getting married and Lois becoming pregnant, but then the story takes a big departure from what we've seen previously when it completely omits Convergence and the birth of Jon Kent by making it that Jon was born in the Fortress of Solitude, with the Trinity acting as nurse maid and Guard outside in case of some threat out of nowhere.  So yeah, it looks like Convergence is completely off the table and before that, we have a little New 52 bit thrown in where Jon and Martha Kent died earlier in Superman's life.  

We continue our look at our brave new world by then seeing that instead of Superman, Lois and Jon hiding out as the events of the New 52 took place, they simply took a sabbatical from the Daily Planet and Superman from the Justice League and moved to California so that the two could just simply raise Jon in peace, before moving back to the East Coast and buying a farm in Hamilton County, where they resumed their lives as both reporter and super hero.  So yeah, Superman: Lois and Clark still took place with a few tweaks, Superman: The Truth seems to be completely gone now, even though Mxyzptlk was all raving about how he fixed Superman's secret identity problem and that pretty much catches us up with the way the world now works in DC Comics. 

Mr. Oz doesn't seem to happy though that Superman's looking into his life and trying to figure out what's wrong with his timeline because he manifests himself over the Crystal Font and tells our hero that he's dealing with forces beyond him, whether he's alone or not, referencing the Super League that he's been putting together in the Reborn Aftermath issues, but the happiest takeaway that I have from this whole encounter is that Lex is shown as being a part of this League.  I was really worried that they'd evil him back up with this whole new take on Superman's life, but as of now, he still seems to be Super Lex and I love it.

In the end, we move away from Superman and up to the moon, where that mysterious figure, who was collecting Superman villains in the previous issue is now digging up the body of the Eradicator, who seems to recognize who our mystery man is and with that, Eradicator teleports Metallo and Blanque to their new base of operations........ the former Batcave on the moon, where we also find out that the mysterious figure has been Hank Henshaw this entire time........... which comes off odd for everything we've seen in this issue because according to our new history, Hank Henshaw shouldn't be human or have had any of his adventures in Superman: Lois and Clark because he's now always been the Cyborg Superman from Reign of The Supermen....... So yeah, I'm a bit lost on that.

That's it for this issue of Action Comics and where I really disliked last issue for its complete lack of showing us pretty much anything we didn't already know, here we get down to the nitty gritty and I'm happy as hell for it because we can finally start to piece together the new life that Superman seems to have lived.............. but sadly, it seems that for the most part the New 52 has been almost completely erased.  Yeah, Superman still wore his New 52 costume at some point and fought Ulysses and maybe had his adventure with Krypton Returns since it looked like we saw the Space Oracle, but pretty much the New 52 seems to be completely gone and Superman: Lois and Clark has taken its place.  Which isn't a terrible thing, I just need a few more answers and explanations to make the whole thing work in my head if that's the case.  The art in this issue was fantastic and I hope that Carlo Barberi stays a part of the regular rotation of artists on this book because I could totally stand to see more of his work on this title in the future.  The most important thing I need to know about what's going on in this series is how Hank Henshaw works as a character now, but besides that, I'm still excited by it because Cyborg Superman is my favorite Superman villain and I'd be happy as hell to get him back proper and I love the fact that this series is bringing the Superman Revenge Squad back because its bound to be an entertaining read that shows us just how powerful our Man of Steel is now when he's forced to take on that many villains.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue finally gives us the reveals that we've been looking for about how the Universe has changed in our post Reborn world and I'm intrigued as hell and actually think that the ways that the writers have used two histories and made them one is quite satisfying.  Yeah, we still have some inconsistencies, but I'm hoping they are explored further as the series progresses.  Besides all that though, the art was fantastic in this issue and the reveal of our big bad of this arc is something that I can't wait to read.



  1. Whatsup weirdscience dudes!! First i just cant wait for you guys to do the new 52 batman by snyder capullo review podcast, since you guys are reviewing the new 52 comics such as justice league vol 1, i really enjoyed the court of owls and that scary joker era.. looking forward to it!! Rock on!! Second, i just wanna say that while reading action, i can say that this is the superman of old.. i remember the time where clark revealed to lois that he is superman, its the exact same scene and the wedding too.. im 25 yrs old but i have been rereading some of the superman and action comics of old too, its part of the DC legacy.. i aint an expert sirs and i know i still have a long way in rereading superman comics but i have to say that im kinda thrilled to think that this is some sort of continuation of the superman of old.. I think i miss the version where jon was born in the batcave by dr. thomas wayne during the convergence event.. but still this version is unique and exciting!! Nice review by the way sir eric!!

    1. I loved the birth of Jon in Convergence...but I agree, this is cool too! This is a continuation, but also making this Superman make sense in the New 52 as well. I like it. Can't wait to do the New 52 Batman (which is 2 episodes away!)

  2. So that's it huh? They are some kinda Revenge Squad?

  3. I am cool with this reborn universe but i just want him to remember the old one still got classic villins back so i am hyped

  4. Havent loved much of the Superman Reborn arc , but god damn did I love this issue

  5. This was good for someone like me that hasn't been reading Superman very long. I can see why it might be frustrating to bigger fans.

  6. I was hoping we'd see Kon-El when they mentioned the Reign of the Superman.
    Great issue. Jurgens did a great job with Clark's thoughts.