This week I am moving forward with the books of the fourth week of DC Rebirth. Today’s issue is Action Comics #958.
Superman’s story from the previous issue is continued here. The first page does a really good recap to get readers up to speed. Following the events of last time, Post-Crisis Superman has revealed himself to the world when Lex Luthor announced that he is the successor to the now departed New 52 Superman. At the scene, another Clark Kent shows up and Doomsday appears! Pretty good cliffhanger.
Here, lot of fighting. Lot of questions being asked. Back home, Lois and Jonathan see the events unfolding on tv. Eventually, Lois turns off the tv, afraid of what Doomsday did to her husband previously.
Back in Metropolis, Jimmy questions “Clark Kent”, convinced that this is the New 52 version that he knows. Clark is adamant that he is not super powered.
Lex and PC Superman fight off Doomsday with Superman eventually flying off with Doomsday into the sky. Doomsday kicks out as in the original Death of Superman story. Is there anyone who read that story that didn’t see that coming? I’m glad it happened, because it would have felt disingenuous, if it did not. However, does Superman not remember that not working before? He did die then, so it’s possible his memory of the event isn’t great.
Doomsday then launches Superman into a nearby helicopter and smashes through an elevated train on his return to the ground. Superman saves the passengers on the train while SuperLex attempts to halt Doomsday. At the end of the issue, Doomsday is holding Lex’s head in his hand as if he’s about to crush it, while the mysterious Mr. Oz looks on.
This is a good issue, but it’s definitely the second part of a presumably 6 part story arc. We get an effective recap, but not much in story progression. The questions from the first part aren’t answered yet. Of course they are sure to be by the end of the story. There is a lot of fighting in this part, but the title isn’t Exposition Comics, even though there is plenty of it. If writer, Dan Jurgens is attempting to outdo his original Death of Superman story, he will need to step up the action, 24 years later. Using this issue as an indicator, I expect plenty of fight scenes over the telling of this tale.
The biggest downside here is artist Patrick Zircher’s work. That’s a shame too, because I am a fan of his and was looking forward to his take on Superman. I follow him on Twitter and have seen evidence that he is really studying up on the man of steel. After a strong first issue, this second installment looks rushed. I am assuming this is a byproduct of the bi-weekly schedule of this title. I had seen before that Tyler Kirkham and Stephen Segovia were supposed to be sharing visual responsibilities. If something fell through, that would explain what happened here.
Now, I’m not saying this is the worst artwork ever or something, it’s not. There is a lot of worse art out there. I have been a fan of Zircher’s really since Mystery Men. This does not feel up to his usual standards though. Hopefully, as schedules get worked out, this will get corrected and everyone can get back on track. Ultimately, I would imagine that Zircher stepped up and got the issue out on time.
Overall, I feel that this is a pretty good issue. It continues the story, but is definitely a middle chapter. I’m interested enough though to see where it goes.
As always, only Jack Kirby can judge me.