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Action Comics #978 Review

Comic Books

Action Comics #978 Review

Action Comics continues as Superman attempts to figure out what has changed in his history. Something is irking him since fighting Mr. Mxyzptlk and now he’s using crystals in the Fortress of Solitude to figure out what is perturbing him.

Action Comics #978 Review
Action Comics #978
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Carlo Barberi
Publisher: DC Comics

So what’s it about? The official summary reads:

“Superman Reborn Aftermath” part two! Superman’s life has been changed, some good is back, but the bad is back as well—with a vengeance! As Superman’s allies gather to address the looming threat of Mr. Oz, another Squad seeks revenge against the Man of Steel—and you won’t believe who made the team!

Why does this book matter?

With each passing Superman book we learn a bit more about what is going on with Mr. Oz and the building threats towards Supes and his family. This series is no different. As Superman attempts to figure out what is a bit off, we’re also getting a very good recap of his origin, which should get readers up to speed on this epic and storied past.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Action Comics #978 Review
Well this is familiar.

This issue improves on the somewhat vague reasoning Superman had in the last issue to review his life history. That gives the events in this issue a bit more dramatic tension. Sure, we’re still getting a recap of Superman’s history –something many of us know already — but he’s doing it for a good reason. We also get some more unique scenes this issue which aren’t the standard beats of his origin. Anyone a fan of Superman’s death in the 90’s might want to pick this up too as Jurgens brings that into the fold and thus makes it a bit more important to the current events of Superman. It also brings anyone unfamiliar with Superman’s latest exploits–namely having a son–up to speed too. It’s obvious at this point this and the last issue are ways to get readers up to snuff on the somewhat long history of Superman in the last two decades and overall it does a good job of that.

Outside of this, Superman’s foes continue to gather which helps build towards the eventual confrontation. The characters brought in this issue combine to make for a satisfying villainous combo which should make longtime fans giddy for the battle to come.

Carlo Barberi pencils this issue with inks by Matt Santorelli and color by Hi-Fi. Superman has a hunky look to him not unlike Ed McGuinness’ work. Barberi draws a fantastic double page spread with a lot of characters — villain and hero — visualizing the history of Superman. The digital numbers ala The Matrix continue to be used for a mysterious villain which look fantastic. Comic readers should be grateful we’re living in an age where something like this can look so good. Without a doubt, Barberi draws Superman in a square jawed heroic look that’s not to be missed.

Action Comics #978 Review
I miss those pranks.

It can’t be perfect can it?

It’s still hard to shake the fact that we’re getting a recap of Superman’s life which many of us already know. It’s free comic book day material with a dash of progress in the villain side of things. What makes this worse is the irking feeling Superman is feeling still hasn’t been revealed (unless it’s this mysterious villain that’s teased?). The issue is perfectly good, but if you know Superman’s history it’s not the most enjoyable read, especially the more recent history.

Is It Good?

Action Comics is setting the stage for a big story, that’s for sure, but getting a full recap of Superman’s exploits during the last decade might bore longtime fans. That said, it’s well done here, and the villain’s storyline is progressed well too.

Action Comics #978 Review
Action Comics #978
Is It Good?
Another good issue, but the recapping can be a tad boring given we know it already. It's done well though!
Sharp art that recaps Superman's life well
Smaller moments of Superman's life make this less retread feeling than the last issue
Villains story progresses well
Hard to shake the recap is stuff we already know
We still don't know what has changed in his history

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