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Action Comics #997 Review

Comic Books

Action Comics #997 Review

Superman fights General Zod’s son and Lois saves her dad.

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It’s all building towards Action Comics #1000, and we’re very close indeed. This six part story arc has had Superman jump through time to figure out his father issues while Dan Jurgens has wrapped his son Jon and his father-in-law into the mix. It’s a story about fatherhood through time and in this issue Zod’s boy gets a chance to show off what he’s got.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

“BOOSTER SHOT” part five! Superman and Booster Gold are stranded in time on a world ruled by not one but two Generals Zod! As Lor-Zod asserts himself as rightful heir to the military dictatorship of their adopted homeworld, Old Man Zod turns his attention to the interlopers from the past. Our heroes’ only hope of survival is to repair their craft and get home–but to do that, they’ll need to travel into the belly of beast!

Why does this matter?

There isn’t a fantasy quite like this on the shelf, as the main character has slowly built up their powers and earned them along the way. Along with the slime protagonist there are also various fantasy creatures. It’s fun to see how Taiki Kawakami weaves in tactical elements as well.

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

Action Comics #997 Review
In case you missed the last four issues.

This issue opens with an excellent recap of the four issues that came before via a single page well drawn and written. Given the complicated nature of this arc (and Superman’s actions) it’s quite clearly explained what is going on here.

The main thrust of this issue involves Lois rescuing her father from imprisonment in a foreign land. This is the opportunity for the b-plot to finally pick up and get things over with. Considering Lois’ story was barely hinted at or progressed over the last four issues it’s nice to see it finally go somewhere. Dan Jurgens hints at a conflict for the future between Jon’s secret powers and his grandfather that should be fun to explore.

There’s plenty of action to open the issue too. Superman faces off against Zod’s now-grown son and this gives artist Brett Booth ample space to show off Superman’s powers. His laser eye power gets heavy usage and there are impressive double page layouts to gander at.

Action Comics #997 Review
Like father like son.

It can’t be perfect can it?

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It’s ironic this story arc is called “Booster Shot” given how slow and drawn out it has been. Booster Gold had some interesting moments an issue or two ago, but this issue (along with the last) is turning this arc into a waiting game. Superman is captured for much of this issue and we must hear Zod and his family postulate on how they were wronged and what they are going to do. It’s a snooze fest and it’s the type you see in comics all the time that usually ends with the heroes gathering extra courage and strength at the last minute. The cliffhanger is equally insulting to the reader as we all know there is no way the characters who get gunned down will stay dead. Seeing as this story arc is all about time travel it’s rather easy to see where it goes from here.

Is It Good?

This is simply put not a very great comic due to its run-of-the-mill plotting and inability to defy expectations. You see what’s coming, the plotting is rather phoned in, and it has become obvious this arc is being drawn out simply to get to issue 1000. There’s some good art and fight scenes, but nothing exceptional. There’s nothing here you haven’t seen before and it’s painfully obvious the events here will be reversed quickly.

Action Comics #997 Review
Action Comics #997
Is it good?
Save for some fun action this is a lackluster issue.
Good visual fight scene storytelling
The recap page helps you catch up
Lois' story finally gets somewhere
The cliffhanger is a laugh that'll be erased in no time
Much of the issue is of Zod and his family complaining or saying what they'll do...snore
There isn't much here we haven't seen before

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