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Action Comics #998 Review

Comic Books

Action Comics #998 Review

An excellent climactic issue to an arc that probably didn’t need to be so long.

Action Comics‘ latest storyline entitled “Booster Shot” comes to end this week, paving the way for issue #1000. Can Superman make it out alive in a future where Zod and his family aim to execute him? If he wants to make it to his historic 1,000th issue, he has to!

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

“BOOSTER SHOT” part six! Escape from Planet Zod! Superman and Booster Gold must escape to travel back to the present, where the life of the captured Sam Lane hangs in the balance!

Why does this matter?

Dan Jurgens is laying out his last long story arc before Brian Michael Bendis takes over, so he better go out on top. He’s also finalizing the Mr. Oz storyline by confirming whether or not the man is Superman’s father. A big deal to say the least, since that character has been a part of Superman’s life for over a year now.

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

Action Comics #998 Review
Not looking good.

This issue is highly entertaining, offering a strongly captioned voice by Booster Gold to draw the reader into the situation. The time travel element, which was used once or twice in the last few issues of this arc, is used a few times here, adding to the science fiction nature of the story. There are also some well written twists that make Superman’s escape believable and entertaining. Added to that are satisfying closures to the cliffhanger last issue and the Mr. Oz info Superman has been seeking.

Will Conrad draws a solid issue, with great colors by Ivan Nunes. As Supes gets blasted with the laser eyes of the Zods the color is amped up enough to look like an incredible spectacle. Conrad draws with great detail throughout the issue, even in background characters who are watching the fights. Space backgrounds and fire are used well too and the colors mixed with Conrad’s lines make for an excellent amount of realism.

The issue ends with a surprising twist that will affect Booster Gold’s character moving forward. It’s a surprise to be sure since the story has mostly been about Superman. It’s a valiant and heroic effort on his part and the weight of his choice is stronger due to all the times he’s harped on Superman for wanting to change the future.

Action Comics #998 Review
Zod’s kid looks nuts, eh?

It can’t be perfect can it?

The truth is this is a great comic, but because it’s so good, I’m reminded about how this arc was largely decompressed, dragging the reader on for almost no reason at all. The entire arc could have been this issue, more or less, save for scenes between Booster Gold and his parents and setting up Lois Lane’s adventure. Both of those elements either needed no time at all or could have been skipped entirely. Even though this series is $2.99 that still means readers would have had to spend nearly $15 to read what could have been reduced to one issue. Bah to that!

Is It Good?

A great finish that’s really tops across the board, but its one failing is that it packs so much it’s a reminder the five issues in this arc that came before it were unnecessary.

Action Comics #998 Review
Action Comics #998
Is it good?
An excellent climactic issue to an arc that probably didn't need to be so long.
Excellent finale with answers, action, and strong character beats to carry forward
Looks sharp with Conrad's work and Nunes' color
The only major downer is that this book is paced so well with so many good story beats you're reminded the arc didn't need to be six issues long!

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