Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Review: Action Comics 960: Path of Doom Part 4 (Spoilers)

Review: Action Comics 960: Path of Doom Part 4
Submitted by: Joshua Williams, Comics News Writer
2 August 2016

Action Comics 960, begins with a sort of mystery figure observing the destruction of Doomsday.  Within the first two pages, three significant observations are discovered: 1) the mystery observer, 2) Superman and Lois Lane have a son, and 3) there is a second Clark Kent!!  With this beginning, the readers can dive right into the shroud of mystery that has followed Superman since the 1940s.  Oh, and let’s not forget Doomsday wreaking havoc on the streets of Metropolis, again!

This issue, entitled “Path of Doom: Part Four,” written by Dan Jurgens with Tyler Kirkman as the Artist, picks up where Part Three left off beginning with the “mystery observer.”  Superman finds himself in rubble whilst fending off Doomsday, while Clark Kent #2 has a front row seat for the action.  Clark Kent #2 is promptly rescued by Wonder Woman.  As Diana moves Kent to safety she decides to postpone her questioning of this new Clark Kent and instead focuses her attention on Doomsday and joining Superman in battle.  However, Wonder Woman promises to return to Kent for further questioning. As the battle rages on, readers begin to realize that this monumental skirmish is being televised on every news outlet in Metropolis.  Superman’s #1 fan, his son Jon, is watching and grows with excitement with each blow thrown.  Finally, Jon’s excitement swells as Superman and Wonder Woman gain a brief advantage (with a bus being crashed onto Doomsday) and he delivers a sonic-boom that Doomsday is able to detect.  Therefore, Doomsday makes an escape in pursuit of the sonic-boom.  Doomsday’s destination is the old Smith Farm, where Lois and Jon are currently living.  Lois and Superman instantly detect the imminent danger to their son.  Suddenly, Lex Luthor shows up to demand an explanation from Superman and Wonder Woman (wearing a new costume).  Here the origin of Doomsday is revealed, as is his is hatred for anything planet Krypton.  Superman leaves in a flash to protect Lois and Jon.  Wonder Woman catches up to discover that, in fact, Superman has a son and Lois is the boy’s mother.  Simultaneously, Lois and Jon get into their old truck to leave the farm as fast as possible, only to be stopped, mid-drive, by Superman and Wonder Woman.  Lois Lane addresses the awkwardness between her and Diana, and here we discover that this is a different Wonder Woman, an interesting development.  The conversation and reunion ends abruptly because Doomsday arrives.  We learn that the mystery observer is watching and listening as the events unfold.  Superman instructs Lois and Jon to leave as fast as possible, as Diana takes a devastating left to the head and face from Doomsday.  Here, Doomsday reveals that he now understands what he must do for victory as this issue ends.

Action Comics 960, and series writer Dan Jurgens, uses the events of the DC Universe Rebirth Action Comics (which began on May 25, 2016).  This explains the “mystery observer” (whom we know is Mr. Oz), the new Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor on the side of good, Superman’s son, and Clark Kent #2.  The best part of the issue is how the idea of mystery and information is delivered and sometimes withheld when producing comic books.  Superman himself is at an advantage for he does not seem to be effected physically by the events of DC Universe Rebirth.  In addition, Superman has an advantage that no other superhuman of Earth is held to, considering he is actually alien.  Superman has to find ways to assimilate with the people of Earth, changing his appearance from the blue tights and red cape which are a part of his alien heritage, while the Clark Kent get-up is actually his disguise.  Jurgens does a wonderful job in staying true to the basic ideals of adapting and applying this existential mystery.  The Verdict:  If you love Superman, then you will love the new Superman in the Rebirthed DC Universe.  Appearances by Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor vamp up the issue tremendously.  However, several conflicts and story arcs come to the forefront in this issue, making Action Comics 960 a bit crowded.  With patience, I imagine the story will fall into place and deliver a riveting story.

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