Sunday, April 16, 2017

Comic Book Review: Action Comics #977 "The New World, Pt. 1"

By: Jerry Montgomery
April 15, 2017

Action Comics #977
“The New World, Pt. 1”

Written by: Dan Jurgens
Pencils by: Ian Churchill
Alternative cover for Action Comics #977

A new world is upon us indeed. Superman has been made whole. Everything is back to normal. Clark Kent and Superman are no longer two separate beings. Lois and Clark are back to work at the Planet and their son, Jon is safe and sound. Still, Superman still has a nagging feeling that something isn’t right. Something is missing…

So begins a new story arc in the life of Superman and one that stands to turn the DC universe on its head in Rebirth. The previous 4 part story line entitled,  Superman Reborn which crossed over from both Action Comics and Superman titles began this new mystery in the Rebirth mythos as the universe’s of Pre-Flashpoint and New 52 combined to bring new awareness to Superman and Lois. Mr. Myxztplk, doing his best impression of Mickey Rourke/Harry Angel in the movie, Angel Heart, turned himself into Superman’s alter ego,  Clark Kent and then cast a spell on himself to forget who he really was. Why? It was all an elaborate plan of revenge against Superman for forgetting him. Mr Myxztplk  believed in some warped way that he and Superman were good friends. A mysterious stranger known only as, “Mr. Oz” imprisoned Mr. Myxztplk after concluding that Myx was too dangerous to be in Superman’s life. Thinking that Superman would come to his rescue once he realized that he was gone. When enough time had passed and Myx realized Superman wasn’t  coming, he got angry, swore revenge and escaped. During the battle with Mr. Myxztplk to save their son, Jon, the essence of Pre-Flashpoint Superman and Lois merge with the New 52 incarnations, creating an altogether new Rebirth Lois and Superman.

Now, in issue #977, Superman is adjusting back to a life that he knew once existed. He again juggles life between Clark and Superman as Pre- Flashpoint Superman merged with New 52 Superman. He now has a knowledge of everything in but now knows that something or someone has tampered with time and history.  On top of that, a mysterious entity approaches an incapacitated Metallo and Blanque in an obvious plan to go after Superman.  Everything seems fine though to Superman, except that time seems fractured. He expresses his concerns to Lois and then sets out to solve it, travelling to the Fortress of Solitude. There, he consults the crystals, Kryptonian technology that has chronicled his entire life, so if there’s something amiss, they will know. We are treated to a history of Krypton prior to it’s destruction, Superman’s subsequent arrival to Earth and his discovery and adoption by Martha and Jonathan Kent. His childhood and adolescent years, his friends, the development of his powers and into his move to Metropolis. Everything checks out. There’s nothing out of place but Superman can’t get rid of that nagging feeling that something isn’t right.  Especially when he thinks about something Mr. Myxztplk said…that there was someone else out there, someone powerful than Myx. That’s when Superman hears the voice…

The Verdict: If you are in anyway interested in the mysteries of Rebirth, then you can’t miss this issue as the repercussions of last issue begin to be felt here in “The New World” story arc.  Superman is becoming aware of missing time and missing history, just as Batman and the Flash have from the beginning. You can either view this issue as an aftermath or an origin issue as there’s plenty of new directions about to careen off this one! It’s a good starting point if you’re a new reader to  Action Comics and Rebirth as this is just the beginning for those mysteries to be laid open.  Long time writer Dan Jurgens is doing a great job in his scripting and probably knows the most about the Man of Steel than anybody. Artist Ian Churchill’s work is reminiscent of classic Action Comics and will not disappoint. With the coming reveal of Rebirth and the crossover into the Watchmen universe, this one is a can’t miss.

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