Action Comics #960 Review

Written by: Dan Jurgens

Art by: Tyler Kirkham

Publisher: DC Comics

“Things are moving swiftly” says Mr. Oz as this issue opens, if only he knew how deeply ironic his words are, as four issues in and Action Comics has barely moved forward at all. A lot of people seem to be enjoying this series, and to be fair this issue is better than the last, but for me this is where I jump off the Action Comics train, as when there are other incredible Superman books out there, there’s really no need to be reading this one.

The plot of this issue is exactly the same as the last three, except this time wonder woman shows up and the fight with Doomsday moves out of the city. There’s finally a little more interaction between the characters this time around, with Diane meeting two new versions of the man she loved being the perfect opportunity for some great drama, unfortunately this is largely swept aside so we can rehash Death of Superman some more and get even more clunky, repetitive dialogue.

At this point the characters just feel like parodies of themselves. Having literally decimated Metropolis and evacing most of its civilians, having Clark run around with a broken arm yelling “I WON’T LEAVE BECAUSE OF MUH JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY” feels like an incredibly dumb decision rather than an inspirational one, especially since all he’s done so far is bumble around and go “look how much of an enigma I am!”. Aside from that, the dialgoue is mostly just “RAAAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHH” from Doomsday, clearly the most compelling Superman villain of all time. Also on a personal note, I really dislike the voice Jurgens gives Jon, he seems far to eager to watch “badass violence” when Superman has done such a good job of showing him as a sweet, sensitive boy who feels a lot of conflict and turmoil over his and his dad’s powers. It’s just another instance of the book feeling super clunky and generic when there’s a far better option out there.

The art this issue also takes a massive hit, looking far more sketchy and rushed just one issue after its debut. The opening splash page is pretty gorgeous with the debut of Wonder Woman, though it quickly runs out of steam and just looks ill defined and rushed. All the faces begin to blend together into one and Superman’s facial features become more and more generic as the book goes on. Jon also looks even more horrifying this issue, his lifeless grin failing to capture any youthful energy.

I’ve gotten pretty worn down by Action Comics by this point, despite my snarkiness, this issue is in fact an improvement over the last given that it does actually move the story ahead, but it’s so bland I can hardly care anymore. The series started with so much potential, but has found itself lapped several times over by the much, much better Superman book. This arc just feels far too long and totally unnecessary, the next few arcs seems shorter and look to be answering some of the book’s mysteries, so I may jump back on then, but right now there’s just no real need to be reading this book when so many better ones exist.