Several mysteries begin unraveling piece by piece this week in Action Comics as we discover that Clark has closer ties to Lex than we ever knew (no, not that Clark) and that the two strangers that appeared last issue might actually be heroes. We also discover what happened to the underwear on the outside!
Meanwhile, in Supergirl has Zor El gone completely insane in his quest to make his daughter happy? What do her cover parents Jeremiah and Eliza think? Perhaps they are growing fonder of their charge than they ought to and what consequences will that hold with the DEO?
Elsewhere in the DCU Lois Lane has been reborn as Al Calavicci? Only Lana knows for sure! But while she does, the original Supergirls Natasha Irons & Traci 13 reunite ready to take on the might of Lena Luthor, Ultrawoman!
Diana visits her first shopping mall, has her first margarita and stops a terrorist act all in her first appearance in the modern day!
Is Rebirth still firing on all cylinders? Or is it starting to slip? Strap in and get ready to roll as we find out!
This is my look into the DC Universe this week!
ACTION COMICS #967
Men of Steel – Part One
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Tyler Kirkham
Cover: Clay Mann, Brad Anderson & Dan Jurgens
Variant: Gary Frank & Brad Anderson
Zade & L’Call review footage of the future and how Lex will destroy Earth and take Darkseid’s throne for himself after life is all but annihilated. At that same moment Jon and Clark are tracking through the Amazon jungle and discover the entire Geneticron building has been teleported there.
Jon mocks his father’s past costumes but Clark stands by his old suit explaining the decision to alter the costume was to honour his fallen self.
Clark decides to investigate the interior of the building to find out what exactly was inside.
Lois is shocked to find human Clark is at the Lexcorp building ’dropping off some papers’ while she is there to interview the CEO.
Lois makes it clear he should leave as Lex takes her to his laboratory. Once there he shows Lois is Superman armour but she is more interested in the fact there are several screens with analytical data on Clark. When Lex notices he shuts them off and shows her his new boom tube laser. Lois is shocked to discover the weapon with the aid of a Mother Box.
An explosion rocks the lab with human Clark reappearing just in time to catch Lois from falling to her death, signalling Superman with his watch. As Lex falls towards the sidewalk he dons his armour in mid fall coming face to face with L’Call.
Superman makes it to the lab in Geneticron discovering three smashed and empty pods, one housed Doomsday but the signal watch interrupts him and with Jon in tow he races to Metropolis.
Zade intercepts Clark with a fist to the gut, intent on keeping him busy while L’Call continues the termination as Jon watches helplessly from a rooftop.
An angry and determined L’Call raises his blade ready to behead Lex before he becomes the deadliest force in the universe.
To Be Continued…
Strength to strength the writing and art are happy marriage in Action. Perspective and composition is on point. The inking is a little heavy at times with light sources flitting around on occasion but overall it’s a great issue!
Will the real Superman please stand up? Its becoming more and more like a television soap right now with all the evil siblings, doppelgangers and plot twists but right now that is making Superman really engaging and this cover neatly hints at the twist inside. The inking is a little lighter than I’d like personally but it doesn’t detract from the fun of the image.
VARIANT COVER: 5/5
If looks could kill! Argh! I hate Lex Luthor! I just hate that he’s wearing Clark’s shield and it seems that Superman is equally unimpressed! I like the twist that they are both Supermen, in fact I think Lex is more a Man Of Tomorrow than Ulysses and should take that moniker but he needs to get that suit off before Clark makes him regret it!
ISSUE RATING: 5/5
Quirky moments aplenty and unique twist on the Superman being hunted for his crimes against humanity being Lex and Superman being the cheap imitation. I like the twist and the mystery elements ensure Lois is not just standing on the sidelines as she uncovers the fact the Clark is being watched by Lex and that Lex has Apokoliptian technology he is harvesting.
Of course the discovery of Luthor’s Boom Tube laser that can teleport anything and the Geneticron building teleporting away can’t be coincidence, but then that means there are at least three bioweapons alive and missing somewhere, one being Doomsday himself.
The scene with Jon questioning Clark about his underpants on the outside was brilliant and I like that it is at least being acknowledged. It did make me smile. Jon is a unique ‘device’, he’s a growing character all of his own but he’s also a way for the writers to address issues on the Man of Steel. He frequently asks questions but not in an annoying way, more in a way that can a) help new readers get to know Lois, Clark and Superman anew and b) address questions on Superman in general that have come up in the last few years, for example why the underpants or why isn’t Lois a stay at home mom.
Are Action and Superman the two best titles in Rebirth right now? Quite possibly!
Reign of the Cyborg Superman: Part Three
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Brian Ching
Cover: Brian Ching & Michael Atiyeh
Kara confides in Eliza and Jeremiah about the recent goings on and though they are worried about the consequences, Eliza refuses to allow her to go alone stealing a shuttle craft from the DEO to accompany her.
Kara is shocked to discover Argo has been completely reconstructed using the Red Kryptonite in the asteroid core as a power source. Argo is now in orbit around Saturn. Kara and Eliza approach but an over eager Kara races ahead leaving Elza to follow far behind her. Zor El is ready to greet his daughter and presents her with the citizens of Argo, her friends and even Alura, her mother.
Back at Catco, Ben Rubel tells Cat that Kara is not at the work placement because she has relatives in town. Cat in unimpressed but allows it to slide monitoring Ben instead.
Director Chase meanwhile also notices that Supergirl is missing and questions Jeremiah. He stands by his wife ad adoptive daughter and Chase allows this display of insolence to slide also.
Kara is horrified at what Zor has done to resurrect the Argonians but when she attempts to fight her father he uses his technology to erect a cage. At the same time the automaton Alura has captured Eliza.
Zor tries to explain that the Argonians need Odic energy. Only certain species emit it and the Argonians need to absorb it to come back from death. Kara is horrified to see that Alura has absorbed Odic energy from Eliza.
Zor exclaims that Jor was correct that Earth would be Krypton’s salvation but only if the humans are sacrificed. With Kara trapped Zor leads and army of automatons towards Earth for an invasion!
To Be Continued…
I really enjoy the style in the book, It makes it really stand out from the crowd and like Kara struggling with her individuality the art is an allegory of her journey. There is an energy there that is lost on many of the books that mistake hyper excessive details as a good storytelling tool. Sometimes all it takes is a really good story and a lot of heart.
After heaping compliments on the interior art the cover is a bit of a disappointment. Not in style but in content. I’m not a fan of Kara being a damsel in distress and though there is a horror element and I can understand her point of view, I don’t think Kara would run.
VARIANT COVER: 3/5
A fun cover but with a lot of ‘dead space’ as we know it’s Zor El/Cyborg on the attack the mystery element is already wasted, had it been three issues earlier it perhaps would have worked better. I prefer this determined Supergirl to the frightened one on the main cover but it has an equal amount against it because of the largely wasted pace that amounts to 2/3rds of the cover. It would have been nicer to see it from her viewpoint rather that Zor’s as she’s largely hidden.
ISSUE RATING: 4/5
Not a lot of progression over last issue with a lot of repetition in themes. It was just playing out what we knew would happen and indeed was predicted. The 5 goes entirely to the Danvers, Eliza and Jeremiah are fast becoming fully rounded individuals and more like parents than operatives on an assignment.
Cyborg too has become an entirely different animal. Free of Brainiac he has regained his mortal side but what is clear is that he has had some kind of break down. His heart is in the right place but like many humans ‘Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should’ comes to mind.
Kara has grown under the Danvers’ influence and has changed as a character, for the better
Who Killed Superwoman – Part Four: Together Again (For The Very First Time)
Writer: Phil Jimenez
Artist: Emanuela Lupachino
Cover: Emanuela Lupachino, Ray McCarthy, Brad Anderson & Phil Jimenez
Variant: Ben Oliver
Someone is on the Lang Farm in Kansas, and when Lana investigates she finds Lois Lane! Not Lois Smith but the other Superwoman! Is she a ghost? A manifestation of Lana’s psyche? A spiritual guide?
Lana suddenly finds herself in a café with John and Natasha but her interaction with Lois did happen… didn’t it?
Bibbo approaches and introduces his daughter Joshie and her fiancé Dan while Lana explains to John what happened with Lois Smith and Superman.
Natasha interrupts them and they see a bulletin on television of Natasha’s father being taken to prison.
John ask Nat to think of a codename while Lana , as Superwoman pays a visit to the MSCU to meet with Captain Sawyer. She arrives with Phantom Lois to see Savoir trying to break free to fight the Lex Luthor who is an imposter to the Superman legacy.
Atomic Skull is cooperating with the MSCU and tells them about the energy siphon that was being used to cause the blackouts. He also offers his ideas on a Hypercube prison. More humane that Stryker’s it is a prison cell that exists in a sliver of time that is out of sync with ours.
Maggie reveals that Mercy Graves has gone missing along with the clones Superwoman told them about. She also tells Lana of the news stories about Lena being kept prisoner in the Lexcorp basement.
Somehow Lena has created the tech Atomic Skull was telling them about and despite Lex and a fellow prisoner, the Kryptonite Man, being held there they are in Hypercubes the MSCU cannot see them.
Later Lana embraces Phantom Lois as a representation of her friend and they talk about her reliance on drugs and Lois questions her on things Lana had kept from everyone, including John. But the heart to heart doesn’t last and visiting John in his lab, Lana runs through a battery of medical tests.
No matter the test the results are the same, Lois would have died from her power eventually whether or not the Bizarros had attacked and Lana will die soon too.
Traci 13 emerges from a magic portal begging for Steel and Superwoman to help before Metropolis dies. Traci explains that the city itself gives her magical abilities, they feed her power and information and the city is dying. Mercy Graves, the Bizarro Superwomen and Ultrawoman resurrect and reconstruct the Gestalt, Lex Luthor’s giant battle cruiser that’s been laying dormant since it was damaged. Traci informs them that only Superwoman can stop Lena Luthor before she enslaves Metropolis!
To Be Continued…
Great composition, nice angles, clean solid inking and non intrusive colouring deliver a great looking book Lupachino makes Superwoman really Super! Wish there were some dialogue boxes but you can’t have everything I suppose!
Despite the torment Lana is suffering juggling life as Lana and Superwoman, not to mention her loss of friends and family. This cover doesn’t deliver on the book inside. I know Lois ‘returning’ was a major reveal not to mention Lena’s plot escalating but considering the impact this cover could have delivered this just doesn’t seem to do it justice.
VARIANT COVER: 5/5
Wow, just wow. Lana looks spectacular! Not since Stacy Haiduk portrayed her on television has Lana Lang looked this good. I would love to know the techniques employed here. Ben Oliver has worked some magic Traci 13 would be jealous of!
ISSUE RATING: 5/5
Lois Lane is back and though she isn’t Superwoman it is nice to have her be the friend and confidante again. I’m finding myself worried for Lana, her addiction to the pills, her deteriorating health, her visions of Lois. She’s facing a foe rarely faced in comics… herself, the only other perhaps is Superman in All Star.
Lena’s rise I’m sort of disappointed in as I thought she’d take the stance of becoming the evil CEO in Lex’s place rather than full on insane megalomaniac. Still from what’s been happening in the book so far I can tell there is still a lot more to Superwoman, Ultrawoman, Lana and Lois than meets the eye.
I’ve only ever seen Phil’s work as an artist but Superwoman is only four issues in and he’s a serious talent.
Superwoman is a title permanently on my pull list and it should be on yours!
WONDER WOMAN #10
Year One : Part Four
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Nicola Scott
Cover: Nicola Scott & Romulo Farjado Jr.
Variant: Jenny Frisson
Barbara, Etta an Steve are visiting the mall with Diana for the very first time.
They are struggling with the translations between E m mm nglish and ancient Greek dialect, surprisingly only the children are interested in Wonder Woman and her costume.
Shopping takes its toll and as they sit down to eat Diana has her first taste of cocktails. Barbara asks her about her gifts and Diana admits she doesn’t know what the gods gifted her with.
She presents her lasso and as Etta examines it she finds that she and Diana suddenly understand one another, then Barbara, then Steve, each also finding an irresistible urge to tell a truth about themselves.
Suddenly the mall is under attack and people begin being shot in a rain of gunfire. Diana realises she has immense speed as she intercept bullets meant for children.
With Steve’s aid Diana takes out the remaining two gunmen but Etta has spotted two snipers outside the mall. They hurl in a grenade and Diana sacrifices herself to contain the blast, this is when she discovers her invulnerability. With Etta and Barbara tending to the survivors they watch as Diana soars skyward and returns with the remaining two gunmen and Steve in tow.
The public are astounded that the costumed woman is really a superhero and social media goes wild. Ignoring the barrage of questions they examine the body of one gunman and both Diana and Barbara stare in horror at the tattoo on his chest. The Sear Group are on the attack…
To Be Continued…
It’s Nicola Scott, its Wonder Woman. Do I need to say more? I do, ok, rarely have I seen art that just looks and feels just right on a book but here is the perfect example. The line work is so well done and not at all overpowered by the digital colouring, in fact they work well together too!
In opposition to what I just said we now see a beautifully illustrated cover overpowered by digital effects.
VARIANT COVER: 4/5
This issues variant is nowhere near as strong as issues past which have ad a ethereal quality to them. It just doesn’t seem as powerful as Frisson’s past art. Not sure I like the lasso holster, I hate to drop it a point but It just wasn’t as strong this week.
ISSUE RATING: 4/5
Déjà vu. I know it is meant to be a parallel to the last issues visit but it would have been nice to see the attack in a different setting. The similarities aren’t lost on me and in many ways enhance the direction of the story.
There are some sweet character moments but Steve’s feelings left me a little bitter, after all Diana decided against him opting for Superman despite knowing he was clearly smitten with her, I know she explained away her choice in modern day but it was something they did to Superman too and proved to be an error.
As a Year One story it’s close to perfection and I’m glad Greg Rucka has worked so extensively to make more of Diana.
She is in good hands and at first like many other readers I was perplexed by the ‘back and forth’ technique between storylines but now they seem to be converging and the mystery of The Sear Group awaits us!