Review: Action Comics #989

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Story & Breakdown Art: Dan Jurgens

Pencils: Viktor Bogdanovic

Inks: Viktor Bogdanovic & Trevor Scott

Colors: Mike Spicer

 

Summary

Jor-El’s plan to reveal the worst in mankind is well underway as incidents begin reaching the newsroom at the Daily Planet.  As Superman continues to have it out with Jor-El in a philosophical discussion on the merits of humanity and Superman’s role on Earth, Lois Lane, Perry and company have to deal with the results of Jor-El’s plan first hand as an Oz follower walks into the Planet with an explosive vest and handgun.

Lois is able to talk him into letting everyone go and then tell his story and upload it to the Planet website.  It’s a bit of a ruse as she uses a moment to get a signal off to the Fortress of Solitude for Kelex to relay to Superman.  Moments later a streak crashes through the window disarming the Oz follower.  But, it’s not Superman – it’s Jor-El.  And he’s actually very happy to meet Lois.  Meanwhile, Superman has gone off to try and put a stop to the civil war in Logamba.

Jor-El leaves Lois to find Jon and introduce himself.  Jor-El reveals his plan to Jon to take the four of them to a planet where everyone is super powered and no has to hide behind glasses and a slouch.

 

Positives

Superman’s understanding of his role on Earth is very moving.  In this sense Superman and Jor-El represent the opposing sides of Hope and Cynicism.  Either one can color one’s thinking on the terrible things that happen in the world.  This is important today, tomorrow and always.  Despite the characterization of Jor-El feeling very wrong, this dichotomy plays into the heart of Superman’s success and ubiquitous presence throughout the years.  It also shows why he is timeless.

Jor-El’s play for Jon is the best part of the issue as Jon’s innocence and vulnerability are exploited.  His youthful enthusiasm is endearing, contrasting with his ignorance of the bigger picture.

 

Negatives

I always cringe when Superman’s existence on Earth is depicted as a mission from his father to show Earth people a better way.  Especially in this case, as he refers to Earth people as “them.”  Separating, Superman from those of Earth loses some of the uniqueness in his duality of both alien and one of us.  The angle on this aspect that works most effectively is when Superman is viewed as an alien in DNA, but a human in emotion and psyche.

Verdict

This has been the best chapter in the “The Oz Effect.”  Getting Jor-El and Jon together has humanized Jor-El and it may point to his downfall in this arc.

 

 

Matthew Lloyd

Matthew Lloyd

Master's Degree in Art History from the University of Louisville. Doctorate in Progressive Rock from Genesis and Rush. Father of 2 awesome daughters, husband to 1 amazing and understanding wife. Post-Doctorate in Comics from Heroes Aren't Hard to Find (Charlotte, NC) and Parts Unknown (Greensboro, NC). Managing a restaurant pays the bills.