Review: Action Comics # 959 “Path of Doom”

by Steven Brown
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[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Dan Jurgens
Penciller: Tyler Kirkham

Doomsday is back and intent on destroying all of Metropolis! The only two men capable of stopping him are Superman and Lex Luthor?! As Lex attempts to make a final stand against the creature to keep the citizens of Metropolis safe, Superman shows up to battle the creature! But will Lex’s strategies and Superman’s brute force be enough to stop the creature, or will Metropolis become the grave of both Lex and Superman?


The Positives

“Path of Doom, written by Dan Jurgens and penciled by Tyler Kirkham throws us right into Metropolis being a battle zone. Doomsday is releasing destruction upon Metropolis with no interference at all. The “new” Superman who’s the pre- New 52 Superman arrives on the scene to take on the monster. This is the Superman who fought Doomsday in the past–and died doing so. Here in this universe he takes on the monstrosity again–this time having Lex Luthor for support. Jurgens does a great job of showing the hostility between the two although this pre-New 52 Superman knows nothing about this universe’s Lex Luthor. Although Lex is one of the good guys here, he still comes off as smug and arrogant, and that part still makes Superman hate him to a degree. Kirkham complements the book further with amazing and detailed artwork. Every scene in this book, whether emotional or action packed, is shown with great detail and delivery. If you’re a regular follower of my posts, you’ve read again and again how much I say I’m an action-oriented person in my comics — I love conflict. Action Comics gives it to us in this issue. Although the biggest fight is between Superman and Doomsday I gotta give Lex credit for saving lives in this issue. I’m not sure if it’s some master scheme or if Lex has actually become a hero but I love the take on the character and I’m eager to see if he and Superman will be working together again in the future.


The Negatives

My only complaint about this issue is Clark Kent! Now I know it sounds confusing but there is an actual Clark Kent that works at the Daily Planet who is NOT Superman! Even Jimmy tells him to get into the action while Lex and Doomsday are trading blows. Things get really interesting when Superman shows up, and my only complaint is that while Doomsday and Superman battle in the sewers of the city, Clark Kent–who fell in the sewers by accident, is having a conversation with Superman while the hero battles Doomsday! Although the conversation was brief it seems completely inappropriate to be having — especially while fighting the being that already killed you once before. Hopefully some sense will be made of this as I see Clark Kent as having the heroic qualities of his counterpart–just NONE of the powers of the Man of Steel.


The Verdict

“Path of Doom” is easily one of the best read stories I’ve reviewed so far. It’s action packed, full of emotional moments between Lois and Superman’s son Jon Kent, and I like the idea of Lex Luthor being a hero. Anytime Doomsday shows up be prepared for a lot of destruction and Jurgens and Kirkham give it to us here in spades. I’m anxious to see exactly how a Superman/ Lex Luthor team up would work–or if it’s even possible? And the revelation of Jon Kent is exciting as well. Kirkham did a remarkable job showing the concern on the boy’s face as he sees his father battle Doomsday on live television. I know it’s a little early to call it but I’d love to see a Jon Kent meeting Damian Wayne at some point in the future! The sons of the two world’s greatest heroes in one book? Make it happen DC!!! I loved reading Action Comics #959 and if you’re a fan of slugfests and constant action then this is the issue for you!!!


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