[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Art: Tyler Kirkham
Colorist: Ulises Arreola
This is a bit of a strangely plotted issue. We don’t learn much, if anything, as it’s more a reveal for Lois, Clark, Luthor, Superman and Jon as they figure out why Zade and L’Call the Godslayer are here on Earth attacking Luthor and Superman. The most significant aspect of the issue comes at the very end.
The majority of the issue is a protracted battle between Superman and Zade and L’Call and Luthor. As they fight L’Call explains why he’s here to kill Luthor. While Superman gets a little help from Zade, Lois and Clark look on from a nearby rooftop. Superman steps in to stop L’Call delivering a finishing blow to Luthor, but the only thing that dissuades L’Call from delivering it on Superman is Jon stepping up and pleading with L’Call not to kill his father. This causes L’Call a moment of pause and reflection on his actions. L’Call and Zade quickly return to the future and vow to deal with Luthor there. As Lois, Clark and Superman discuss the morality of killing Luthor if they believe he will eventually cause the death of worlds, it is the mysterious Clark Kent that steps forward to declare killing Luthor the right thing to do.
The ending with Clark’s call to kill Luthor was certainly an unexpected twist that not only adds to the mystery of the character, but also increases the tension with the question of the morality of the act. Nothing else stands out as the issue is mostly recap of last issue.
The biggest drawback is the lack of forward movement of the story. The issue is mostly fighting, as we the readers already know what is being revealed to the characters. This could’ve been plotted more efficiently and focused on something more substantial this issue. There are also a few moments where Tyler Kirkham’s art seems a bit rushed as well as containing some funky foreshortening. It’s not a bad issue, but it’s just kind of there, almost as if they were in a hurry and hadn’t figured out where the story was going next.
For this run of Action Comics this is one of the weaker issues. The overall concept of this story still gets high marks, but this episode seems to stall out until the final sequence. However, this does make it an ideal issue for new readers to jump aboard. The arc remains promising as it seems that Superman will be faced with a real moral quandary.