Review: Action Comics #981

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

Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Jack Herbert
Color: Hi-Fi



Superman is freed from the Black Vault by Rick Flag and Amanda Waller.  After arguing about the merit of Waller using General Zod for the Suicide Squad, Superman takes off to track down the escaped Zod and his liberators, the Eradicator and Cyborg Superman.  However, we quickly learn that something isn’t quite right with Superman.

Superman is able to surprise them, but quickly finds himself in trouble.  This causes him to retreat to develop a new strategy.  The short fight is caught by a news helicopter and we get quick vignettes of reactions from those in the greater Superman cast including Lex, Kara and Lois.  Which is where Superman goes next.  Lois and Jon are driving from Hamilton County to Metropolis and Clark lands in the road.  He reveals that he is blind…


This issue moves quickly, but also gets to the point quickly.  The revelation of Superman being blind is another throwback motif from a by-gone era.  This works well as does Zod’s quick alliance with the Eradicator and Cyborg Superman.  It allows the story to move forward and not dwell too long on infighting.  Jack Herbert’s art has a real throwback look as well, there seem to be elements of Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Eduardo Barreto and even Alex Saviuk.  This has the same timeless effect that regular artist Patrick Zircher achieves, despite being different stylistically.  Instead of a modern looking Superman, he looks classic despite the lack of red trunks.


In keeping with the theme of action, this fast paced issue doesn’t provide much depth, but the plot and story line are interesting and enjoyable.  It doesn’t require as much effort, but it entertains.


The classic approach to Superman is a welcome direction.  However, there does seem to be a lack of depth in the plot.  The off beat approach to trying to reconcile the two Supermen at the beginning of this run produced a more interesting challenge for both the reader and the Man of Steel.  Though a step up from last issue, it’s good, but not great.



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