[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Pencils: Viktor Bogdanovic
Inks: Viktor Bogdanovic & Jonathan Glapion
Color: Mike Spicer
Superman and his allies square off against the Superman Revenge Squad outside the Fortress of Solitude. There is very little verbal sparring before Zod and crew start the physical violence. Zod figures out that Superman is blind and uses this against him. Meanwhile, Lois and Jon are finally shuttled away by Kelex. However, it doesn’t take long for someone with Zod’s senses to figure out what’s going on. Zod is infuriated to learn that Superman has a family.
Zod and company gain entrance to the Fortress and retrieve the prize he’s been looking for – the Phantom Zone projector. It doesn’t take long for Zod to enact his plan. He sends Superman and his allies, less Supergirl, into the Phantom Zone with Eradicator and Henshaw right behind them. Zod has given his allies a mission: find the prisoners of the Phantom Zone!
This is a mostly lost art, but the issue is easily accessible to any reader, new or old. This is done with some good exposition and character introductions that enhance the story instead of slowing it down. There is a fair amount of action as was promised by last issue’s ending. As one might expect the fighting could become tedious, but the inclusion of Superman’s secret family was well executed. What worked so well was the fact that Zod took it so personally. This falls into the realm of character and it elevated what could’ve been a cliched battle issue. Taking the story into the Phantom Zone will hopefully keep the story fresh and devoid of cliches.
By avoiding the cliches, this issues stands as the best so far of this arc. And an adventure into the Phantom Zone promises to be unique to a Superman story.
While this easily could’ve been a run of the mill fight issue, the inclusion of Zod’s personal indignation at Superman’s family adds a unique element to their conflict. Clearly Zod is missing his own family and it intensifies his hate for the son of Jor-El.