Review: Action Comics #984

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

Writer: Dan Jurgens

Art: Patrick Zircher

Colors: Hi-Fi



Superman is in the Phantom Zone.  Lois can’t find Jon after the decoy ship was blown up by Zod last issue.  Superman and team plunge deeper into the Phantom Zone to try and stop the Eradicator and Cyborg Superman from completing Zod’s mission – rescue his army.

Zod dispatches Metallo and Mongul, surprisingly, and keeps Blanque busy with a very difficult psychic link to the Eradicator in the Phantom Zone.  Just as Zod is about to kill Supergirl, the Kryptonian battle armor in the background comes to life and challenges Zod.   Inside is Jon, who’s getting some direction from a disembodied voice.  This gives Supergirl enough time to recover and assist.

In the Phantom Zone, Superman realizes that passing into the Zone has cured his blindness.  Upon catching up to the Eradicator, they are in time to see the Eradicator rescue not an army, but Ursa and Lor-Zod, the General’s wife and son respectively.  As Zod brings his family back through, Superman and the Eradicator slip in as well.  Zod, his family and the Eradicator escape to plan for another day.  Superman brings back his allies, but leaves Cyborg Superman in the Phantom Zone.  We also learn that the disembodied voice that assisted Jon was none other than Mr. Oz.


Patrick Zircher’s return to the art chores is welcome.  His style is a little more unique than what we’ve seen recently and it’s that Kubert-esque look that he brings that is so enjoyable.  Despite the fact that some of the recent art has had a very appropriate classic look, Zircher’s work has its own appeal.  Bringing in Zod’s family provides a nice balance to Superman’s family and a humanizing aspect to Zod’s character.  Clearly, there is an even bigger resolution coming for Zod and Superman’s shared animosity.

Leaving Cyborg Superman in the Zone is an interesting decision as it brings into question the morality of a punishment like the Phantom Zone.  While it’s been used by Superman before, it is nonetheless an extreme punishment.  Lastly, Mr. Oz’s appearance keeps the reader reminded that there is a much larger context for these characters as the entire DC Universe will most certainly be affected.


Superman’s recovery from blindness, despite having an explanation came a little too easy.  It could’ve been drawn out a bit longer, but there are bigger things going on for Superman and a long-term blindness would be too much for the status quo right now.


With a bit of a surprising ending, this issue wraps up the “Revenge” storyline without loose ends, but with future plans for Zod and family.  The continued tease of Mr. Oz maintains the link to the bigger picture.  All in all a satisfying ending with some well-placed surprises.

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