Review: Action Comics #982

Kyle King Kyle King
Expert Contributor
July 2nd, 2017

T. Kyle King is a lawyer, a former sports blogger, a panelist on the "Twin Peaks"-centric "Wrapped in Podcast", and a Superman guy.

Review: Action Comics #982
Comics
0
Price:
Fantastic

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On July 2, 2017
Last modified:July 2, 2017

Summary:

Vibrant artwork, careful characterization, and engaging action with meaningful stakes together made this another outstanding issue in the Rebirth revival of this iconic series.

Price:
Fantastic

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On July 2, 2017
Last modified:July 2, 2017

Summary:

Vibrant artwork, careful characterization, and engaging action with meaningful stakes together made this another outstanding issue in the Rebirth revival of this iconic series.

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Action Comics #982 kicked the Superman Revenge Squad’s plot into high gear with an issue penned by Dan Jurgens and pencilled by Jack Herbert and Jose Luis. Revenge — Part IV carried the sextet of supervillains to the Metropolis Marvel’s doorstep, and ComiConverse’s Krypton correspondent, T. Kyle King, is on the scene to survey the result.

(Warning: Spoilers follow!)

Action Comics #982 Review:

General Zod, having been freed from Belle Reve, forms an alliance of convenience with Blanque, Cyborg Superman, the Eradicator, Metallo, and Mongul. What will this sinister six find waiting for them when they carry the fight to the Fortress of Solitude?

Action Comics #982 Synopsis:

Assembled in Batman’s hidden moon base, the Superman Revenge Squad plans an assault on the Arctic in search of the Phantom Zone projector and other Kryptonian technology. Superman and his family already are at the North Pole hideaway, where Kelex assesses Kal-El’s Black Vault-induced blindness as Jonathan Kent takes Krypto on a mission to explore a mystery deep in the Fortress.

The Revenge Squad attacks. Superman commands Superboy to get his mother to safety, directs Kelex to send the emergency signal through the Omnihedron, and ventures outside to surprise the bad guys and buy his family time to escape. The Action Ace fights valiantly, but, hampered by his loss of vision, he is no match for the combined forces of these extraordinary evildoers… but, just when the battle seems lost, help arrives to even the odds.

Superman

Credit: DC Comics

Action Comics #982 Analysis:

Story continues below

The artwork in Revenge — Part IV is superb. Given definition by Herbert’s and Ray McCarthy’s inks and brought to life by Hi-Fi’s colors, the graphics of Action Comics #982 are bold, bright, and vivid. Panoramic portraits of the Superman Revenge Squad bring home the daunting threat posed by so many fearsome foes in league together, setting the stage for a climactic fight sequence that packs a powerful punch. The imagery adds a genuine urgency that matches the serious circumstances of the story, and letterer Rob Leigh caps it all off with distinctive speech bubbles and high-impact sound effects. This arresting issue is visually riveting.

The significant story demands of Revenge — Part IV necessitated a couple of regrettable narrative conceits. Lois Lane displays an atypical naïveté when allowing her son to go off exploring on his own, while the overly easy throwaway explanation for the unavailability of the Kryptonian battle armor as a curative option — Kal-El’s recovery after his fatal fight with Doomsday “exhausted its restorative capabilities” — is hard to square with the suit’s recent use to aid Lana Lang’s recuperation. Those minor quibbles are forgivable, however, given that enough happens in Action Comics #982 to make it clear Jurgens is listening to his inner Mark Frost instead of his interior David Lynch. (If the writer didn’t have Twin Peaks in mind, why did Kara Danvers’s kitchen contain a pointed fixation with coffee and a donut-inspired cereal called Maple Coops?)

The ample action in Revenge — Part IV tracks rationally. The logical progression that leads both the Superman Family and the Superman Revenge Squad to the Fortress of Solitude is eminently sensible, and the villains’ individual incentives are presented in a way that explains each of their actions and demonstrates the cracks in their unified front that ultimately will prove their undoing. The additional flourish of Cyborg Superman capitalizing on Batman’s Superman-centric paranoia is an absolutely masterful appetizer at the outset of the satisfying meal that is Action Comics #982.

The essentially selfish motivations of the bad guys in Revenge — Part IV stand in sharp contrast to the fundamentally familial behavior of the tale’s protagonists. Focused on his forebears, Superboy hears the same voices from the past that haunted his father. Lois is determined in her search for answers concerning her husband’s disability, and Kara puts on a one-page clinic about noble devotion. Declining a suggestion to summon the Justice League, Superman instead keeps matters within the family, taking advantage of the groundwork painstakingly laid in prior chapters by calling on every hero — even SuperLex! — who wears an “S” on the chest. (Yes, I know it’s not an “S”.) Although I regretted the absence of the indispensable Krypto from the issue’s final scene, I otherwise absolutely loved the ending of Action Comics #982 and can’t wait for the next installment.

How impressed were you by Revenge — Part IV? ComiConverse with us in the comments and share your thoughts on Action Comics #982!

T. Kyle King is an Expert Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @TKyleKing.

Action Comics #982

  • 5

Fantastic

Vibrant artwork, careful characterization, and engaging action with meaningful stakes together made this another outstanding issue in the Rebirth revival of this iconic series.

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