Review: Action Comics #983

Kyle King Kyle King
Expert Contributor
July 16th, 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 #983
Comics
0
Price:
Amazing

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On July 16, 2017
Last modified:July 16, 2017

Summary:

I gave this outstanding issue a 5 only because I couldn't give it a 6.

Price:
Amazing

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On July 16, 2017
Last modified:July 16, 2017

Summary:

I gave this outstanding issue a 5 only because I couldn't give it a 6.

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Action Comics #983 amped up the adventure for Revenge — Part V, which was written by Dan Jurgens and showcased the artwork of Viktor Bogdanovic. A daunting team of supervillains has come together to confront Superman at the Fortress of Solitude, and ComiConverse Krypton correspondent T. Kyle King is here to break down the latest epic chapter in this spoiler-free review.

Action Comics #983 Review:

Blanque, Cyborg Superman, the Eradicator, Metallo, Mongul, and General Zod have arrived in the Arctic to wrest Kryptonian technology from the disabled Man of Steel. When the Last Son of Krypton is joined by his fellow heroes who wear the crest of the House of El, will the Superman Family be enough to foil the criminals’ scheme?

Action Comics #983 Synopsis:

The Superman Revenge Squad stands before the Fortress, ready to attack and ransack Kal-El’s North Pole hideout. The Man of Tomorrow, blinded by the Black Vault surrounding Belle Reve, is backed up by Kong Kenan, Lex Luthor, Steel, Supergirl, and Superwoman. Zod telepathically tells Blanque to link him mentally with the Eradicator, then the Kryptonian general takes the fight directly to Superman.

Quickly discerning Kal-El’s impairment, Zod directs his teammates to pair off with the particular heroes against whom they are best matched. The military conqueror from the Action Ace’s homeworld also figures out how to use the sightless Superman’s aural acuity against him and discovers that Kelex is aiding Lois Lane and Jonathan Kent in their attempt to escape. Zod halts their departure, then surprises both Hank Henshaw and the heroes by carrying out his true plans.

Action Comics #983 Analysis:

Revenge — Part V fits a big adventure into a standard-sized issue, attesting both to Jurgens’s skills as a storyteller and to the meticulous advance planning that previously paved the way. Careful craftsmanship set down the groundwork in preparation for this confrontation, from the introduction of Blanque in Superman: Lois and Clark near the end of the New 52 to the reintroduction of pre-Flashpoint characters since the start of Rebirth to the establishment of ties among good guys who wear “S”s on their chests in the aftermath of Superman: Reborn. Individual plot threads have been woven together so painstakingly over the last couple of years that Action Comics #983 is able to come together as a complete tapestry in which none of the seams may be seen.

Story continues below

As a result of all this precise plotting and exacting characterization, Revenge — Part V is able to be heavy on the action and economical in its exposition without having to rely on narrative shortcuts or lazy tropes. Counting Kelex, Action Comics #983 features fifteen significant characters, and Jurgens gives short shrift to none of them in the space allotted. Lois’s protective instincts, Jon’s heroic impulsiveness, Luthor’s smug superiority, Kara Danvers’s familial allegiance, and Lana Lang’s fierce loyalty all shine through in remarkably few lines. Such subtle touches abound: Kelex refers to Clark Kent using his Kryptonian nomenclature, Superman addresses his Chinese counterpart in Mandarin, Lex expresses curiosity over what the Fortress holds that the villains want, and Zod incorporates allusions to Supergirl’s television show and her current series by pairing Cyborg Superman against her. The only evident imperfection amid all this flawless execution is a single panel in which Kara uncharacteristically speaks in contractions.

Such a refined script requires rigorous artistry in crafting the graphics, yet Bogdanovic and his colleagues are up to the task. The penciller for Action Comics #983 shared the inking duties with Jonathan Glapion, while Mike Spicer handled the coloring chores and Rob Leigh contributed the lettering. A softened palette was employed in the opening pages of Revenge — Part V, lending the initial imagery a more subdued hue before the battle was joined in earnest and the primary colors began more noticeably to pop. Intricate backgrounds and extreme close-ups gave the visuals both scale and detail, while inventive layouts and sizzling bursts lent kinetic energy to the titanic struggle. The exaggerated authenticity of Bogdanovic’s distinctive style is neither overly cartoonish nor excessively photorealistic, giving his figures a finely lined fluidity in which lantern jaws, bulging biceps, lightning-bolt sideburns, neck-bending hammer blows, and non-objectifying female forms all are able peacefully to coexist.

Although Cyborg Superman heretofore has directed much of the action in this arc, Revenge — Part V allows Zod to take center stage… and Jurgens turns the Kryptonian conspirator loose in all his scenery-chewing glory. Action Comics #983 depicts the general, both verbally and visually, as sneering, violent, and larger than life. He is tactically shrewd, coldly calculating, condescendingly confident, and brutally singleminded in the course of orchestrating his plot of vengeance and betrayal, which culminates in a series of successive shocks spread out over the last seven pages after the villain almost inconspicuously forces Kal-El to kneel before Zod.

Jurgens, Bogdanovic, and their coevals deliver epic fight sequences and stunning developments in the fast-paced yet unhurried Revenge — Part V. We invite you to ComiConverse with us in the comments about the exceptional Action Comics #983!

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

Action Comics #983

  • 5

Amazing

I gave this outstanding issue a 5 only because I couldn't give it a 6.

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