Writers: Geoff Johns and Richard Donner
Artist: Adam Kubert
Publisher: DC Comics
Iím honestly torn here. On one hand, we have a comic book thatís starting to achieve All-Star Batman status. We have a storyline that started revolving around Superman having a son he didnít know about crash landing on Earth. Thereís also a ton of bad guys coming at Clark from so many angles he must be looking up to the sky wondering, ďWhatís next?Ē
Then we have the second part of this issue that has every single member of the Phantom Zone prison being let loose on their jailorís son. Somewhere, Lex Luthor must be tuning into the news with popcorn thinking NBC revamped their ďMust See TVĒ lineup.
I donít know what to make of the Kryptonian boy. Christopher (great name by the way) strikes me as little Orphan Annie lost in the shuffle of mayhem in Metropolis. Iím wondering if heís even flesh and blood from Zod and Ursa. So much hoopla was made about an obvious tie in to Superman Returns regarding Supes being an absentee father. Something tells me he takes a back seat from here on out only to be shipped to another planet or part of the multiverse kick DC will be pushing soon.
We also have what I will refer to as an over-use of bad guys. When I think of a four or five issue arc, we usually have one main bad guy if not a team of two. So far, in this arc weíve seen Lex, Bizarro, Zodís army, Metahuman Affairs and the Phantom Zone criminals. At one point in time, Johns and Donner teased that Brainiac would be involved as well. I realize that everyoneís favorite Superman movie director probably went nuts with the sandbox of toys he was handed. Weíd all do that given the chance. It just confuses the story line too much and leaves the act of telling a cohesive tale a bit tiresome.
Meanwhile, itís hard to knock a book that is giving us a definitive Zod that can be used from time to time in the DCU. His plan of not only unleashing his three-man army of himself, Non and Ursa, but the rest of the Phantom Zone criminals truly shows how long Donner has been sitting in his office dreaming of ways to make more Superman movies. Clark could spend the next year of monthlies (if this team could actually achieve that feat) rounding up these baddies. Makes the Clone Saga seem like an after-school special.
Adamís work on this title is definitely my favorite of the stuff the Kubert brothers have churned out since their move over to DC. Itís a little more free moving, a lot more appealing than Andyís Batman drawings, and absolutely more epic to read from page to page. Makes me wish he could have done a similar treatment for Batman.
I would be remiss without mentioning my sadness while reading this book. We have all by now read about the upcoming fill-in issues that will keep Action rolling, while Kubert teaches more classes at his fatherís school. I say that because while this issue was very good, I know I wonít be reading more of this fine work any time soon. Iím actually thinking of picking up something else while I wait for the 3-D finale to this story arc to be published at the end of the summer.
It shouldnít take away from my enjoyment of this book. With the annual issue that hit the stands last month, this creative team has given plenty of great stuff to read. The story is good, just not great. The art is even better, just not consistent enough on a timeliness scale. I hope the layoff gives this group a chance to catch up and deliver what I hope to be more good books in the months to come.
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