Look–down there on the ground! It’s a guy, he’s kinda ordinary…it’s–Clark Kent?! As Metropolis recovers from the devastating attack of Doomsday, the mysterious figure claiming to be Clark Kent takes the spotlight to clear his name and prove once and for all that Clark Kent is not Superman!
Writer Dan Jurgens (The Death of Superman) continues his return to the Man of Steel along with illustrators Tyler Kirkham (Deathstroke) and Patrick Zircher (Green Arrow) for the next great Superman chapter in Superman: Action Comics, Volume 2: Welcome to the Planet! (Goodreads)
Collects Action Comics #963-966 and introductory tale from Justice League #52.
Reading Volume 1 of Action Comics Rebirth (Path of Doom) leaves the reader with a lot of questions. Lex Luthor is the new protector of Metropolis, much to the disgust of the pre-flash point Man of Steel. Doomsday returns (much to the criticism of comic reviewers), the Prime Earth Lois Lane has vanished, and a new Clark Kent – minus all of Superman’s powers or memories – has suddenly emerged, after it was proven by the Daily Planet that he and Superman are the same person.
Veteran writer Dan Jurgens (Death of Superman) resumes authorship of this rebirth narrative, but while the stories he’s written are still about Superman, the Man of Steel isn’t always the most interesting character to read about. For example, the volume opens up with Justice League Vol 2. #52, which is mostly a flashback exploring how Lex Luthor becomes the new Superman, including how he managed to get a hold of the latter’s original cape. It’s easy to read this story and not feel a sense of sympathy and admiration for the Man of Steel’s Archenemy.
Yet – in this volume – Clark Kent steals most of the show (Action Comics #963-964), given that, as established in the previous volume “Path of Doom”, he is not Superman, and possesses none of his powers. This only adds to the rebirth trend of exploring Superman’s more human side, as a parent and a husband, never boring the reader with a sense of filler. The art style of Patch Zircher, combined with colorist Ulises Arreola is addictive.
The other show stealer is Lois Lane (Action Comics #965-966), who also comes out of hiding in a well-drawn story by Stephen Segovia, Art Thebert, and Arif Prianto. Seeing her fill in for her Prime Earth counterpart while trying to track down her whereabouts, leading up a discovery of the identity of Superwoman.
Overall, each featured issue leaves more than enough room to hook readers, challenging the common man’s trivial knowledge with new plot twists, while still leaving enough breathing room for anticipation for future issues.