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Archive for April, 2011

Review By: Emma Coverdale

Publisher: DC Comics
Writers: Paul Cornell, Damon Lindelof, David Goyer, Geoff Johns, Paul Dini, Richard Donner and Derek Hoffman
Artists: Pete Woods, Jesus Merino, Ryan Sook, RB Silva, Miguel Sepulveda, Matt Camp, Brian Stelfreeze, Dan Jurgens, Rags Morales, Ardian Syaf, Jamal Igle, Gary Frank, David Finch (Cover), Adam Hughes (Variant Cover A) and Alex Ross (Variant Cover B)
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $5.99 U.S.
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now

It’s hard to believe that 900 issues have passed since Superman was first introduced to us in the very first issue of Action Comics. Since then, the Man of Tomorrow has been through a lot and has seen his share of victories, defeats and even death but he has endured for the sake of the universe that has come to see him as a true savior. As we see from Action Comics #900, Superman has come a long way but he is still the hero the world needs more than ever.

The Black Ring event has been an interesting thrill ride but every ride must come to an end and it does so in Action Comics #900 as the issue not only concludes this storyline but also celebrates the Man of Steel. First, the main story finds Superman in the “Reign of Doomsday” as the situation has gone from bad to catastrophic. Having reached Metropolis, Superman discovers that Doomsday is long gone.

Meanwhile, Superman’s five closest super companions that include the likes of Supergirl and Steel find themselves trapped in Doomsday’s space station with Cyborg Superman and no real way out of said station. On top of that, they’re being hunted down by Doomsday who seems to easily adapt to each hero’s strengths. With no other choice but to run, it Cyborg Superman who makes a most interesting discovery.

On Earth, Superman is about to fly off to locate Doomsday and the others only to be suddenly pulled away into space by none other than Lex Luthor who has reached out to obtain the infinite power of the black power ring since the events of the Blackest Night event. Even Superman is taken aback by Luthor’s sudden God-like appearance as he explains to the Kryptonian that he has merged with the “Zone Child” and is now about to use his power to finally destroy Superman.

Of course, Luthor is the type of man that likes to savor his strength and he flaunts his power in order to crush Superman’s spirit first before finally killing him. He shows Superman the bad moments in his life including his own demise at the hands of Doomsday, the destruction of Krypton, the ultimate sacrifice that was made by the closest thing that Superman had for a son. In defiance, Superman shows Luthor the memory of the most important loss in his life … an act that is both shocking and sure to change things between Superman and Lex Luthor.

Oh, and we see a rare side to Luthor that humanizes the man as – with his power – he spreads genuine bliss throughout the universe that everyone feels it. For the first time in his life, Luthor has overshadowed the Man of Steel by being powerful enough to spread true peace and happiness to the universe. Unfortunately, even happiness can be a fleeting thing as Luthor makes his decision of how to use his power.

There’s more but I would be doing you a great disservice by revealing how this story ends and – for the most part – it’s a decent ending although not the most perfect one considering how intense this storyline was when it began. This being a milestone issue, however, there are extra stories … one of which is rather heartbreaking and the other being controversial.

We start with “Life Support,” a story written by Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof that changes how we look a Jor-El but at the same time, Lindelof gives us an emotional connection to the man that is actually heartbreaking. This is, quite possibly, one of the best stories in this issue. Then there’s “The Incident,” a story that has Superman meeting with a man close to the President of the United States who wants to know why Superman stepped in the middle of an Iranian demonstration. The real controversy isn’t that Superman has defied the U.S. but his decision at the end of the story that will no doubt leave ripples through the Superman series.

Then there’s “Only Human,” a screenplay written by Superman & Lethal Weapon director Richard Donner along with Derrick Hoffman (complete with storyboard art by Matt Camp) that’s about the dangers of a suit capable of mimicking Superman’s powers. Then there’s a story where Lois throws a dinner party for Superman’s closest friends, the Legion of Super-Heroes! I can summon up this story with one word: cute! Then there’s “Autobiography,” a story that recounts an existential conversation with a being that carries with him the burden of great power and losing his home planet.

The Black Ring event was certainly an exciting one that deserves a worthwhile finale and it delivers one that proves to do the storyline just but just doesn’t make the impact it should have considering everything this story throws at Superman and the rest of the heroes. However, Action Comics #900 contains short stories that should not be missed by loyal Superman fans.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: B+
With Superman’s friends trapped in a strange abandoned alien space station locked in with the Cyborg Superman as well as the Doomsday threat, the Man of Steel is suddenly whisked away by Lex Luthor who has merged forms with the Zone Child and uses the power to break and finally destroy Superman. There are also five Superman stories as well, one of which is a Richard Donner screenplay complete with storyboards.

ART: A
There are certainly a talented list of artists for this 900th Action Comics issue with amazing art from Ryan Sook, Miguel Sepulveda and Jesus Merino to name a few. The cover itself is just plain awesome and Brian Stelfreeze’s two-page spread should be turned into a poster in my opinion.

OVERALL: B+
Those who have been following The Black Ring story arc will find closure but don’t expect a truly epic finale, but, then again Action Comics #900 doesn’t disappoint and its accompanying short Superman tales are nothing short of, well, super. Is it enough to spend six dollars? Yes it is and even more so if you follow the Man of Steel.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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