Action 874 – Superman ends, and the origin of the Guardian

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James Robinson, Pablo Raimondi and Walden Wong step in for Action 874 (April 2009), the last issue starring Superman for a couple of years.

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The story is a bit of an epilogue to New Krypton, and a bit of a set-up for the World of New Krypton/World Without Superman story arcs that will run for the next year.  Superman is furious that Alura has released Zod, Ursa and Non.  Alura points out that the three had been in the Phantom Zone for far longer than they were sentenced.  When Superman points out the crimes they committed on Earth, Alura counters with the Kryptonians that humans have killed.

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Sam Lane gives Luthor Brainiac’s headship to examine.  We see that they are working in a facility numbered 7734.

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Jimmy Olsen has come across information with that same number, but it’s Steve Lombard who points out that, on a calculator, held upside down, 7734 reads HELL.

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As laws get passed barring Kryptonians from Earth, Nightwing and Flamebird realize they need to change their game.

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The last few pages reflect the cover scene.  The Phantom Zone is dissolving, and Mon-El begs Superman to release him.

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Superman does, although this will likely mean Mon-El’s death.

The story continues in the next issue of Superman.  And I find it odd that this story was published in Action Comics at all, considering that both Mon-El, and the Guardian, who has the back-up story, will be featured in the next year of stories in Superman, not in Action.

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Robinson, Guedes and Magalhaes re-introduce the Guardian in the “Omens and Origins” feature in this issue.  Each book this month has one of these tales, as Scar, one of the Guardians of the Universe, reviews the origins of various characters.  Jim Harper’s early career is hardly mentioned, though.  Only that he used to be a cop, long ago, before being cloned.

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He is now with the newly formed Science Police in Metropolis, and we meet Wilcox, another member of the force.

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We also see his cloned daughter, recently introduced.

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