Tag Archives: Action Comics

Action 904 – Superman, and Action Comics, end

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Paul Cornell, Axel Jimenez and Ronan Cliquet are the creative team on the final issue of Action Comics, 904 (Oct. 11).  The series ended along with all the rest of the DC line, as Flashpoint wiped out the universe.

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Superman gets the rest of the story on how the energy got repurposed by the Doomslayer.

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Lots and lots of heroes fight lots and lots of Doomsdays, and the good guys win.

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The Eradicator sacrifices himself to seal in Doomslayer and all the Doomsdays, as the ship goes off into another realm.  Supergirl gets Superman to safety.

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An ok story, but nothing really great.  A lot of fuss and feathers, but not much to it.  The issue ends on Lois telling Clark his parents would be proud, and then suggesting they have sex.  There are a couple more panels of chat after that, but it’s still what they are heading off to do.

The longest running series, number-wise, it was a real shame that Flashpoint was allowed to kill it.

Action Comics does return after Flashpoint, beginning with a new Action 1.

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Action 903 – the secret in the engine room

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There’s a surprising return in Action 903 (Sept. 11), by Cornell and Jimenez.

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As Dr. Light examines the dead Doomsday Superman retrieved from the ship, it comes to life, but now possessing the soul of the Eradicator.

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The Doomsdays spread out across the world, as do the Superman family, to fight them.  Superboy is joined by Dr. Fate, Hawk and Dove, Alan Scott in that horrible look he had as Green Lantern at this time, Batman, Zatanna, Jesse Quick, and Teen Titans Red Robin, Ravager and Wonder Girl.

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We also see John Stewart, Captain Atom and Miss Martian with Supergirl, and another Batman (there are a few – Batman, Incorporated), Congorilla, Raven and a Rocket Red defending Russia.

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Superman dives into the engine of the ship, to Doomslayer’s dismay.  He discovers that it is powered by the same energy that Luthor lost at the end of the Black Ring story.

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Doomslayer had this whole maze thing planned out to delay Superman, and is really pissed that he just slammed right through the walls.

This is the storyline they chose to end Action Comics on.  Yup.

Action 902 – the ship of Doomsdays crashes on Earth

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Disaster heads towards Earth despite all the heroes can do in as Axel Jimenez joins Cornell and Rocafort on Action 902 (Aug. 2011).

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Doomslayer admits that killing the Eradicator was not the best thing to do, but wants them all to trust him now.  They boot his sorry ass out of there.

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Jimmy Olsen displays a shocking lack of trust that Superman will stop the huge approaching ship.  Lois knows her man.

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Superman manages to divert the ship from hitting Metropolis, and it lands in the bay.

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Steel, Supergirl and Superboy stop the tidal wave from hitting the city.  All is well, right?  Nope, as all those Doomsdays start coming out of the ship.

 

Action 901- Reign of the Doomsdays begins

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Kenneth Rocafort and Jesus Merino join Paul Cornell as Reign of the Doomsdays begin, in Action 901 (July 2011).

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Superboy, Supergirl, Steel, the Eradicator and the Cyborg Superman as well as Superman battle and battle against the Doomsdays.

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The heroes are unaware that the huge craft they are on is now hurtling towards Earth.  I like the Obama needs you panel.

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And as the issue comes to an end, Doomslayer shows up.  He kills Doomsdays.  And he gets real mad.  He proves this by ripping the Eradicator in half.

Action 900 – the end of Luthor’s quest, Doomsday bound and killed, Superman renounces his American citizenship, and a few other treats

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Action 900 (June 2011) is a 96 page spectacular, more than half of which consists of a story that ties up both the Doomsday story arc running through a variety of books, and Luthor’s black ring storyline from the previous year of Action Comics.  Paul Cornell writes, with Woods, Merino, Jurgens, Rapmund, Morales, Sibal, Frank, Ardian Syaf and Jamal Igle on art.

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Assembled through a number of stories, Superboy, Supergirl, Steel, the Eradicator and the Cyborg Superman are all engaged with a super-Doomsday, which duplicates their powers.

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Superman is heading up to the satellite where the fight is taking place, when Luthor pulls him across the universe to where he is.

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Luthor shows off his great power.  He is virtually in control of the universe, drawing on the power of the Phantom Zone entity.  He takes Superman on a tour through the failings in his life, which culminates with the death of Pa Kent.  Luthor discovers that Superman is Clark Kent (for the second time, but he lost those memories), and that makes him hate the hero even more, for living as if he were a common man.

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They fight, and Luthor draws on all the energy he can, which causes the death of the entity.  Luthor gains ultimate power in the universe.

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Luthor’s joy spreads throughout the universe.  This was the prophecy Vandal Savage had received, and the reason Death was curious to meet him.  We see other villains Luthor had faced in this run: Brainiac, Grodd, Larfleeze and Deathstroke.  Jimmy, Lois and Perry are happy, but it’s far more rare to see Batman smile.  And neither the Red Lanterns nor the Thanagarians are known for enjoying life.

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There is only one rule left by the entity.  Luthor cannot use the power for anything negative.  Like killing Superman.

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Throughout all this, we have also been following the rest of the Superman family battling Doomsday.  But none of that, so far, has had any impact compared with the pages on Luthor.

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Luthor attacks Superman.  He has to, even though Superman begs him not to, for the good of everyone, including Luthor himself.  But Luthor must defeat him, and there is nothing Superman can say that does not enrage Lex.  The more he fights, the more his power drains, and Superman starts goading him, making him angrier to make the power fade faster.

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Luthor is left with nothing, not even the memories of his time (and Clark’s identity).  The Joker is delighted.  Lex did exactly what he warned him not to do.

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Superman finally makes it to the satellite, and joins the rest as they come across the bloody, bound body of Doomsday.

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Because there is not just one.  Now there is an army of Doomsdays!  Oh, no!!!

This storyline will run for the final four issues of Action.

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Damon Lindelof and Ryan Sook tell a really moving short story, as Jor-El hires an assistant to work on the rocket ship.  The man knows nothing at the start, but the answers to the simple questions he asks about the job.  Life support.  One child.  Shot to another planet.  Lead to a chilling conclusion.

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It’s quiet, sad, and powerful.  Hard to find a new angle on this story, but they did it.

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Paul Dini, RB Silva and Rob Lean have a short piece, which is not quite up to the rest of the issue.  Superman chats with an extra-terrestrial floating hippo, who is frequently mistaken for a goddess as she passes worlds.

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In a cute short, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank have Lois invite the Legion of Super-Heroes to a party one night, so she can meet his old friends.

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The story that made the news was “The Incident,” by David Goyer and Miguel Sepulveda.  This issue came out at the time of the Arab Spring, and this tale has Superman choosing to stand among the demonstrators.

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Superman gets chastised for his actions, as they can be interpreted as American policy, which they are not.

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Superman agrees. He stands for something more than just the US.  He renounces his citizenship, to operate from a global perspective.

Shocking, and exciting.  It opens the door for some fascinating political stories.

BUT

Four months after this, Flashpoint wiped out this universe.  The gesture, so powerful, turned out to be meaningless as it was “revoked” so quickly afterwards.  So soon, that they knew it was coming before this ever hit the stands.

So perhaps that was the reason they took the chance with this story, bound to cause controversy.

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Nice work by Brian Stelfreeze to close out the first, and probably only, comic book to reach issue 900.

 

Action 899 – Luthor vs Brainiac

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It’s a twisting battle of wits as Luthor and Brainiac face off over the black spheres in Action 899 (May 2011), by Cornell and Jesus Merino.

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The Lois-bot had been corrupted and reprogrammed by Brainiac.  She had injected Luthor with Brainiac’s nanites, which affected his thinking, prompting Luthor towards the path Brainiac wanted him to take.  Changing the spheres, and bringing them into space.

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But Luthor had figured that out long ago, and had in turn infected Brainiac with a virus, which takes hold as the two battle.

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Mr. Mind reveals himself to be the unwilling operative of a lantern-like entity within the Phantom Zone, a creature of immense power.  The black spheres are its physical intrusions into reality.

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Because the entity comes from the Phantom Zone, and is Kryptonian in its nature, Luthor is able to use the nanites that Brainiac infected him with to merge with the entity and take control of it, becoming a being with power that dwarfs even Superman.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Action 898 – Larfleeze doesn’t want something

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Cornell and Woods pit Luthor and Larfleeze against each other once again in Action 898 (April 2011).

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Luthor had been given an orange ring of greed during the events in Blackest Night.  Larfleeze has never forgiven that.  He was meant to have the only orange ring, and he comes to take something that Luthor wants.  Because Luthor is into the black spheres, Larfleeze wants them.  By the way, in the previous issue Luthor changed the sphere from black to white, but I still call them black spheres.

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Luthor disposes of Larfleeze by sending him into the sphere, and he vanishes.

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Larfleeze emerges in the arctic, traumatized.  We never learn what he saw or experienced, but he is left wondering why Luthor, or anyone, would want the sphere.  And he realizes that there is actually something that he does not want.

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The story ends as we discover that Lois has been working for Brainiac all along, as she and Lex head into space to deal with the sphere up there.