Review – Action Comics #995 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artwork: Brett Booth (pencils), Norm Rapmund (inks), Andrew Dalhouse(colours)
Letters: Rob Leigh
Release Date: 10th January 2018

Stranded out of time on an unfamiliar Earth, Superman and Booster Gold battle one of Zod’s Eradicators while some of Gold’s old associates catch up.  Meanwhile, Lois takes action into her own hands and sets off to discover the whereabouts of the missing General Lane.

Writer Dan Jurgens shifts the tone with this issue, giving us a comedic and heart-warming tale that feels reminiscent of one of those classic buddy cop movies from the 80s.  The theme of this issue focuses heavily on fathers and their relationships with their kids, and all three of our leads this issue are in some way looking for or at their dad.  The interesting takeaway is that regardless of who your father is or how they treat you, there is always a chance to become a hero.

Brett Booth is on pencils this month and his work is simply gorgeous, with all the lead characters looking iconic and posing dramatically during battle.  His visual prowess is on par with anyone at DC right now and his action sequences manage to be kinetic while also possessing an impressive level of detail.

Every panel is a work of art which is, in a weird way, also his weakness. He seemingly is unable to draw ugly or old people, and everyone in the book has the appearance of a model in their mid-20s.  It is hard to be too down on Booth for being too good at his craft though, and it is a real treat to see someone of this ability taking real pride in their work.

Andrew Dalhouse colours the issue and really does a great job enhancing Booth’s already incredible work and helping it to jump off the page.  The entire book is coloured beautifully throughout, with nice touches such as the searing heat vision from Clark and Gold’s shining armour.  A few of the city sequences also feature some superior lighting effects that really add depth to the skyline.

Action Comics is traditionally a Superman book, but having Booster Gold as the main character and Superman as backup really works well.  The tone is a tad lighter as Gold narrates his own adventure but we do get a more in-depth look at some of the tragedies in his life and just how much he has sacrificed, and I think the book is a lot better for it.  Despite it being part three of an ongoing arc, pretty much anyone can pick this one up and get caught up almost immediately thanks to it feeling like a fairly self-contained tale.

Action Comics has been pretty damn good for a while now and the current arc is an entertaining one with a much more comedic feel to it which, to be honest, is something DC really needs.  The themes being explored are still dramatic and potentially world-ending, but it all seems so much lighter than some of the previous stories that it ends up still feeling fresh.  I would personally like to see Booster Gold stick around after this plot resolves, but only if they can find a team willing to keep him fun without turning him back into a joke character.

Rating: 4/5.

The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
Dave Tweets from @ShinKagato

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