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Review – Action Comics #998 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artwork: Will Conrad, Ivan Nunes (colours)
Release Date: 28th February 2018


I have always hated Booster Gold. But the timeline is subject to change, and so, it seems, is my opinion. Because this a damn fine comic, and for the first time, I think I get it.

Now obviously Dan Jurgens knows how to write Superman, brilliantly, tragically human. And likewise, he knows his antagonists: for all the demented two-dimensionality of Zod, he manages to make the whole family affair convincing, and even Eradicator more than a mindless drone. But this is very much a Booster Gold comic, not a Superman comic, and it explores the well-worn tropes of time travel convincingly – yet does it so well, damnit, that by the end of the issue, I liked Booster Gold.

This has been a good book, a fun romp as we build towards the impending issue #1000. That’s impressive when you consider how dark it could’ve been – Superman is witnessing his parents’ death after all, and that itself is done beautifully (literally: gorgeous, tender art in rich inks that counterbalances the psychotic action of the first half of the issue).

Maybe it won’t be too everyone’s taste (hey, see also Dave’s review of issue #995, where this arc started), but this is clever writing that never dissolves into fan service, or mawkishness, or cliché. If there’s a weak spot, it’s that the Lois storyline feels a little tacked-on, albeit with good reason.

But, like I say, this issue is something special. It’s knowing and witty and by the end makes me actively want to read more of a character I’ve loathed for almost 30 years.

Bravo, team: this is Golden.

And actually, I’m being a little unfair. Because in fact, I liked Booster Gold before the end of the issue – because Jurgens does something for a mainstream (if not one of the 2 most mainstream) DC title that’s brilliant, brave and daring: he breaks the fourth wall… sort of.

Maybe it’s not so surprising. After all, a hero’s internal monologue can always address the reader, right? To me, that’s something I particularly associate with the Flash (both on page and screen), which is no coincidence – this whole mess started when Superman stole the Time Treadmill, after all.

And from Animal Man to Doom Patrol, DC has shown it can embrace the blurring of lines between fiction and reality.

But.

There’s a throwaway line.

One line.

One word, even.

And it’s just brilliant, because it is laugh out loud, almost shocking, can’t quite believe they said or did that, and somehow made this… thing canon.

Can’t tell you what it is though.

You’ll just have to read it.

Rating: 4/5.


PREVIEW ARTWORK
[Click to Enlarge]


SAMDAVThe Writer of this piece was: Sam Graven
Article Archive: Geeking Out
You can follow Sam on Twitter


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