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Group Chat Review – Action Comics #999 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artwork: Will Conrad, Ivan Nunes (colours)
Release Date: 14th March 2018


ADAM
I don’t know what to make of Action Comics 999

SAM
I’ve not had at it yet. But you’re coming to it not having read Booster Shot (previous arc), right ?

ADAM
Yup. Completely in isolation

SAM
Interesting. I’ll read it tonight.

ADAM
I’m not hot on Superman continuity but is there anything really new here? I’ve got my own take on it but then my headspace is probably a little darker than the average

SAM
…not sure how I feel about that.

ADAM
Care to elaborate or is that all you’ve got?

SAM
It pushes several buttons, some good, some bad.

I hate the cover. Not that it’s bad but it’s like shoddy clickbait. It’s Suicide Squad issue 24 all over again.

I like the art, and the pacing. I like that you don’t need to be knee-deep in Superman continuity to get it, or even be current to storyline.

I like the Superman part of the storyline; it’s well considered and absolutely spot on. I even like Cyborg Superman in it, who’s not one of my favourites, as he’s usually a 2D character rather than a twisted Mr Fantastic.

But the Lois/General stuff felt forced and, after all a while, contrived. Honestly, I think we should have had a bigger reveal and I disliked the final couple of pages.

And it’s not reflecting the continuity well, either, actually.

ADAM
That’s all well and good but it doesn’t do or say anything new does it?

SAM
I agree. And that’s where it suffers a bit. This is Earth 2’s Superman, after all, and there was a missed opportunity for Lane to realise this ISN’T his Lois.

Thematically, the ideas of Rebirth and parenthood are there, but it’s a bit… meh.

ADAM
That aside, it doesn’t drill down enough for me. Lois is blinded to her hypocrisy and this isn’t driven home. General Lane is right in everything he says but it’s all been said before

SAM
Agreed, and there was a missed opportunity to address that very hypocrisy.

ADAM
Turning up, having a fight and then going to storm off? Apparently self-control and self-discipline aren’t required to reach senior commanding ranks in the military now…

SAM
Yup.

It’s such 2D writing it annoys me, particularly when Cyborg is done justice in the same issue.

ADAM
I’m maybe being over harsh but for one of the biggest, if not the biggest, superhero comics, it doesn’t fly

Conversely, I did like the bits with Supe. Realising dad maybe wasn’t the shining exemplar didn’t feel too forced whilst there was an undercurrent of Clark trying to redress his moral compass

I liked all of that. It’s not an easy task to write an alien trodding down the road of humanity (or trying to appear to do so)

As for my dark take on it, if you kind of fudge the inner monologuing, it’s a mighty strong coinkydink that Clark rocks up to smooth everything over. Given Lane’s concern about how nothing could stand up to Superman

SAM
I think that it’s great Superman. But the weakness of last arc was the Lois stuff too. They’re not quite sure what to do with her.

Now if Jon had lost it…

ADAM
It must be daunting approaching 1000

SAM
Yeah, and suffering for it. It was a risk going the slightly comedy run in 995-998 but it worked.

It’s suffering for being an Action Comic, not a Superman comic (if that makes sense)

ADAM
Obviously all of my thoughts are from the outside looking in but this issue could have easily been a special stand alone

It’s a nice issue to pick up with little knowledge of the continuity but I didn’t get the sense that this had any build up.

This has pros and cons as it gives more freedom for 1000 but it doesn’t make you board the hype train does it?

Also, I’m not going to address my issues with the magic space rock

Actually I might because it proper bugs me when stuff like this is added

SAM
Oh, yeah, yet more magic minerals from elsewhere. woo.

On the flip side, the Flash 700 was a whimper, not a bang, and that was hotly anticipated.

ADAM
True. It’s our subconscious fascination with base 10

We’re having a big party to celebrate my grans 90th this weekend. Great stuff. But why does 90 or 100 have more significance than 97 or 86? More so with things like 1000.

SAM
“Base 8 is just like Base 10… If you’re missing 2 fingers.”

ADAM
Still got 10 toes though

SAM
Come here and hold still…

So I’m thinking 3/5

4/5 for superman

2/5 for the Lanes and that bloody cover

ADAM
Yeah 3 seems about right but it’s not a solid 3. A 3 only really by virtue of the good bits


Overall Rating: 3/5.


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