Review – Action Comics #999 (DC Comics)

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

Superman reaches out to an on old enemy and tries to mend a fracture in his personal life. Jon meets his grandfather General Sam Lane for the first time and things get off to a fairly bad start.

Dan Jurgens writes one of the most awkward family reunions of all time here as Lois’s father Sam Lane comes to family dinner. Jon wants nothing more to connect with his grandfather but Sam and Lois are both so stubborn that it looks like the entire event will end in disaster.

Sam and Lois are each well written this issue, with Jurgens showing us that both of their points of view they are valid. At the same time, we feel Jon’s frustration as both parties appear to be more concerned with their differences than they are bout the things that should be bringing them together.

In the meantime, we spend some time with Clark as he does some soul searching following the discovery of that his father was using the phantom zone as a prison. We are treated to a touching scene between Clark and one of his most powerful enemies, but can he really make amends with him?

Brett Booth and Will Conrad do a fantastic job this issue at really drawing the emotion out of the cast and given that the story revolves around family, grudges and forgiveness this is wonderfully depicted. The arguments feel heated and the emotion raw, the body language on display also shows a deep understanding of the human condition and it is hard not to be invested in the story because of this.

Andrew Dallhouse once again lends his colouring skills to enhance and emphasise the pencils to incredible effect. The sequences in space feel cold save for Superman’s scolding heat vision which permeates several panels. The difference between Clark’s sequences and his family back on earth are well executed, the colours on earth are more muted, less dramatic and give the setting an air of normality fitting the scene.

After having Superman travel through time and find out the truth about his own father this issue slows the pace a little, effectively resetting the board before the next adventure. Superman/Clark, despite not being from Earth, is very much of Earth, and every now and then it is nice to be reminded what exactly he is fighting for. With God-like powers and abilities that stretche far beyond the majority of heroes on Earth it is nice to see that human side of him that wants to do the right thing for his family on a personal level.

The next issue is issue 1000 and I would be shocked if it wasn’t a bombastic adventure featuring over the top action and crazy fight sequences. With that in mind, it’s probably a good thing to have an issue like this every now and then that focuses on the other parts of the Kent’s lives. We do sometimes need that reminder that Superman is Clark Kent’s alter ego and not the other way around. We know the peace won’t last for long but I personally enjoyed the opportunity to spend some time with the Kents in a (relatively) normal situation.

Rating: 4/5.

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

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