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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Action Comics #888

Action Comics #888

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 14, 2010

Cover date: Early June 2010

"Truth To Power" - Part 2

Writer: Greg Rucka & Eric Trautmann
Penciller: Pere Perez
Inker: Pere Perez
Cover: Yildiray Cinar & Julio Ferreira with Rod Reis

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Vohc/Jax-Ur watches as his mockery of Rao stalks the Earth. In his hands he holds the last vestige of the Phantom Zone, it is revealed it had somehow been hidden within Chris. Which personality controls the villain is debatable - one moment it is the reincarnated Vohc, the next the evil Kryptonian scientist.

Flamebird attempts to take on Rao herself, and even in control of the 'Phoenix Force' she cannot defeat him, but help is at hand as Alan Scott (the magic based Green Lantern), Mr Terrific, Jay Garrick (the original Flash), and Dr. Fate have arrived and are ready for battle. Mr Terrific informs the makeshift fighting force that Rao is defying science - not only for being an automaton but for his immense growth spurts.

Chris watches unable to intervene from his Phantom Zone prison and he finds a solid object - a cape left behind from Fort Roz (the only solid thing in the Zone) and dresses in it.

In the real world, Pakistan are adding to problems launching a nuclear attack against Rao. Alan Scott is able to stop the nukes while Jay grabs the soldiers. Thara/Flamebird launches at Vohc/Jax-Ur. All of this is still being watched by Chris, but as you might recall, unlike Thara, who easily embraced her godly soul and destiny, Chris only followed her for the sexual enticements, never truly able to grasp he was the godling Nightwing. That was about to change as he discovered what had guided and protected him in the zone long ago - his other half of soul fragment - Nightwing himself!

Again in the real world, Alan Scott tries flinging the captured missiles in a controlled blast against Rao - it doesn't work and though all seems lost amongst the chaos, Princess Diana of Themiscyra steps in - better know to the world as Wonder Woman! Combining her Superman level might with the magic of Green Lantern they are able to suffocate Rao and bring him to his knees. Vohc is distracted momentarily but just as it seems the heroes have won the day, Rao gets back up! In the Zone Chris embraces his other half and the duo become one soul again.

Vohc begins to realize Jax-Ur is fighting their merge, trying to regain his body and incapacitates Thara as he regains control.

The Pakistanis launch more missiles and this time even Wonder Woman and Alan can't stop them.

Lois arrives and begs Mr Terrific to deprogram the nukes and just as he's about to - they all deactivate! Mr Terrific tells the team even with his intellect he couldn't have succeeded but through the dust clouds the newly merged Nightwing appears and now fully reborn he intends on stopping Vohc and Rao - permanently.

3Story - 3: Wow, my synopsis makes the book sound good doesn't it?

Technically it's not all lies - this stuff did happen but it was so poorly put together with no reasoning you'd be forgiven for missing some of it. The scenes with Chris were so vague in parts and very unnecessary. Rao keeps growing but really and truly, aside from walking and smiling a lot, he's not doing much aside from walking in the desert-lands outside of Pakistan...

This story just feels odd - it started out as hunting sleepers, then became a defamation plot, then a fugitives plot, to a pseudo religion plot, to a millennium giants rehash... I'm not sure who is to blame but New Krypton is hardly 'the epic people will remember Superman & his cast for in years to come', it just felt like padding for WONK & LSONK. Very disappointing... Nightwing & Thara's story started out with brilliant promise but has just lost its way - at least that's how I feel about the book.

It did have a lot of action though as the masthead proclaims, so I'll throw the book a bone and give it a three.

3Art - 3: Rao still looks ugly but everything else looks great. My downer is that because so much scene flipping AND cast flipping was going on, nobody got a real focus. Chris as a fully developed Nightwing looked awesome though.

1Cover Art - 1: Three artists, big bright orange cover with overused gradients... I just didn't feel this was a worthy image. I'd have thought since the 'Chris embracing the god of the Skeksis' (watch The Dark Crystal you lost souls) thing was such a big deal this issue it would have made a far more interesting cover! The image chosen is so blandly represented here, I'm surprised the LSONK banner was removed to showcase it more (even more surprising that it took three artists to create it.)

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2010

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