Action Comics #994
Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 27, 2017
Cover date: February 2018
“Booster Shot” – Part 2
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Penciller: Dan Jurgens
Inker: Dan Jurgens
Cover: Dan Jurgens, Trevor Scott and Hi-Fi
Variant Cover: Francis Manapul
Reviewed by: Mario Bennese
Superman and Booster Gold are on the run. With Superman powerless, the duo are in a bind trying to defend themselves against soldiers in Kryptonian battle suits. Thinking quickly, the Man of Steel grabs one of Booster’s wrist cannons. With everything the two have observed, it is evident that time has been re-written. The two manage to escape momentarily and fly off to the Jewel Mountains with the assistance of Booster’s flight ring. Nestled in the mountains is Gold’s time bubble. According to Skeets and Booster, time has been altered in a unique way. When whatever force arrived to take Jor-El from Krypton before its death, time became slightly splintered. That removed piece of time is being filled naturally, but the presence of Superman in the past makes definite changes to the timeline. Superman and Booster Gold need to leave now if things are to remain the same in the future.
Over in the capital, Jor-El and Zod review the footage of the intruders only to discover that one wears the symbol of the House of El. Zod assumes the potential act of sabotage is the work of Black Zero and sends Eradicators after them. Back in the Jewel Mountains, Booster and Superman are ambushed by Zod and three Eradicators. A fight ensues with the Man of Tomorrow taking on Zod.
On Earth, Lois and Jon wait in The Pentagon to meet a General regarding the U.S. Government’s plan on rescuing General Sam Lane. Because Lane acted on his own without authorization, there are no plans to rescue the General.
Meanwhile on Krypton, Superman and Booster are under pressure to leave the past as Jor-El approaches the Jewel Mountains. If Jor-El and Kal-El meet, things are sure to get worse for the time stream. Quickly, Booster and Skeets force an opposed Superman into the time bubble and set coordinates for the Justice League watchtower seconds before they left. As the bubble enters the time stream, Superman watches everything that happens to this alternate Krypton. In this alternate reality, Krypton explodes, but its people survive thanks to space travel. The Kryptonians settle on a new planet where Jor-El and Lara achieve high status and have a second child – a daughter. Kal-El marries and has a daughter. The El family becomes highly respected for their contributions to the survival of the planet.
As the time bubble traverses through the time stream, the drive unit begins failing followed by the failure of the bubble’s chronal drive. Exiting the time stream, the heroes find themselves in 25th Century Gotham. They’re not alone as a lone Eradicator has managed to follow them.
Story – 5: This is exactly the level of fun that I expect out of a Superman comic. In my last review, I mentioned that this story felt like a Silver Age story. With this issue, I’m getting a Time and Time Again vibe, especially with the ending. The Sam Lane stuff feels a little bit out of place, but I know that it’s going to come back around in a few issues. It’s more of an observation than a complaint. The comic book science is both complicated and easy to grasp. Writing this review, I was having a bit of difficulty summarizing the splintered time concept. It’d be easier if you were to just read the issue, which you should be doing anyway. This ‘Rebirth’ era has really been delivering on some quality Superman stories.
The alternate time line for the Kryptonians is fascinating. I’m not sure how Jor-El was able to convince the council to allow space travel, but it’d make complete sense that the El family becomes celebrated post-Krypton. Perhaps this concept will be revisited in an Elseworlds story. I doubt it, but I’d be interested in reading it.
Art – 4: For the most part, the art is spot on. There are a few panels where things look off. I guess the biggest offenders are Lois and Superman’s eyes as they travel through the time stream. Superman’s eyes just seemed a bit too large. If it were one panel, I wouldn’t mind as much, but the cartoon eyes were present in about five panels. As for Lois, she just looked a bit off. You can still tell that it’s Lois, but something about her looked strange. Everything else is wonderful.
Cover Art – 5: Now that’s a cover! This reminds me of a few of the covers that came out a year or so after the return of Superman in the 90s. I can’t quite put my finger on what that something is, but I get that mid-90s Superman feel.
Variant Cover Art – 3: I appreciate Manapul’s work. He is a fantastic artist and has done some superb work over in the early issues of Trinity. This cover is fine, but it feels a bit – for lack of a better word – generic. Superman’s chest musculature also looks incredibly two-dimensional and slightly incomplete. Not bad, but not something I’d fork over extra money for.
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