Mild Mannered Reviews – Action Comics #995

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Action Comics #995

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 10

Cover date: March 2018

“Booster Shot” – Part 3

Writer: Dan Jurgens
Penciller: Brett Booth
Inker: Brett Booth
Cover: Dan Jurgens
Variant Cover: Dustin Nguyen

Reviewed by: Mario Bennese

Click to enlarge

Action Comics #995

Superman and Booster Gold, now in 25th century Gotham, fight off the Eradicator that followed them through the time stream. The moment in time they landed in is shortly after Booster stole time travel technology, meaning the time hopping hero is currently a wanted man. With the time sphere damaged, it is imperative that the team find parts to repair their only means of escape. Earth forces pick up on chronal energies and send an air squadron out to investigate. Back in the battle, the Eradicator lets out a high intensity pulse blast that knocks Booster out. Skeets tells Superman to abandon Booster to distract the locals, save the time sphere, and prevent the people of the 25th century from discovering Superman. Reluctantly, The Man of Steel agrees as Booster is surrounded and imprisoned.

Back in the present, Lois sneaks into a military base to board a plane headed for Logamba. Jon, who was supposed to be staying with the Whites, sneaks on the plane as well. As Booster comes to, he finds that he’s been thrown into a cell with his father, which displeases him greatly. Elsewhere, Skeets fills Superman in on why Booster stole time travel technology and how his father was an abusive man.

In the prison, Booster and his father are being threatened by an agent named Broderick. Taking the opportunity, Booster’s father knocks Broderick out and plans to make a jailbreak, allowing Booster to answer to every crime lord his father owed money to. Before Booster’s father can make an escape, Superman knock him out and frees Booster. The time sphere is repaired, but before they leave, the heroes visit Booster’s mother. Entering the time stream once again, the two find themselves in another sticky situation as the Eradicator slightly reactivates and blasts the controls. This time, Booster, Skeets, and Superman land in a future where Zod is a supreme ruler.

3Story – 3: I’m not quite sure where to begin with this review, so I’ll just get the important part out of the way: the issue is worth a read and continues to feel like a Superman story.

There are, however, some things that hold this book back from being a 5/5 . For starters, I wasn’t a big fan of Superman condemning Booster for his past (future?) actions. Yes, Booster stole technology and that is clearly an immoral thing to do, but Booster uses that technology for good. I know that Superman is supposed to be this moral compass that always points north, but he was talking about Booster as if he used the tech for nefarious purposes. The section in which this happens is brief, but it sorta rubbed me the wrong way. It just made Superman seem like he only sees morality in black and white, refusing to accept that there are moral gray areas. It especially annoyed me that for a character that looks for the best in people, The Man of Steel was sure focusing on the bad in Booster.

Everything else in the issue is fine, but I found the way in which the two heroes land in the Zod timeline to be a bit – for lack of a better word – contrived.

3Art – 3: I have a love/hate relationship with Brett Booth. Sometimes, he can draw some truly wonderful images of DC’s most beloved heroes. Other times, he makes them look either terrifying or flat out ugly. I know that the inker can help make or break a piece of comic book art, but looking solely at the line work, there are definitely some problems with Booth’s work. It’s an acquired taste, but I’ve become accustomed to the mixed bag of artwork thanks to his work over in Titans. In anything, I’ve been spoiled by two issues of Action with Jurgens’ art.

4Cover Art – 4: I enjoy this cover. I can’t quite pinpoint why other than it just being a cool piece of art.

3Variant Cover Art – 3: I like the concept, but the execution feels a bit amateur.

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Kal L
Member

I thoroughly enjoyed this issue. I understand Mario’s problem with it, and I actually agree to a certain point. But it was a great pilot to update Booster for this era, and a great way to head into a time jump story line, similar to the 90’s Time and Time Again.

I enjoyed Booth’s art in this issue also. It was some of his better work.

Also enjoying the Sam Lane angle as well.

kal-bert
Member

I understand Mario’s concern about Supes seeing only Booster’s bad side. But that behaviour from him it is logic, even Booster states that most of his work is kept secret so publicly he only shows the jerk inside him.
About the art, Booth does a great job however after 2 issues drawn by Jurgens everything will look not bad, but just OK. I think we’ll see something huge from Dan Jurgens in issue #1000. Great timing for him in Action, he really deserves to be in such an important issue.

Kal L
Member

I agree, I was loving the Jurgens art. This would have been a nice issue for him to illustrate.

kal-bert
Member

I must admit that it was a little unfair by my side. I am a huge fan of Jurgens (specially his Superman and Spiderman) in both art and writing and any other artist…well…I’m totally biased. He is the Curt Swan of my era.

MattComics
Member

I kinda agree with Mario on Brett Booth. His style is sorta Jim Lee by way of Todd McFarlane. It’s got a lot of energy and it can be fun too look at it but faces can be off and layouts are not so great. I do think he can be an alright fit for certain characters but I’m undecided as to if Superman is one of them.

kal-bert
Member

One little detail: Justin Nguyen should be aware that New 52 era is over. That variant cover’s shield brings me bad memories.

lovecats
Member

I’m very disappointed with Action Comics. We first had the Superman revenge squad. It all ended just like that. Superman went to Krypton and just like that, he’s gone. Again nothing came of it.