Action Comics #996
Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 24, 2018
Cover date: March 2018
“Booster Shot” – Part 4
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Penciller: Will Conrad
Inker: Will Conrad
Cover: Dan Jurgens, Trevor Scott, and Hi-Fi
Variant Cover: Dustin Nguyen
Reviewed by: Mario Bennese
A military plane flies low over the jungles of Logamba. Lois Lane makes her escape as she jumps from the cargo bay and deploys her parachute. Having landed safely, Lois and an ally named Hambi rendezvous and make their way to civilization. Elsewhere, Superman and Booster Gold have found themselves on a world where Zod is supreme ruler. They are confronted by a drone which Booster destroys. The two are soon engaged by another Eradicator. Powered by the world’s yellow sun, Superman makes quick work of the android. Skeets informs the heroes that the planet they are on was once named Jekuul before Zod and his family took over. They are only a few decades into the future. Once again, the time bubble is damaged. This time, the power conduits are damaged. Superman offers to use his heat vision to make the repairs, but the alloys used are too delicate. Their salvation comes in the form of the materials used to construct the Eradicator android. The two heroes make their way to the city to find the materials they need.
Back in Logamba, Lois and Hambi prepare to part ways as Borhonna – another of Lois’ allies – enters to escort her to the city’s palace. Lois dons a disguise and the two make their way through the war torn streets. Two soldiers stop them and reprimand them for breaking curfew, demanding to see their paperwork. Jon watches from the shadows as Lois takes down the soldiers.
On New Krypton, Booster Gold and Superman sneak through the city with Skeets controlling a drone and an Eradicator android to give the illusion that they are prisoners. As the time travelers approach the foundry, they are met by two more Eradicator androids. Superman destroys these androids. As the three enter, the real Eradicator arrives and a battle breaks out. While Superman handles The Eradicator, Booster looks for the parts they need. Suddenly, a man swiftly takes the heroes down. This man is Lor-Zod, son of General Zod.
Story – 4: Now we’re back on track. Last issue, I felt the story was starting to get a bit stale and self-derivative, but that is not the case here. In this issue, both plots are advanced more than they were in the previous issue. However, I still hold that the Lois subplot isn’t as interesting as the Superman main plot. I mean, it’s a recon mission to save Sam Lane versus a time traveling adventure with Booster Gold. Time travel wins, hands down.
It’s cool to see what became of Zod and his family after the events of the Revenge arc. We know that the Zod family went out to create a new Krypton, but it’s great that we’re seeing something done with that information. I know that Zod’s planet conquest is being covered over in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, but it’s always nice to be rewarded for being a consistent reader and having past events play into current stories.
Art – 4: I’m so glad that Brett Booth wasn’t in charge of art for this issue. Conrad’s work flows so much better, especially with action scenes. Every once in a while, a face looks a bit off, but at least the art isn’t consistently awkward or unsettling. However, I wish Jurgens would have done the art for each issue of this story. I’m sure he’s busy working on other books, but it would have been nice for consistency’s sake.
Cover Art – 5: I dig this cover. It’s simple, but effective.
Variant Cover Art – 3: The concept is great, but I still feel like Nguyen’s style is a bit amateur.
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