Action Comics #997
Written by, Dan Jurgens
Pencils by, Brett Booth
Inks by, Norm Rapmund
Colors by, Andrew Dalhouse
Letters by, Rob Leigh
The current story-arc began when Superman’s father Jor-El arrived on earth saying that he’d escaped Krypton before the planet was destroyed. Superman was confused and intrigued by Jor-El’s assertion so he used The Cosmic Treadmill to transport back in time to Krypton just before its destruction. Booster Gold, the guardian of time, intervened to keep Superman from impacting time. Despite his efforts, Booster and Superman ended up in a shard of time where Krypton survived. However, Booster Gold saved Superman and himself by transporting them to the 25th century on earth before that fractured reality could solidify. Unfortunately, when they left 25th century earth, they landed in a world where Zod and his family gained power after they escaped the Phantom Zone.
The issue begins on New Krypton where Zod and his son, Lor-Zod are ruling. Superman confronts Zod while Booster confronts the Eradicator. He easily dispatches Booster, who has tech but now powers. Superman and Lor are locked in an epic battle where nothing is held back. Lor is filled with hate due to the family of El and Superman trying to lock them away in the Phantom Zone. Surprisingly to this reader, Superman defeats Lor and lectures him about being untrained.
Enter Zod! A tested and true threat. He easily defeats Superman, leaving both him and Booster unconscious.
The story transitions to Lois Lane who is in search of her father in Logamba. Lois receives some help from another friend and travels deep into the castle with Jonathan following secretly behind. Jon jumps in and saves Lois when an armed guard corners her. He also rips the door off his grandfather’s cell when they find him.
Back on New Krypton, Zod, Ursa, and Lor along with the Eradicator face Superman and Booster who are both contained. The story gets worse when Zod destroys Skeets in a fit of rage. Lor punches a defenseless Superman while Zod lectures about his hatred of Kal-El. All the evil Kryptonians fire their heat ray eyes at the pair simultaneously. Booster’s Force field holds.
The story ends withs Lois, Jon, and his grandfather who are ambushed and seemingly gunned down by soldiers.
The story moves quickly, is action-packed and ends with a cliffhanger. The battle between Superman and Zod’s family is entertaining and perilous. By the end Superman and Booster are in real danger. The art is good but not great throughout. There are a number of fight scenes with beams of light, explosions, around colorful landscapes that really works.
The parts of the story involving Lois Lane and her search for her father is equally compelling. The group is left in dire straits by the end. But what is interesting is the unspoken tension between Lois and her father. Lois hasn’t seen her father since her actions led to his dismissal from the military. How will Lois and her father work through their differences? Especially given the circumstances surrounding the groups capture by guerilla militia. How were they found so easily? I can hardly wait to see how this story moves forward in the next issue.