ACTION #992 AFTER EFFECTS
Written by: Dan Jurgens & Rob Williams
Art by: Will Conrad
Colored by: Hi-Fi
(Spoilers) The issue begins with Superman’s inner monologue as he struggles to make sense of Jor-El’s appearance and what it says about the kind of man Jor-El was. Ultimately, he surmises that Jor-el must be a good man; otherwise, how could he think of himself as a good man? Superman is both interested in why Jor-El came to earth and suspicious of what he was up to. Superman searches the Fortress of Solitude looking for signs of Mr. OZ. In this sequence Superman separates OZ from Jor-El communicating to the reader Jor-El was under the control of someone else when he acted as OZ.
Batman arrives to offer Superman some much-needed support. Superman tests Batman’s loyalty. “You came because the alien is out of control.” Bruce corrects Superman’s perception by sharing that he was there to help. Superman asks Batman, “What would you do if your father just showed up again after you thought that he was dead?” Batman informs Superman that he has had this experience. (See “The Button” story with The Flash). Batman reminds Superman to not forget the he is Superman as he flies away to respond to an emergency.
Meanwhile at the Daily Planet, the editor, Perry White, is looking for Clark but nobody knows where he is. Lois jumps in with a cover story that Clark has been on assignment. She confronts the editor’s approach by asking, “Do you trust your writers, or don’t you?” The story continues. Superman arrives to speak to Lois and questions whether OZ was correct. He asks, “What if they are beyond saving?” The final panel in this sequence between Superman and Lois shows her hand and Superman’s inches apart as Lois states, “You have to know.”
As Superman leaves Lois, he then meets Hal Jordan and goes with him to Mogo, Green Lantern’s headquarters. Superman is there to see the Green Lantern’s recordings of Krypton as it exploded to confirm that only one ship escaped. The recording from Tomar-Re, the Green Lantern guarding Krypton shows Superman’s ship escaping seconds before the planet exploded. However, they notice that the file has been corrupted.
Later, Superman arrives back in Metropolis at night while his son lies fast asleep in his bed. Superman asks Lois if something out there can change time itself. “How can I fight that?” Lois responds with, “You’ll find a way, you always do.” Superman responds, “This is about finding out who I am.” Lois states, “Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll track it down.”
Superman goes to the Justice League Watchtower – probably before Murder Machine gets to it, but I digress. Superman gets on the Cosmic Treadmill with the hopes of going back in time. “I have to go back to Krypton.” He disappears in a large yellow explosion, A word panel states, “Now the timeline itself is in danger of total collapse.”
When Batman arrives in the Fortress of Solitude, he confronts Superman’s assessment of the situation. He states, “This isn’t just about you and your father.” The distinction reveals a thought error by Superman and also makes him aware of a completely different perspective. Batman follows with, “Something is wrong with time.” The sequence supports the Batman mythos and redirects the story to a larger threat. Batman is always a step ahead, he’s smarter than everyone, and has an answer for every problem.
Later, the sequence between Lois and her editor where she accuses him of not trusting his writers feels like it has layers. All writers want the freedom to express themselves and follow the leads to the real story. The paradox in this instance is that Lois tells a lie while hiding behind the word trust. However, within the context of the story the sequence could serve to flush out a larger narrative. Who can we trust? What can we trust? These questions are compelling and do much to increase my interest as a reader.
Finally, Superman interprets the Green Lantern’s corrupted recordings . He says that someone has done something with time. The statement affirms Batman’s interpretation earlier in the story and also serves to support that Superman is pursuing the person or thing that did this. It’s cool to think that something has messed with time. How powerful could this thing or person be? It makes perfect sense that Superman would go to the Cosmic Treadmill for answers. What impact will Superman’s actions have on time itself? What will happen when he confronts the person or thing that did this?