Action Comics #996
Dan Jurgens, writer
Will Conrad, art
Ivan Nunes, colors
Rob Leigh, letters
The story begins with Lois Lane in pursuit of her father, General Sam Lang, who was captured by Logamban rebels. Lois jumps from a plane her inner monologue stating that she is up to the task of rescuing her father despite not knowing where or when Superman is at the moment. The next panel shows Superman and Booster who are on New Krypton, the home of Zod and his family.
The story continues with Lois in the jungle having parachuted to the ground. She meets a man, Hambi, an old friend. Hambi and Lois travel through the woods and talk. Jonathan follows at a distance unnoticed.
Meanwhile back on New Krypton, Booster and Superman are confronted by a security drone demanding they show allegiance to Zod. Skeets searches to find their location and time. The security drone demands that they kneel. Superman says no way. Booster shoots the drone out of the sky. Skeets learns that Zod took control of the planet after he escaped The Phantom Zone with his family (see Action #984). Skeets foreshadows the future stating that they, Superman and the Heroes of Earth, have not yet fought the Earth – Krypton war, which confuses Superman.
Krypton’s eradicators confront the heroes. Superman shows his real power and destroys the eradicators who remember him as powerless back on Krypton(see #994 Action Comics). Afterward Superman says it’s time to go. Skeets informs them that it’s impossible because of damages incurred by the time sphere. As a result, Superman prepares Booster for a fight with Zod. However, Booster educates Superman to avoid trouble because they are time travelers. Booster states that their goal is to slip out unseen.
Meanwhile back in Logamban, Hambi and Lois have made it into a town. Lois meets another local, a friend named Borhonna. The pair say goodbye to Hambi and then make their way toward the palace, which is located in the town. However, they are confronted by guards before they can make it inside. Lois steps in front of Borhonna and punches a the guards knocking them out. She sends Borhonna away stating she doesn’t need backup. However, unbeknownst to Lois, Jonathan watches from a distance.
Back on New Krypton, Superman and Booster learn that there is slavery occurring on the planet. Superman wants to stop the activity immediately. However, Booster encourages Superman that the time to stop this activity is back in Superman’s present earth. The run from the eradicators. However, they are discovered by The Eradicator, a powerful super-villain. He is excited to learn that they brought a time ship. Superman drives The Eradicator into a wall. However, Booster is taken out and then Superman driven to the ground by Lor-Zod, son of Zod!
This is another fun issue. The pairing of Booster Gold and Superman really works. Their competing goals highlights the differences in the two. Booster protects time; Superman is ready to fight injustice at every turn. The tie ins to previous Action story arcs was a nice way to create layers while reinforcing the importance of the previous issues. The art is wonderful; Superman and Booster are beautifully drawn and represented.
The Lois Lane story arc is entertaining and reinforces her numerous strengths: she’s developed connections all over the world, she’s loyal to protecting her father, and she has strong hand-to-hand combat skills. However, her story arc feels like an aside. Perhaps they will pull the relevance front and center by the end of this arc.
At first glance, Booster’s insistence on protecting time conflicts with Superman’s desire to fight against injustice. However, Booster is guarding against the manipulation of events that could impact time in ways that they are unaware. Ultimately, Superman and Booster’s immediate threat comes in the form of The Eradicator and Lor-Zod. It will be interesting to see how Superman and Booster escape from this planet given the strength of their foes and the obstacles they face.