Action Comics #964
By Dan Jurgens, Patrick Zircher and Ulises Arreola
One of the more interesting, and surprising, things to come out of Rebirth is the fact that there is a Clark Kent who does not appear to be Superman. With the recent story arc in Action Comics, Dan Jurgens and company are tackling how this could possibly happen. The New 52 Superman books suffered under many inconsistent writers, but so far, the Rebirth Superman titles have been on-point.
As stated above, Dan Jurgens has been doing a terrific job on Action Comics so far. He’s definitely a writer that is very familiar with the character, and we see this through Superman’s internal monologue this issue. Jurgens has Superman doubt himself on whether Clark is who he say he is, or if he’s an enemy. Jurgens does a great job of making Clark very likable and even more importantly, believable. Clark’s story as to why he has only just surfaced now and why the New 52 Superman was also Clark Kent isn’t something that is so far-fetched that readers couldn’t deem it plausible. It’s also nice to see some continuity among the DC titles. While Action Comics has primarily been the book dealing with Mr. Oz, he did make an appearance in Detective Comics recently. In this week’s issue of Action Comics, Superman and Clark discover that Mr. Oz is collecting certain people, like Doomsday, but they also allude to another recently captured character. We’re almost at the point where Dan Jurgens is the go-to Superman writer when these books need to be good again. Other writers have come along and had some good stories here and there, but Dan Jurgens has been consistently the best Superman writer for this generation.
The pencils this issue are handled by Patrick Zircher with colors by Ulises Arreola. If we’re being honest here, Patrick Zircher is a very underrated, stud of an artist. His work for Valiant was amazing and it’s great to see him doing some more mainstream characters. The pencils in this issue are excellent. We’re drawn in from the first page of Clark holding his broken arm and freezing as he waits to get into the Fortress of Solitude. What makes Zircher so great, is that his art is extremely realistic; think of comics by Gary Frank. A prime example of his realism is seen in a panel of Superman taking Clark back to the city. If you take time to look around the panel, the buildings, police cars, the scale of the people from far away, all look great. Equally as important to Zircher’s pencils are the colors from Ulises Arreola. His colors really complement Zircher’s pencils and add even more realism to what Zircher does. What works with the colors here, is that nothing is too bright or unrealistic. Arreola captures the tone of the story with the colors he lays down.
Action Comics has been one of the best books put out by DC during its Rebirth iniative. Dan Jurgens has been writing a very interesting story, and even though this was a slower issue, it was still very intriguing. The pencils and colors for this issue just flat-out rock. This is not only a book for people who love Superman, it’s a book for people who love good stories.