By Dan Jurgens, Rob Williams, Will Conrad and HI-FI
Action Comics #992 deals with the aftermath of the Mr. Oz storyline. For those that don’t know, Mr. Oz was a character that seemed to be pulling strings in the new DCU and says he’s Jor-El, Superman’s father. He caged some of Superman’s main antagonists and the occasional hero, cough Tim Drake cough. He ultimately tried to convince Clark that Earth isn’t good enough for him. Mr. Oz disappeared in front of Clark and he never got proof or the answers that he sought. This issue picks up shortly after the conclusion of the last arc.
Dan Jurgens supplied the plot, but Rob Williams wrote this issue. There are some good things that stand out this issue, but the most important thing are the supporting characters. Clark is always such a strong character that it’s not often we see him confused or even down. Williams allows us to see that Superman has a very good support group around him. Whether it’s Lois covering for Clark at the Daily Planet, Bruce stopping by the Fortress of Solitude or Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps helping him find clues, this issue really hammers home how many people care for Clark. Williams also accentuates the toll this is taking on Superman. He’s not sleeping, he is hardly at work and is also neglecting his family. The last arc really messed with Clark, and the cliffhanger that Williams gives us is about as cool as it gets. Action Comics #992 highlights why the Superman books have been a huge hit for DC.
The pencils this issue are handled by Will Conrad with colors by HI-FI. The pencils are good this issue, but there are a couple of panels early in the book where Superman is examining Kellex. Superman looks almost unrecognizable in one of these panels. His face, while it is a close up showing ¾ of his head, just looks like an old man. That small gripe aside, Conrad does a marvelous job on the rest of the issue. You can see the emotion on the faces of Lois and Superman as they have a conversation on the roof of the Daily Planet. Conrad also does a nice job of showing Superman taking flight. Sometimes artists make things disproportioned, but Conrad’s body work looks great. The colors by HI-FI are good as usual. Blue and greens really stick out this issue as Clark is Superman for the entire book. These two colors leap off the page and draw your eye with how vibrant they are. With just one small nitpick on the pencils, the art this issue is phenomenal and adds to why this book rocks.
Action Comics #992 is an issue that doesn’t feature a ton of action, but it does pack a punch. Rob Williams script was engrossing from the first page. Humanizing the man of steel is always a great way to connect with the audience. The art looked great and allowed the book to shine in every aspect. Action Comics is right up there with Batman in terms of quality.