By: Andrew Fontana
It is not so often that Krypton’s last son is truly the underdog in any given situation. If anything, Superman’s usual conflicts involve him winning without fully using his overwhelming power. He is heroic partly because he doesn’t collapse entire buildings on his foes in a bout of fisticuffs. But what happens when its the Man of Steel’s turn to fight an enemy with greater power than his own? Dan Jurgens asks this very question in Action Comics #982, and the resulting issue is pretty fun.
Action Comics #982 is focused mostly on setting up Revenge’s closing chapters next month, but is enjoyable regardless of that. Jurgens fits in some important character beats for Clark despite the issue’s brevity. He makes the most he can out putting Superman through the ringer. His Superman, though beaten and blinded, still faces his seeming end with a nobility that many other writers of the character fail to convey. Jurgens also takes the time to flesh out the motivations behind the villains seeking Superman’s defeat. By doing so, he raises the stakes in an organic fashion that makes the promised battle between super-folk carry even more weight.
The pencils of Jack Herbert and José Luis blend seamlessly together. Their artwork is detailed, giving just enough believability to the facial expressions of the various characters that show up this issue. Their figures have a chiseled look that gives the entire issue a larger than life feel. Jurgens’ script gives them some action to draw near the end, and their ability to draw multiple figures fighting is a good sign for the showdown scheduled the next two issues.