By: Andrew Fontana
Ridiculous plot twists are truly the meat and potatoes of superhero comics. Some of the less organic ones have all the dramatic tension of an overwrought soap on TV, but sometimes the writers of these comics can deliver a twist with enough finesse and subtlety to give the narrative a really strong kick. Dan Jurgens may very well have delivered such a coup in the pages of Action Comics #987.
Action Comics is great fun regardless of the explosive reveal at the end. Dan Jurgens always had a sound grip on what makes Superman tick, and nowhere is that more clear than his work in this issue. The story asks a simple question: what if humanity isn’t worth saving? Such a question challenges the very core of what the Man of Steel represents. Jurgens writes Mr. Oz as a tempter, a devil like figure that pushes Superman to question his purpose on earth. The revelation of this mysterious figure’s true identity only adds to the dramatic tension that Jurgens is cultivating for this arc.
Viktor Bogdanovic’s pencils, unfortunately, are not quite up to the task that Jurgens gives him. His somewhat cartoonish style was an excellent fit for a book like New Super-Man, but feels particularly out of place here. His characters are all rendered in a style that doesn’t match the tone of this issue. Mike Spicer’s bright colors are a good fit for the pencils, but taken altogether the art is an ill fit for a darker toned story.