Tony Black reviews Action Comics #957…
“PATH TO DOOM” Chapter One
Superman returns to Metropolis just in time to meet the city of tomorrow’s newest protector: Lex Luthor. But it’s not long before these dueling titans meet someone unexpected — the new Clark Kent!
DON’T MISS: ACTION COMICS returns to its original numbering with this issue!
SEE ALSO: Check out a preview of Action Comics #957
I have to say, it was a bit of a WTF when I saw DC had made Lex Luthor the new Superman in Action Comics: Rebirth. I know him as probably, after The Joker, the most famous villain in all of comic book history, so for him to be the main man seemed a really strange choice. It turns out it’s not going to be quite that simple, as Action Comics here connects back to both elements of the DC: Rebirth primer and Superman: Rebirth, carrying them forward and helping each story veer away into a strident new direction.
Obviously being new to this, I don’t know what brought Luthor to this new role, what made him put on the suit, or in all honesty whether or not he’s genuine about wanting to help Metropolis after Superman’s death – writer Dan Jurgens does keep that uncertain to a point. Alt-Clark’s preconceptions about exactly what Luthor is capable of are our preconceptions too, so you can understand that being the catalyst that brings him out of hiding, makes him put on the Superman costume and attempt to save Metropolis from the new ‘threat’. As it turns out, both of them by the end may need to team up, as it appears Doomsday–who of course we saw Alt-Superman fight in Rebirth in his universe–is back. That’s certainly a major villain to put back into the wind, and especially after his contentious appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice recently.
What I didn’t get here was the two Clark’s thing. I thought Superman was dead, as we saw in Rebirth, and that Alt-Clark was looking destined to take his place, so I’m really confused as to how Clark seems to be alive as well as this other version of Superman, and can only assume there’s a part of the puzzle I’m missing. Besides that confusion, the story does some nice character work regarding the point of Superman and indeed precisely what lessons should be learned from his power. Lois and her son Jon briefly discuss this as the boy excitedly sees his father jump into action, and considers using power to make life easier is justified. It’s a good message, and central to the very heart of Superman as a character.
Though obviously Action Comics has been a long running series, and reading two of the previous Rebirth comics will be pretty crucial for newcomers to sink their teeth into this, it was a very enjoyable and accessible issue with some lovely artwork to boot.
Tony Black is a freelance film/TV writer & podcaster & would love you to follow him on Twitter.
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