Tony Black reviews Action Comics #961…
“Path to Doom” part five! With his family’s safety hanging in the balance, Superman confronts Doomsday to finally bring the beast’s destructive rage to an end. To save his wife and son, Superman must overcome the monster that once killed him, or die trying!
SEE ALSO: Check out a preview of Action Comics #961
An epic of a continuing story, part five of ‘Path of Doom’ in Action Comics looks to show no signs of abating as the titanic battle between Superman and one of his greatest arch nemeses, Doomsday, spirals on – this time away from Metropolis, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still the fallout and blowback in the city. Dan Jurgens begins this issue there indeed, dealing with Lex Luthor in his role as an egotistic, fake Superman sparring with the generally confused, non-super powered Clark Kent–still an ongoing mystery–and finding help from an unexpected source, more of which you can find in Superwoman Rebirth (a decent read our own Ricky Church recently lent his thoughts on). It’s a strong start to an issue which continues the fast-paced, eventful writing Jurgens has brought to this arc in general.
The battle has now come home for Superman, literally, and he spends much of this issue fending off attacks on Lois and his son Jon from the beastly Doomsday, with the help of a pretty damn cool Wonder Woman. It’s a fierce smackdown beautifully drawn by Stephen Segovia, his panels complex and sparkling with colour & energy, while Jurgens retains those important character moments within. Crucially, he finally lets Jon off the hook in a powerful way, something that’s also been dealt with in more depth over on Superman’s comic run (probably set just before these events), and it allows for some epic and worrying moments for the young Kryptonian who Doomsday is specifically hunting – we also then are reminded he’s a child at his fun reaction to seeing the Justice League Watchtower. Around this, as Superman is haunted by worries he may suffer a similar fate to Doomsday as he did in his own universe, the arch, unknown Machiavelli in green who has been watching, pulling the strings since the beginning of this story, makes a move; his origins remain a mystery, even to Superman himself it seems, but him finally stepping out into the shadows looks set to push this story, and this battle, in an all new direction.
Another fine issue from Action Comics, which continues a strong run with this arc, truly making the most of having a powered up Doomsday back wreaking havoc, and it manages to balance both plenty of action (as you’d expect) and character points which continue the journey of everyone in Superman’s orbit. The way the issue ends, too, will leave you very excited to see where the story organically develops next.
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