Tony Black reviews Action Comics #962…
“Path to Doom” part six! In the epic conclusion, the mystery of Black Zero deepens just as the Man of Steel makes a fateful decision that may stop Doomsday, but also risks the lives of those he loves most.
Dan Jurgens’ epic run of Action Comics, ‘Path of Doom’, reaches a titanic conclusion in this sixth issue, in which the battle between Superman and Doomsday finally builds to an end that, perhaps, you won’t necessarily have seen coming. Jurgens has managed to balance massive, city-destroying spectacle with plenty of character moments across Superman’s battle and that’s no less in evidence here, as the Man of Steel struggles to defeat his foe and ensure the safety of wife Lois & son Jon at the same time. Stephen Segovia’s art manages to convey the climactic stage of that battle impressively, with Superman reaching points of success and moments of defeat drawn vividly, while Jurgens manages to lock off the fight while establishing a great deal that will ripple out across multiple Rebirth comics.
We see how much the entire story has seen Superman, and his name, being manipulated by various figures pulling the strings of his fight. Even though we don’t get exact clarity as to who the green hooded uber villain is, we get some hints as to possible Kryptonian or extra-galactic origins, and how he’s been testing Superman’s power by pitting Doomsday against him, all of which seems to suggest a bigger fight and cause in the offing. Equally there’s an element of manipulation going on here by Lex Luthor, basking in the limelight of saving Metropolis after the titanic battle, and he’s increasingly frustrated that Superman won’t instinctually trust in his altruism.
Has Lex truly changed and turned to the side of good? Time will tell but chances are he’s got another motive up his sleeve. Around these major events we also have Wonder Woman, as she keeps the Kent’s safe on the Justice League Watchtower, battling with her instinct to get involved and help Superman as opposed to protecting the little people – it’s a small but important beat in terms of the story, and allows Lois to be the continued framing device in lending that human element of concern to the narrative.
Altogether, as numerous character points and one major cliffhanger suggests an exciting future for the story ‘Path of Doom’ has given us, Action Comics has delivered with this arc a well written, well drawn story where Jurgens & Segovia have delivered a massive story for Superman while teasing multiple mysteries and exciting stories to follow. The tale isn’t of course over, ever, but it’s a strong issue to conclude an entertaining overarching tale.
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