SPOILER WARNING: The following story contains major spoilers for “Action Comics” #957, on sale now.
Superman has returned to the pages of “Action Comics!” That is, the pre-“New 52” incarnation of the character many fans wholeheartedly call the “real” Superman.
It’s also writer Dan Jurgens’ return to the same iteration of the character he helmed during his notable mid-90s run, and brought back for last year’s “Convergence” and the Rebirth-precursur series, “Superman: Lois and Clark.” No longer does this version of family man Clark Kent skulk about in the shadows, though, as Jurgens and artist Patrick Zircher unveil him the new Superman of this Earth.
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The issue, which returns “Action Comics” to its original numbering, is a return to past form in many other ways as well, among them the return of an armored-up Lex Luthor, who himself had taken the mantle of the title for a time a few years back. That doesn’t quite happen here, as indicated on Ivan Reis and Joe Prado’s representative cover that puts Supes squarely front and center. Luthor is prominently placed in the story, though, as are several other members of the supporting cast, although not all of them appear in the issue.
Another return is that of Captain Maggie Sawyer, now back in charge of Metropolis’ Special Crimes Unit; her return from the Gotham City Police Department isn’t the most notable of the issue, but it’s the first, as the comic opens with her and photojournalist Jimmy Olsen on the scene of a hostage situation.
Meanwhile, Lois, Clark, and their young son, Jon, are moving into their new upstate residence, but Clark’s intended life of suburban bliss is put into jeopardy when he spies a television broadcast of Luthor boldly flaunting his symbol. Refusing to let his arch-enemy (actually, his arch-enemy’s counterpart on this world) presumably desecrate the symbol’s meaning, Clark officially dons a modified version of his long-abandoned costume, and speeds off to Metropolis to confront his foe.
As Luthor hovers above the crowd proclaiming himself Metropolis’ new savior, a mystery ensues: a secretive, robed figure has eyes everywhere, and surveys all that has transpired; a stranger whose identity has yet to be revealed.
Then, perhaps the issue’s biggest surprise takes place while the new / old Superman makes his first public appearance confronting Luthor. Clark Kent shows up on the scene; that is, a different Clark, watching Superman and Luthor’s encounter along with the rest of the crowd. The appearance of this doppelganger is another mystery that has yet to be explained, though it may take a back seat to the more immediate threat posed by the last-page arrival of Doomsday.
Readers will only have to wait two weeks for potential answers, as “Action Comics” #958 ships on June 22.
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