All of the storylines in the Superman books since Rebirth are coming to a head right here, as we find out who the fake Clark is and we get closer to Mr. Oz’s identity in a special supersized issue of Action Comics.
Action Comics 975
Written by Dan Jurgens and Paul Dini
Art by Doug Mahnke, Ian Churchill, Jaime Mendoza, Michael Atiyeh and Wil Quintana
When I bought my comics last Wednesday, this was the book I was looking forward to the most. And even though the big reveal in this issue was teased by DC Comics at the end of last week’s issue (I thought they made it pretty obvious with the choices they gave in “Who Is The Fake Clark Kent?”) I was looking forward to it. And then the comics news sites spoiled the big reveal, because apparently heaven forbid we get to be surprised by stories any more.
Even still, this was a pretty great issue that tied together almost everything that’s been going on since Rebirth kicked off, and they did it in maybe the best way possible: with the intervention of a little imp from the Fifth Dimension named Mr. Mxyzptlk. At least the Kents didn’t make a deal with the devil to get everyone to forget that Superman and Clark Kent were one and the same…
The issue was split into two parts: the first (by Dan Jurgens) sees Superman and Lois confronting the fake Clark Kent and the discovery that it was Mxy all along. Jurgens has some fun with the story and plays up the more destructive side of Mxy’s personality. He’s a jilted lover here, a jealous boyfriend, and neither Superman nor Lois understand why. To make matters worse, he casts a spell to make everyone forget Jon Kent ever existed, which sets in for Lois as the first part of the book closes.
In the second half, written by Paul Dini, we find out why the Imp is getting more personal than he has in the past.
We find out that, yes, Mxyzptlk was the one who escaped Mr. Oz’s prison in last week’s SUPERMAN. He was captured by the mysterious figure and figured Superman would rescue him, but the rescue never came. So now he’s taking it out on what he thinks is the reason that Supes stopped caring: his son.
Mxyzptlk tells his whole terrible tale to Jon, who he’s kidnapped, and Jon tries to reason with the imp, proving that he is indeed the son of Superman. Jon relates to Mxyzptlk that his dad would tell him stories about “The Man in the Purple Hat,” telling his son that he wasn’t evil at all, and Jon comes to believe that maybe his captor is actually evil. But Mxy is determined to torture and punish Superman for the perceived slight, despite Jon’s assurances that his dad meant no malice.
The section written by Dini is a little bit heartbreaking, actually, and it might be one of the best-written segments of the Rebirth era so far.
Now that we’re halfway through the SUPERMAN REBORN storyline, we can see a little of where things are headed, but I am definitely looking forward to seeing how the writers deal with the inevitable confrontation between Mxyzptlk and Mr. Oz, because you know Fifth Dimensional imps hold grudges.
I guess we’ll see where everything goes with this week’s releases.