ACTION COMICS #900
What did the
Art by PETE WOODS, JESUS MERINO, DAN JURGENS, RAGS MORALES, ARDIAN SYAF, JAMAL IGLE, GARY FRANK, RYAN SOOK, RB SILVA, MIGUEL SEPULVEDA, MATT CAMP, and BRIAN STELFREEZE
Cover by DAVID FINCH
Variant cover A by ADAM HUGHES
Variant cover B by ALEX ROSS
Size: 96 pages
We got a lot to cover in this review with this massive 900th issue. So review wll be as followed: Part 1 is the Black Ring finale while Part 2 is a PELLET review of the mini stories.
What else can I say about this ending? Other then: This was absolute shit.
I’m sorry for the language but that’s what this was: shit. This great run by Cornell has been ruined for two reasons. One, his overall ending to Luthor’s story just ends up being ‘I’m better then you’ montra that’s in any Sups fight. Granted it’s every Sups vs Luthor fight but considering what Cornell was doing before the last three issues I expected more then this. Luthor giving us a history lesson on the horrors of Superman’s life is anything but entertaining. Plus he just goes on and on and on about how he’s better then everyone else. He’s been doing that all out the story yes, but at least Cornell has something to back up on that. It’s just not fun seeing a man stroke his ego to Sups for the millionth time here. Shockingly Cornell’s take on Superman is fine and I kinda like it as he’s taking the Geoff Johns approach to writing the character. But it all ends up being like a DragonBall Z fight if you get my drift. It’s all impossible odds as the hero gets destroyed constantly but then wins in a deus ex machina. Luthor losing his powers at the end is not good storytelling, it just seems lazy as Cornell had to get him out of the picture in time.
The second reason this ending was so bad is this: Cornell had to tie this into the ‘Reign of Doomsday’ story. Why the hell did he do this? There are no clues Luthor had anything to do with this, nor is it properly explained at all in the narrative. We just assume, and so do the characters, that Luthor planned all of this and that’s how we get into this lame storyline that I have no interest in. I seriously thought there was a printing error because Cornell spent so much time in the beginning for this plotline. Considering I only read the Superboy tie-in, it just got way too confusing to figure out what was going on. Now I hardly think that’s my fault. Cause how many people who are reading this honestly picked up the one-shots and tie-in issues to go into this Doomsday story? Seriously I doubt very many of us did and if they did then hopefully it read better then what I read.
Oh and I almost forgot! Just a mess of artists in here that just did a poor job on this. Except for the sequence involving Gary Frank, Adrian Syaf, and Dan Jurgens. They did a good job with the flashbacks (and others as well). But the two culprits here, Pete Woods and Jesus Merino….God I never want to read a book with these two as artists again. The design for Uber-Lex is a pain, seriously I have headaches looking at that design. Plus the panels are so cluttered and messy to understand I had a hard time following Wood’s sections. Jesus Merino handles the Doomsday pages and they are just ugly to look at. Characters are way off model and everything is way too sketchy for my tastes. Plus that final page reveal to end the story looks more like a poster then a coherent story page.
What a shame really, this run started so strongly and was a blast to read every month. But this issue, along with the last two, really makes it look like Cornell lost all steam by the end. We get a generic and boring fight/history of Luthor vs Sups. Plus it ties into a storyline that had no bearing what so ever on this run right until now. That is just sloppy storytelling and I have no desire to read this right now. Thank to any higher being for letting Kenneth Rocafort take over as artist because Pete Woods/Jesus Merino are just horrible artists and it shows here. Rocafort isn’t enough however, cause with this sloppy ending I decided to drop this book. Sorry to all the fans of this run but this ending really let me down in a bad way. I shutter to think how Cornell is going to handle a generic, beat’em up storyline involving Doomsday.
Story: 1/5; Art: 1.5/5 (All going to Frank, Jurgens, and Syaf)
Life Support: (Written by Damon Lindelof; Art by Ryan Sook): I think the best of the short stories here and I’m not saying that cause the guy who helped create Lost did it….Well maybe a little. Seriously though it’s an interesting look at the guy who had to make the escape pod for Superman before Krypton went kaboom. Just a lot of emotions in this short and Ryan Sook handles all the depressing you can imagine is in this. Now if Lindelof can only get a hand on the new Sups movie…. (Story: 5/5; Art: 5/5)
Autobiography: (Written by: Paul Dini; Story by: R.B. Silva) This is a pretty ho-hum story with Sups having a talk with a species in his Fortress of Solitude. It’s a story we’ve all read before with someone having the same origin as Sups. The art definitely makes up for the story with beautiful pencils by Silva and bright colors by Java Tartagila. They make a Space Hippo sure look ‘purty’. (Story: 2/5; Art: 5/5)
Friday Night in the 21st Century: (Written by: Geoff Johns; Art by: Gary Frank) This story depressed me. Only because it’s what I want out of a Superman story damnit! I got into Superman, and comics in some way, because of this incredible run by Johns and Frank. This three page story makes me want to have these two back on board. The series was much better off with these two at the helm. (Story: 5/5; Art: 5/5)
The Incident: (Written by David S. Goyer; Art by: Miguel Sepulveda) Look, let’s get one thing straight here. Unless you are GREAT at writting real world events into comics then you should never do it. This story fails to make me care about Superman trying to make peace between the Iranians. It’s preachy and does nothing but make you sound like you know how to solve everything by using a god-like superhero as your voice. The art by Sepulveda is pretty good though and I liked his X-Ray vision panel. Other then that though, this is too preachy to enjoy. (Story: 1/5; Art: 4/5)
Only Human: (Written by: Richard Donner & Derek Hoffman; Storyboards by: Matt Camp) This is a nice change of pace honestly. Having Donner and Hoffman do a script/storyboard is exactly what made this a nice story to read. I could totally see this as a future Superman movie or TV Show episode. It’s what Donner’s best at. (Story: 4/5; Storyboards: 4/5)
There’s one more two page extra in here but I’ll leave that to yourself! Like any group of short stories there are some highs and lows. I just wished it could help save the junk I just read with Cornell’s Luthor finale.
Art: 2 - Average