Action Comics #966
Written by: Dan Jurgens
Art by: Stephen Segovia and Art Thibert
Emotional. Moving. Caring. Heartfelt. Dan Jurgens’ Action Comics #966 accomplishes all of this. Jurgens’ last issue was a high-water mark for Action Comics post-Rebirth, but this issue goes beyond the recap and quiet narrative of #965 and tugs at the readers’ heartstrings. It is not often that a comic book, let alone a super hero comic, invokes an emotional response but this issue does. The writing is simple and honest. Lois, Clark, their son Jon, and Lana are all represented as characters that readers can identify with. Writer Dan Jurgens’ gives reader’s a window into the emotional toll that the events of the past few months and issues have taken upon the cast of characters.
Lois and Lane find out the truth about Superwoman‘s New 52 Lois Lane. Lois and Clark make a life changing decision. Superman and his son discover new facets to Jon’s developing super powers. Each of these events could fill an entire issue of another comic, but here Jurgens moves all of these plot pieces forward in a considered and intentional way. Jurgens provides quiet moments for readers to consider the weight of the story arcs that began back prior to Rebirth and the death of the New 52 Superman. Nothing is rushed, and everything is gained in the process.
Stephen Segovia’s art is almost perfect here. Segovia’s work is realistic, proportional, and detailed enough to illustrate the emotions around each of these characters. For readers familiar with these characters, Segovia gives each of them subtle characteristics that create illustrations more like people than cartoons. Jurgens’ themes of grief, loss, pride, and love shine through each panel.
The only weakness of this issue is at the end. The narrative pivots to provide a hook for a coming conflict and future plot point. It is fine foreshadowing, but it is unnecessary. Jurgens and Segovia have succeeded over the past two issues in giving readers reasons to care about all of these characters, teasing a future conflict is not what will bring readers back for issue #967. Readers will continue to invest in the characterizations Jurgens and Segovia created because they have taken time to provide readers reasons to care about what happens next.
Any Superman fan needs to read this issue. Any lapsed or casual Superman fan will love this issue. Anyone who put off checking out Action Comics or Superman’s cast of characters since Rebirth or even since the New 52 launch should read this issue. Honestly, if anyone out there hasn’t thought about Superman and his world since Dan Jurgens wrote Superman #75 back in the 1990’s, this is the issue to pick up to be reminded why Superman remains an icon.