Action Comics #998: Zod Damn It Booster...(REVIEW)


Okay, I fell into Action comics because of Dr. Oz. I learned of Dr. Oz because of him trapping Tim Drake. The first Oz issue I rather liked the story the art NOT so much. Too bubbly, too cartoon, too Scooby-Doo. Regardless, the covers were dope, Dr. Oz was kinda cool, and I carried on. THEN, I found out Booster Gold would be in future issues and I was hooked. Booster Gold is easily one of my favorites and I was stoked to see him return. He is the original Brave and The Bold. Several issues later, things have culminated in Blood & Family, the conclusion of Booster Shot. This review will go over the story as a whole AND Action Comics 998. So strap in and lets talk Action.

THE BRIGHT:

Look, if you're going to use Booster Gold in a story arch. You better be a fucking confident ass writer. Booster Gold is complicatedly simple and easy to get wrong. That being said Jurgens knocked this shit right outta the park. For me Booster was the lure, Superman was unfortunately the Star. I say unfortunately because Jurgens has made me fall for Superman. This is a story of a man who looking for answers about his father. Superman has gone back in time to find out if his father did in fact make it off of Krypton. Enter Booster Gold, to stop him from making a huge mistake. However, Jurgens got a big pair of brass ones. He doesn't simply stop there. He decided to through Lois Lane in the mix. A little papa search of her own and it's just phenomenal. He's blended the two stories so well that they hardly seem separate at all. However, that's enough of recap, let's talk issue 998, Blood & Family. Zod, Lor-Zod, The Eradicator...the conclusion. Needless to say this issue is well written and full of passion. Hate, love, and hope. You really feel it radiating from the pages. Lor-Zods hatred of Superman, Kal-El's love of Krypton, Booster's hope. It's just all there. If I can also add, the way Jurgens and Booth leaves issue 997 never left me more shocked. However, when you're dealing with time travel. Nothing is as it seems. But I digress. 998 wraps up the entire Booster Shot arch in a nice little bow.

Now let's talk art. As I stated I'm not just covering 998, but the story as a whole illustrated by Brett Booth,

Norm Rapmund, and Andrew Dalhouse is beyond words. However, they only do have the run. The other half is illustrated by Will Conrad and Ivan Nunes. Issue 998 is beautifully paneled and colored with near perfection in mind. Powerful angles and great usage of letterboxing space makes this issue an easy read. The thing that Conrad does really well in this arch it utilize space well. Even busy battles don't come across too cluttered or too much going on. So my hats are off to him. Who really nails the series is Booth. His style, his pencils, Dalhouse's colors...epic. I've never had so much fun reading a Superman comic cook. Not since Batman & Superman teamed up to go against President Luthor and his band of heroes and villains. You know! The arch where Batman told Luthor he could let Superman kill him and make it look like an accident. Yeah. This is right up there with that.

THE DARK:

Not much to rag on here. I KNOW! Surprising right!? My biggest issue here is that fucking Conrad gets it all wrong with his style. It doesn't work for the story that Jurgens is telling. Combined with Nunes' coloring style it's just out of place. I mean don't get me wrong. It's good, but it's outta place. In issue 998 Superman's face looks deformed and sad. And not sad like emotion, but sad like yuck. Zod and Lor-Zod look great, but Superman and Booster get the short end of the stick. I dunno. Also, Conrad clearly didn't give a fuck about continuity of art. In issue 995 Booth has Superboy dressed AS SUPERBOY. In issue 996 Conrad has him in a Hat and Hoodie. Then in 997 Booth has to run with that. Conrad comes off as not caring about what Jurgens is trying to accomplish, but more on showing off his talents. I know it's a silly thing to care about, however, I read these issues back to back and it stuck out like a sore thumb.

THE UNHINGED:

There are a lot of unhinged moments here. Planet Zod, the shocker at the end of 997, and even in this one. When you open up that second page. Where Zod and his family are slow roasting Booster & Superman This was the highlight of Conrad and Nunes' run on this series. Jurgens wrote a comprehensive deep and involved story. Showcasing Lois Lane's skills as an investigative journalist. Showing that DC's favorite family has their "daddy" issues. Hell, another insane moment was when Booster threatened to kill Lor-Zod's dad. Lor-Zod says: "remove the old buzzard standing in my way...you'd be doing me a favor." I mean how hard core is that? The only other mind melting moment was when Booster called Skeet Alfred. Upon being told not to call him that. Booster goes: "Not like I can call you Jarvis. Whole other timeline." I mean I'm done. I vow from this point forward to read all things Jurgens.

Look, all I have to say is THANK YOU! Dan Jurgens, thank you. This is a great story with a boring character and a hidden gem. BOOSTER freaking GOLD! I would love to just gush of how funny the character is written. How awesome he's drawn, how fucking dope Skeet is. However, I have to put biased aside. Look at the facts. The fact is. I HATE SUPERMAN. He's boring, overpowered, selfless and simply. Jurgens has made him complex, flawed, and near selfish. Mix this in with great art and beautiful colors and who could ask for more. So again I say. Thank you Dan, ( do you mind if I call you Dan?). Thank you for making me excited for Action Comics 1000, because without you I personally would have not given a damn. Thank you for using Booster Gold as a a catalyst of Superman: Lost in Time...and thank you for writing Lois Lane as more than a damsel in distress. Also huge shout out to Brett Booth for giving a damn and trying to keep an artistic continuity. So if you're not a Superman fan...or a fan of the Super Family. . .check this book out and you will be.