ACTION COMICS #980
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Patrick Zircher and Hi-Fi
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: May 24, 2017
It’s a race against time and with a crossover with the Suicide Squad waiting in the wings, Superman and his Revenge Squad zero in on Belle Reve for different reasons: A fight to get General Zod on their side to stop Superman and for Superman to handle the situation before it becomes too much to bear for the Man of Steel.
The second installment of “Revenge” elaborates on Cyborg Superman and his Revenge Squad providing us explanations and reasoning behind each member and why they’re begrudgingly there. They’ve learned a valuable lesson as a united front, there’s strength in numbers. Before everything can be good to go, they’ll need General Zod who is both a part of the Suicide Squad and setting his own plan in motion in that title as well. Superman meanwhile is getting his affairs in order before launching into the journey of what he thinks is only Eradicator, Mongul, and Blanque. We get some heartfelt moments with Lois and Jon, as we usually see him in the sister Superman title. His reactions and views on the move to Metropolis rings accurately for any kid that’s going through seemingly monumental change at the time but, the more pressing matters lie in the fight Superman is about to face reassuringly a nervous Lois that he’ll take care of it.
A surprise stop at The Watchtower puts Kal on sights leading to Belle Reve. Batman gets to talk with him about the nature of how Amanda Waller runs things with Task Force X and Jurgens lines up Kal’s thoughts with what the Boy Scout would say given the recent Justice League vs. Suicide Squad event. An underlying tease Jurgens has been laying out is, Kal can handle all manner of threats and issues by himself and worry about backup later. He reassures people that there won’t be a problem because he’s Superman and he can do anything! But a threat like the Revenge Squad could prove too much for the Man of Steel and they might not even have to lift a finger to stop him at Belle Reve.
Suicide Squad #18 expands on the entire base’s current predicament thanks to General Zod and his takeover so seeing the effects in Action Comics and for it to drum up a different brand of aftermath and continuation is great. Even some of the villains falling prey to the environment that Zircher and Hi-Fi get weird with gives us something new and dangerous. The panels being flashbacks of horror and some reminders of what they’ve been through throws some sadness into the mix as the creative team reaffirms some things about Cyborg Superman and Superman himself. Hi-Fi really has the workload in the second half of the book, the backgrounds being all but black with the characters sporting their reds and blues, and making three different but strongly resembling characters appear distinct when they’re battling through the color is impressive.
The new environment Superman and the Revenge Squad have found themselves in gives space for Suicide Squad to tell their side of the story, fleshes out the the villains little by little to give Superman’s Rogues a well rounded personality in their quest to kill Superman and gives Superman personal demons to ponder and grimace over.
Revenge marches closer to one of the arcs bigger moments and leaves room for a dangerous crossover to have it’s side of the fun as well. Zircher and Hi-Fi continue their path of capturing more action and horror instances to give Revenge a stamp of it’s own. Between the ghosts of your loved ones coming back as zombies and punching Supermen that want to destroy everything your “S” stands for…Revenge maintains it’s speed as another worthy chapter.
The Verdict: 8.0/10