Review: ACTION COMICS #979

Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Patrick Zircher and Hi-Fi
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: May 10, 2017

“Revenge is a dish best served cold” or so the saying goes. Superman doesn’t get a lot of love when it comes to his Rogues Gallery and Jurgens brings those very people to the forefront of the long building arc “Revenge”.

Villains from across Trinity, Superman, Suicide Squad, and Action Comics all forming at the lead of Cyborg Superman. He’s getting a fearsome gang consisting of the Eradicator, Metallo (with an upgraded look!), Blanque, and the most recent addition of Mongul with one more villain to complete the team waiting in the wings in another title. Superman and Lois will be leading anything but peaceful lives if the Revenge Squad has anything to say about it.

The darker nature of the story calls for more distinct segments with the issue going back and forth between Superman and the Villains getting everything in place for their assault on him. Last seen in Trinity, Mongul appears larger than life in his dream state fight with Superman reintroducing the threat of the Yellow Warlord and opening up with Mongul’s best case scenario of defeating Superman sets the tone for the savagery these bad guys are willing to go for their endgame involving the Man of Steel.

While the villains play, Superman and Lois get bigger, better, and more classic with a potential move to Metropolis! A relatively normal moment for the Super Family happens as Lois and Clark debate and ponder buying the top floor of an apartment. It’s a quiet and loving moment for the two as Lois quips that Clark’s downtime doesn’t last for long and she’s right because halfway across the world the Revenge Squad is well underway to finalize their plans.

Jurgens pairs the villains off to locate a relic back at the destroyed Himalayan Fortress and it’s here sparks begin to fly as Mongul doesn’t take kindly to being led around by….anyone. But he’s not there to threaten other members, he’s one of the biggest and baddest heavy hitters known to the DCU and it’s all put to use (off screen) as we see some stranded Superman Captives taken out by the pair of villains. After finalizing their new home, Superman takes notice thanks to the best hearing on Earth, and while he is slowly becoming aware of what he’s missed while the Reborn event took place you can’t help but feel the odds becoming stacked against him as the leader reveals and restores himself  to his former glory and it’s a wonderfully evil last page with a tease that’ll have Action Comics take a trip to visit the Suicide Squad!

With Revenge, starting with Zircher was a great move to signify the brutality and evil Superman will be dealing with. The heavy inks of the Rogues Gallery especially increases the look and style of the Revenge Squad. There’s a ferocity with Mongul that Zircher captures and recaptures with Cyborg Superman with a short lived fight between the two. On the flip side, Zircher is able to hone in on the “quieter” no nonsense attitude of Eradicator and the smugness of Blaqne as he’s more of a teller than shower in his all white garb. Clark and Lois are drawn just as well as the extraordinary cast of aliens of varying shapes and sizes involved. The expressions Zircher draws are worth the admission and with Hi-Fi on colors remaining vibrant, exciting, and livening up the page from the city streets to Mongul delivering the finishing blow to Superman…you have a successful start to a Rogue specific arc.

Action Comics brings multiple plot lines across the Superman Corner for a more sinister arc featuring Superman and his Rogues Gallery. Jurgens finally letting loose with a string of villains that aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty to get to Superman and upend his life is great. Zircher and Hi-Fi capturing the looks and moods for the villainous six helps with the coloring and inks giving them all a stylized look.  Revenge takes the slow and steady or rather the calm before the storm approach with what both sides of his characters are doing before setting them up for the huge battle that’s sure to come in the coming issues. There’s strength in numbers and Revenge proves it with its hopeful and grim opener.

The Verdict: 9.0/10


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