Comic Book Review: Action Comics #980

Get ready to kneel before Zod in this villain-packed issue of Action Comics…


In ‘Revenge: Part 2′, Cyborg Superman’s so-called Superman Revenge Squad targets a new member – Kal-El’s Kryptonian nemesis, General Zod! As the Squad and Superman converge on Belle Reve Penitentiary – where he is being held as part of Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad – things get trippy thanks to the Black Vault, the enigmatic dome protecting the facility that attacks the intruders’ minds…

Despite the cover promising a full-on fight between Superman and the Suicide Squad, Action Comics #980 is actually much more interested in a battle of the mind. The Black Vault allows for some great exploration of Supes himself and Hank Henshaw. In Cyborg Superman’s case, it clarifies that the character’s backstory is now once again the same as the pre-New 52 version (since the recent reshuffle of Superman’s continuity). Clark’s visions inside the Vault are the highlight of the issue, however, as they explore his darkest fears about failing to protect his loved ones and the tragedies he carries around with him.

Artist Patrick Zircher does a terrific job throughout but Clark’s nightmares take the biscuit thanks to the memorable but disturbing imagery on show. It’s downright horrifying to see the lovely Ma and Pa Kent turned into vengeful zombies, berating their son for causing their deaths. Things only get worse for our hero by the end of the issue. How will Superman defeat his own demons to stop his greatest foes?

While the cover preemptively presents Zod as the star of the show, this issue really belongs to the Supermen – both the real one and his Cyborg counterpart. The misleading marketing might disappoint some fans, then, but on its own terms the issue is a strong read thanks to the examination of its hero and villain. Roll on next time when we actually reach Zod’s appearance!



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