Action Comics #975 Review

comic books:
Sergio Pereira

Reviewed by:
On March 8, 2017
Last modified:March 7, 2017


Bravo! Nostalgic, fun and a throwback to the Silver Age, Action Comics #975 is everything New 52 wasn't.

Action Comics #975 Review

This review contains minor spoilers.

Action Comics #975: the issue that reveals the true identity of the other Clark Kent. The past week, the excitement was so real that I wore my Superman cap to prevent my mind from exploding. Then, the noob from the site-that-must-not-be-named went and spoiled it all by posting a screenshot. Sigh. Nonetheless, let’s not dwell on the negative for too long and focus on this super-sized edition of Action Comics instead. This one’s a doozy.

In part two of “Superman Reborn,” Clark and Lois search the other Clark’s apartment for clues to the whereabouts of Jon. Here, they encounter the doppelganger who blames Supes for not saving him. When the Man of Steel tries to force information about his son out of his lookalike, the other Clark blocks his attacks. He initially reveals himself to be Lex Luthor, but then morphs into Bizarro and a host of other villains. All the while he keeps telling Clark that he should know who he is. Finally, he’s exposed to be none other than Mr. Mxyzptlk. The imp holds a grudge against Superman for forgetting about him, so his revenge is to make Lois and Clark forget about Jon in return. Man, that’s cold and brutal…

After all the hype and speculation, I must say that revealing Mxyzptlk as the other Clark is pretty ingenious. Sure, it could’ve been a bigger threat, such as Luthor or Brainaic, but it’s good to see how much retcon DC’s doing after New 52. When you start to realize all the hints scattered throughout the arc, you appreciate the climax to the big unveiling even more. Credit also needs to go to writer Dan Jurgens for planting the seeds and red herring several times, before blasting us with the final reveal.

Artist Doug Mahnke had the unenviable job of constructing an emotionally complex issue. Child kidnapping is no joke, and the tone reflects this, remaining dark and tense right until Mxyzptlk’s arrival, when everything spirals into a hallucinogenic dreamscape. However, once the imp’s plans for Jon are made clear, the story returns to its original somber state. It’s reminiscent of the nature of many Silver Age books where the seriousness and silly somehow intertwined and managed to coexist despite being polar opposites. Considering this is an anniversary issue, Mahnke pulls off a remarkable throwback tribute to the old days here.

We really get our money’s worth with the bonus story, “The Man in the Purple Hat,” written by Paul Dini and illustrated by Ian Churchill. The tale centers on Mxyzptlk as he tells Jon what happened to him and tricks the young Kent into believing he can go home. As always, Dini can do no wrong, turning everything he touches into comic book gold. The man possesses the uncanny talent to write whacky characters, and I’d love to see him get more heavily involved in the DC universe again. On the pencils, Churchill’s expressive artwork complements Dini’s lighter story beautifully, delivering a more cartoonish, fun appeal that’s a reminder of the original DC Animated Universe.

Nostalgic and entertaining, Action Comics #975 is another reminder of what we missed out on in New 52. This is the type of Superman book that fans have been clamoring for – and with the addition of Mr. Mxyzptlk, it’s even more special. Hats off to the team for another sublime effort.

Action Comics #975 Review

Bravo! Nostalgic, fun and a throwback to the Silver Age, Action Comics #975 is everything New 52 wasn't.