Nightwing and Flamebird?Â Ah, yes.Â Now you die.
Rumors of who the new Nightwing and Flamebird are have had Intarweb clacking away feverishly since their initial appearance in the Superman titles.Â With Action Comics #875, those identities are revealed, and Zodâ€™s master plot continues to unfold.
With Kryptonians banished from Earth, the only way those with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men can move about is with secret identities.Â While readers have been focused on the goings on between Kal-El, his immediate family, and those that are working to bring down all Kryptonians, readers havenâ€™t seen what Zod has been up to for the last two years.
Two years?Â But Stephen, Zodâ€™s was banished back to the Phantom Zone for about that long ago.
Youâ€™d be correct Dear Reader, but what happened to some of those Kryptonians that didnâ€™t get sucked back into the Phantom Zone?Â Seems as though there are a few of them scattered around the planet secretly plotting to unleash some nefarious deed that only Zod could come up with.Â Itâ€™s one of those â€œdear gogâ€ moments that has you wondering how long DC creative has been planning these events.Â The reveal certainly feels massive, and it wouldnâ€™t bother me in the least if DC began promoting this series as one that was â€œyears in the makingâ€.
Working to uncover and capture these sleeper agents, are Nightwing and Flamebird, who are also working to protect their own identities by covering themselves from head to toe in costumes to keep prying eyes at bay.Â Unfortunately, their first run in with Tor-An finds their suits destroyed, thus revealing the heroes inside.
Flamebird turns out to be Aluraâ€™s Chief of Security Thara Ak-Var, who has seen through Zodâ€™s deceptions and is willing to do anything to stop the secret plot.Â While readers donâ€™t find out what that plot is, with Zodâ€™ involved, it canâ€™t be good.
Nightwingâ€™s identity is pretty obvious once you think about it, and I canâ€™t believe I didnâ€™t see it sooner.Â Well I can, but that would mean I would have to admit I donâ€™t know everything, which is impossible. Impossible I say!Â In all seriousness, this is one that took me by surprise and brings readers back around to the events following One Year Later.
Thara learned about Zodâ€™s plot because of someone trapped in the Phantom Zone with her.Â As a prisoner, he was beaten and pumped for information on what he had learned while living with Clark and Lois.Â Yup.Â Christopher Kent is back, and heâ€™s going against everything his father stands for in order to fight for truth, justice, and the American way.
Both reveals are really good – Chrisâ€™s more than any other, as it is good to see heâ€™s survived, even if heâ€™s had another jump in age.Â Perhaps when all the excitement settles down, he can hook up with the West twins to see if his rapid aging can be stopped.Â That is if he and Thara live that long.
Alura spills the beans to Zod, who dispatches Ursa to take care of the meddling duo.Â The next chapter should be really interesting to see the two on one battle and to see if General Laneâ€™s Project 7734 gets involved.
Did anyone notice that 7734 turned upside down spells hELL?Â You did?Â Interesting…
Suddenly, plot threads and story arcs that have popped up over the last three or four years jump out at us, as the big picture begins to take shape.Â Greg Rucka is pulling everything together nicely, and deserves high praise for his work here.Â Also earning high marks are artist Eddy Barrows and inkers Ruy Jose and Julio Ferreira who do an excellent job of bringing needed detail to each panel, without it becoming too cluttered.
DC deserves a great deal of credit with this whole New Krypton story line.Â For the first time since the mid-90s Iâ€™m interested in all things Superman.Â Iâ€™m so engaged in this story that my pull list for March has my local comic shop pulling every Superman and Superman related title the company is printing. Why?Â Because DC has made Superman fun again, and I like what the company is doing.Â It isnâ€™t about Superman gaining, losing, or having his powers spin out of control. It isnâ€™t about Red or Blue men in tights, but an overall story that makes the Superman corner of the DC Universe seem more tangible than ever before.Â While spy thriller comics like Checkmate have been cancelled, and mystery comics are being warped by certain authors into something that has no mystery, those working on the Superman titles are telling a mega-epic that makes up for any recent stumbles.
Thereâ€™s still time to dive into the back issue bin and pick up the first 16 chapters of this epic story, and once you give them a thorough read, I think youâ€™ll agree that Action Comics #875 earns 4 out of 5 Stars.