Nightwing and Flamebird?  Ah, yes.  Now you die.

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Rumors of who the new Nightwing and Flamebird are have had Intarweb clacking away feverishly since their initial appearance in the Superman titles.  With Action Comics #875, those identities are revealed, and Zod’s master plot continues to unfold.

action875cover.jpgWith 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.  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 haven’t seen what Zod has been up to for the last two years.

Two years?  But Stephen, Zod’s was banished back to the Phantom Zone for about that long ago.

You’d be correct Dear Reader, but what happened to some of those Kryptonians that didn’t get sucked back into the Phantom Zone?  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.  It’s one of those “dear gog” moments that has you wondering how long DC creative has been planning these events.  The reveal certainly feels massive, and it wouldn’t bother me in the least if DC began promoting this series as one that was “years in the making”.

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.  Unfortunately, their first run in with Tor-An finds their suits destroyed, thus revealing the heroes inside.

Flamebird turns out to be Alura’s Chief of Security Thara Ak-Var, who has seen through Zod’s deceptions and is willing to do anything to stop the secret plot.  While readers don’t find out what that plot is, with Zod’ involved, it can’t be good.

Nightwing’s identity is pretty obvious once you think about it, and I can’t believe I didn’t see it sooner.  Well I can, but that would mean I would have to admit I don’t know everything, which is impossible. Impossible I say!  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 Zod’s plot because of someone trapped in the Phantom Zone with her.  As a prisoner, he was beaten and pumped for information on what he had learned while living with Clark and Lois.  Yup.  Christopher Kent is back, and he’s going against everything his father stands for in order to fight for truth, justice, and the American way.

Both reveals are really good – Chris’s more than any other, as it is good to see he’s survived, even if he’s had another jump in age.  Perhaps when all the excitement settles down, he can hook up with the West twins to see if his rapid aging can be stopped.  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.  The next chapter should be really interesting to see the two on one battle and to see if General Lane’s Project 7734 gets involved.

Did anyone notice that 7734 turned upside down spells hELL?  You did?  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.  Greg Rucka is pulling everything together nicely, and deserves high praise for his work here.  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.  For the first time since the mid-90s I’m interested in all things Superman.  I’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?  Because DC has made Superman fun again, and I like what the company is doing.  It isn’t about Superman gaining, losing, or having his powers spin out of control. It isn’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.  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.

There’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 you’ll agree that Action Comics #875 earns 4 out of 5 Stars.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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7 Comments

  1. shamon
    March 17, 2009 at 12:09 am — Reply

    great review and even better was reading that issue and being shocked .

  2. Jerard
    March 17, 2009 at 1:05 am — Reply

    I really don’t like this new direction there taking superman unlike Batman who has one of the best supporting cast in comics i don’t mind picking up his books and having to read about Gorden, Batwomen, Nightwing or anyone else those characters are fully developed and interesting to read, here it seems like they want to shove those new heroes down our throats i droped Action Comics and Superman midway though New Krypton(when i realized i also had to pick up Supergirl Barf!!) i don’t know or care about the new characters maybe if they focused more on Lois or Jimmy. Now they want me to pick up 4 books and only one actually features superman and another is Supergirl Barf!! also going from Geoff Johns/Gary Frank to Greg Rucka/Eddy Barrows is a huge downgrade. Hopefully kondor will get shoved back in a bottle and I’ll be able to buy Action Comics/Superman were i wont have to buy Supergirl and will actually feature Clark

  3. duckface
    March 17, 2009 at 1:41 am — Reply

    wait… you’re complaining about multiple (read: 3) books and random new characters in the Superman line? and you read Batman?

    I’m a Bat fan too, but the Superman books are going in a much better direction than Batman’s. By the end of the year, we’ll have Batman, Batman & Robin, Detective, Batgirl, Red Robin, Gotham Girls/Sirens/Whatever, Streets of Gotham, and God knows what else, not to mention the 26 miniseries out right now.

    I’m personally excited about the long-stagnant Superman line. For once, Supes has more to do than complain about how he’ll ‘never be one of them *sobsob*’.

  4. Jerard
    March 17, 2009 at 2:38 am — Reply

    Your Right, but i really don’t have to read the batman mini that’s out now to get the June books all ill have to know is who’s in what book and under what mask also nowhere in any of the DC interviews, solicitations, previews dose it say ill have to get all 7 bat books to enjoy them personally ill be picking them all up the ones that suck ill drop and the ones that don’t ill keep

    The Supergirl book sucks and i had to pick it up to get new Krypton they had the nice little numbers in front of the covers tilling me in what order to read again i wasn’t given a choice no i had to pick it up when Loeb/Turner rebooted her in Superman/Batman book a few years back i loved her i have althouse issues autographed, ill admit the Supergirl book has its moments but not much more. I tried picking Action Comics/Superman back up after New Krypton but again they had those AWESOME!!!! numbers on the covers telling me in what order to read all 3 Super books again i was given no choice.

    If your are a Bat fan you cant till me your more excited of the Super books than you are of the Batman books Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely, Paul Dini(on 2 books)/Dustin Nguyen, Greg Rucka/J.H. Williams III not to mention Tony Daniel will be doing the art for the main bat book, its an all star frakkin lineup nuff said

  5. Brother129
    March 17, 2009 at 10:02 am — Reply

    I guess story aside, I’m getting tired of this recycled “World without a Superman or Batman” premise. Wasn’t that the point of 52?

  6. Ricco
    March 17, 2009 at 11:17 am — Reply

    Yeah we,ere officialy 2/3 back to One Year Later/52 all that is left is for Wonder Woman to be killed/incapacitated by Genocide or the Olympian…

    I don’t see how “Battle for the Cash Cow” is anywhere as good as this here.

    As much as the reveal of Nightwing and Flamingbird was, the reaveal of Superwoman not been Kryptonian was bigger to me. so she’s either a human in a kryptonian power suit, like Lana Lang in Smallville, now that I think about it Lanag Lnag in the comic seems to be dying as well, hum… or she could be a Daxamite. Given how Superman just found, literaly poped out of nowhere, a cure for lead poisoning that works on Daxamites both see mpopssible.

    As for Batman: “They all have tasted the milk, now they fight for THE COW!”

  7. March 17, 2009 at 1:18 pm — Reply

    Yes! I had to read this issue like seven times. I loved it. I’m very happy with the Superman books ever since New Krypton started with that one shot. I think it would be a good idea to pick up the Braniac trade as well. It seems that the story is tied together somewhat.

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