For once the doc can’t claim Oedipus Complex


In a world without Superman (again), heroes have risen to take his place (again).  And as is often the case in these tales, the new heroes have a connection to the old, but what of those heroes that have a villain for a parent?  And what happens if both parents are evil?  And what if one of them wants to kill you real bad?

AC-Cv876_1.jpgChristopher Kent, aka Lor-Zod, aka the son of Zod and Ursa, has been discovered to be Nightwing, while Thara Ak-Var (does anyone else want to shout out, “It’s a trap!” whenever they read her name?), bodyguard of Alura Zor-El, was outed as the new Flamebird.  Worse, it was Ursa that made the discovery and she’s ready to kill the traitors of New Krypton.

What follows in this issue is a smack down, drag out fight among yellow sun powered Kryptonians inside the Fortress of Solitude.  It’s a pretty brutal fight between Thara and Ursa (Chris was injured in the last issue), and it appears that Thara is out gunned by the consort of Zod.  There are some interesting words exchanged between the two soldiers that leads the reader to believe Thara witnessed her parents deaths, and that perhaps the Zod army, and Ursa, was behind it.

The battle eventually comes to a head when Ursa whips out a Kryptonite tipped knife and begins to stab and cut the helpless Thara, all while explaining little chips of Kryptonite is breaking off into Thara’s system.  This finally causes Chris to react and come to the aid of his partner (lover?).  Fortunately, the growth spurts he’s gone through have allowed many of his powers to become stronger, and he is able to turn the tables on his mother and bring her down.

Oddly, no matter how bad a villain may be, no matter how vile and despicable their actions are, they always beg for their life when threatened with death.  That’s what happens when Chris turns the table on Ursa.  While it is probably a trope we have to accept, I have a slight problem with this as Ursa claims to be a soldier, and a soldier in Zod’s army doesn’t get on her knees and beg for mercy.  Or maybe they do, and that will be the key to bringing down the bad new Kryptonians – get them to cry like little girls.

There’s also some good Lois Lane/Jimmy Olsen action in this issue as the two finally put two and two together and come up with HELL, which causes Lois to start thinking about her father.  The familial saga continues at issues end when Chris shows up at her window with a battered and bloodied Thara in tow.

If you have a title called Action Comics, then there better be plenty of action inside, and this issue features a lot of action.  For a middle chapter in this Nightwing/Firebird saga, the issue certainly didn’t drag like other story arcs.  Greg Rucka keeps the action going from page to page, while Eddy Barrows and Sidney Leles handle the art duties quite well.

For those following the whole World Without Superman/World of New Krypton series, the once coherent storyline is now fragmenting into very distinct stories. DC did an excellent job in getting people interested in Superman again, and getting readers to buy into all the Superman titles before branching off into the different stories.  So while readers probably don’t need to read every Superman title now to find out what is going on in the bigger story, it doesn’t hurt to continue.  And that is the case with Action Comics #876; the high action earns the issue 4 out of 5 Stars.



About Author

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...


  1. Action is the only Superman comic I’m not currently getting but I think I may give it a try after seeing this, and other, reviews.
    What’s great about the Superman books at present is how you don’t NEED to read them all, each makes sense on their own, but you get a fuller picture if you do. As long as you know where Superman is, that’s all you need to know.

  2. I’m gonna lose track of all comic titles over the summer, but I’m definitely going back for Jonah Hex, Invincible, Superman, and Action Comics.

  3. I’m being totally picky again, but you oughta teach your spell-check to recognize “trope” if you’re going to keep using the term here… “Troupe” just kinda doesn’t fit, and I’ve seen it in a couple of reviews…. I know this sounds like I’m just being fussy or whatever, but in this case trope/troupe could kinda throw off the whole sentence. Getting used to a “troupe” (group of actors/people) is different from getting used to a “trope” (frequently used and recognizable situation/cliche). :) Besides that little bit of English nonsense on my part, this storyline is SO much better than Cash Cowl. I’m anxious for the Superwoman reveal, and then we will finally know most of the players in the game. I can’t wait to see what the final score ends up being~!

  4. Mauttheuw! I didun’t knouw yuou weure Britiush~!!!! :D (that’s a joke so “inside”, I’m not even sure anybody here will know where I stole that from..) I want my own edit button. Have you _seen_ some of my stupid typos? Man. I even try to proof-read things, and I let imbecilities fly. Wow. “Imbecilities” is a real word, says spell-check~!!!! Sweet!

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