This was an incredibly long and heartfelt tribute to the most important comic book of all time. Action Comics introduced the world to Superman, the first superhero, and paved the way for every one after, and it’s now been 1,000 issues since his introduction and he continues to inspire and move forward. The stories in this book were phenomenal. The short with Superman saying goodbye to the Earth as the sun expands to heat-death, enveloping the planet. Even the wonderfully creative short about the man driving the car on the cover of Action Comics #1. It was all so emotional, and gut-wrenching for long-time fans of comic books.
This was intensely confusing, until Booster Gold completely spelled out what had happened here. Not only is that a terrible idea, but it’s also completely out of character for a Booster Gold who, just an issue ago in Superman was so anti-changing time that he was about to go hand-to-hand with Superman to prevent him from saving Krypton. A bit of a strange shift in character. On top of that, the idea that Bruce Wayne as Batman kept the Joker in check from spreading across the city is cool, and that Dick Grayson would become Batman without Bruce is… intriguing. There’s some interesting ideas at work here, that’s what I’m saying.
This has been an interesting book with such bold ideas, and wonderful use of classic folklore and mythology. That they’ve kept to close to more Irish tale, specifically based on Gotham’s history of Irish immigrants is just a wonderful attention to detail. The mystery itself is beginning to take shape, as Batman has already pieced together that everything we thought we knew has been a ruse for an even deeper mystery at work.
This was arguably the worst issue of Damage yet. The book’s been good about being inclusive of its characters with the greater DC Universe, even mentioning that this takes place before the fantastic Poison Ivy arc over in Batman, but their use of Ivy here was subpar at best. There’s a glimmer of hope here with Ethan and Damage starting to coexist somewhat after their defeat by Wonder Woman, but it still hasn’t been explored enough to mean anything, just yet.
I love Deadman so much as a character but these Neal Adams books are so batshit crazy, and full of rambling ideas that it’s hard to get a bead on where they could ever go that makes sense. Now, all of a sudden, Ra’s Al Ghul is Aaron Brand, the older brother of Deadman? That completely contradicts everything that’s ever been said and makes absolutely zero sense from a story perspective, but here we are. I’ll keep reading because Deadman is great, and Neal Adams is a madman.
Another strangely personal issue, that showed the sacrifice that parents make for their children with the backdrop of dimensional war. The secrets still left in this book are insane, and it’s hard to see where this could possibly go, unless this is all setting up for the big reveal of how Darkseid was reborn as a baby. That would be quite the incredible reveal when all is said and done.
The only way this incredibly personal run of Superman could have ended was with an incredibly personal, family-focused story, and it ended in the best way. Characters, story-beats, call backs to every other arc was the best way to end it. This was a fantastic ending, and new beginning for Superman and Superboy, as they leave behind Hamilton and move to Metropolis full-time. Bendis has some mighty big shoes to fill, but it should be fun to see how he fills them.