Review by: Andrew Gaedele Action Comics #992 Written by: Dan Jurgens, Rob Williams Art by: Will Conrad, HI-FI Published by: DC Comics
Action Comics 992 is an issue that takes place directly after the Oz Effect arc. It is the direct aftermath of the Oz Effect.
The Oz Effect had mixed reactions from critics (myself included). It took too long to get to a payoff that wasn’t even worth it. It could have been an issue or two less and been much better and more concise. Personally, I thought that it was maybe because they were waiting to tie things into the now-underway Doomsday Clock maxiseries. Whatever the case, issue 992 does a good job of making readers feel at least slightly more satisfied after the Oz Effect.
This issue follows Superman as he struggles with the dichotomy of the Jor-El he revered and the Jor-El who manipulated his friends, family, and himself. Batman tries to help. Lois tries to help. Green Lantern tries to help. Jon looks like a baby sleeping in a crib in one panel (strange artistic choice). And in the climax of the issue, Superman uses the Flash’s Cosmic Treadmill to travel back in time. Then, Booster Gold arrives seconds too late to stop Superman from traveling to the past. You’d think a time traveler would give himself a whole day extra instead of trying to show up at the instant of a catastrophe.
This issue was good. It wasn’t great, but it was good. Getting insight into Superman’s struggle and an actual reason for him to travel to the past is smart on the writer’s part. Showing the obsession that Clark has with finding the truth helps the reader sympathize with him. The only thing I didn’t like, other than my previously mentioned, mostly sarcastic quips, was that Superman used the Cosmic Treadmill. I thought that it wasn’t just speed that powered it, but the Speedforce. So if I got a car going fast enough, or a low-flying plane making a pass, or any other fast thing, I could travel through time with it? I can understand why the writers used it (how else is Superman going to time travel by himself?), but I think they should have modified some part of the story to explain why Superman is able to use it. Better yet, have him use some other artifact, like one of the weapons/devices captured from any number of time related Justice League villains.
This issue gets a 6/10 from me. Slightly better than average, but it could have been better in my eyes without my certain gripes.