Action Comics #973 opens with Clark Kent shaving in his Metropolis apartment. Then it cuts to Clark Kent working under the hood of a pickup truck on his family’s farm. How can Clark be in two places at once? A mysterious, human Clark Kent has been puzzling Superman since Action Comics #957.
Having his doppelganger fill in for him at The Daily Planet frees up some time for the big man to be Super, but it raises some interesting dilemmas. For instance, how will Lois handle it when “Other Clark” asks her out? This guy is clearly an imposter, but the investigative reporter in her wants to know more.
Meanwhile, the Last Son of Krypton responds to an intruder alarm at his Fortress of Solitude. This is unprecedented for several reasons. First, no one really knows the Fortress exists. Then, there’s a six-ton boulder blocking the entrance should anyone accidently stumble upon the secret locale.
The Road to Superman: Reborn Starts Here!
This chapter is really two stories simultaneously unfolding. The separation between Lois Lane’s story and Kal-El’s allows Lois’ character to develop nicely. Dan Jurgens (Batman Beyond, Justice League) is giving us a nice slow burn on the mystery of DoppelClark. The development is paced brilliantly, keeping the enigma fresh without rushing the blow off.
Pat Zircher (Green Arrow, Black Panther) and Steven Segovia (Batman: Arkham Knight) split art duties, with Segovia penciling the Superman story and Zircher handling the Lois/Clark sequences. This arrangement highlights the dichotomy between the two scripts, while having Arif Prianto color the entire chapter lends continuity throughout.
Action Comics is stepping forward as another DC Rebirth title to watch. This chapter is a little light on action, but makes up for it in suspense. Lots of loose ends are left hanging with the promise that everything will make sense very soon.
Action Comics #973, DC Comics, Released February 8, 2017, Rated T, Written by Dan Jurgens, Pencils by Pat Zircher and Steven Segovia, Color by Arif Prianto, Letters by Rob Leigh, Cover by Clay Mann and Brad Anderson, $2.99