Action Comics #993
Story and Pencil Art by Dan Jurgens
Finished Ink Art by Joe Prado & Cam Smith
Color by Hi-Fi
Cover by Dan Jurgens, Trevor Scott & Hi-Fi
Variant cover by Francis Manapul
A review by Stacy Dooks
Time travel has been part of the Superman mythos almost as long as the character’s sum publishing history. From his forays into the 30th century of the Legion of Super-Heroes to stories involving every historical and mythological character from Samson to Abraham Lincoln, Superman has been from the beginning of time to the 853rd century and beyond.
Recent events in the Superman books have compelled Superman to utilize the Flash’s cosmic treadmill to travel back in time to just before Krypton exploded. Of course, this draws the attention of time’s current guardian Booster Gold, the greatest hero nobody knows about. Booster pretends (okay, maybe not always) to be a more inept hero than he actually is in order to help safeguard the time stream from the potential paradoxe and problems that can arise in a comic book universe where dropping in on the signing of the magna carta is about as easy as heading down to the corner bodega for some milk. Assisted by his robotic sidekick Skeets, the two attempt to travel back to the point just before Superman travelled back in time to get to Krypton before it exploded. The irony? Their timing is off and they just missed him. With the history of the universe at stake can Booster intercept Superman before he does anything to disrupt the past? Will Superman find the answers he seeks? And what does this have to do with the greater myseries of DC Rebirth and Doomsday Clock?
Dan Jurgens has been consistently great with his run on the Superman titles, and it’s always a treat when he can get Booster Gold into the mix. Jurgens created Booster and he is easily one of the best DC heroes to come out of the post-crisis 1980s (if you don’t own the Showcase Presents: Booster Gold that collects the entire series you need to get on that). The wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey is kept to a dull roar but there are some fun bits of business that I can’t get into, and the issue ends on a suitably impressive cliffhanger. Jurgens pencil art is enhanced by the talents of Joe Prado and Cam Smith and the colors by Hi-Fi jump off the page. The issue is a decent jumping on point if you haven’t been following the Superman titles lately (and shame on you, as they’re the best they’ve been in years) and there’s enough breadcrums tying back to DC Rebirth and Doomsday Clock to intrigue the long-term reader while still being fairly accessible.
Buy It! This is a fun issue of old school superhero fun with the character who founded the genre. Throw in the classic staple of time travel and the world that might have beeen and you’ve got the potential for an entertaining new arc for the Man of Tomorrow. Recommended.
Ps. If you want a story featuring another take on this issue’s subject matter track down “Superman’s Return to Krypton!” by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, Wayne Boring, and Stan Kaye. It’s collected in both the Superman Showcase volume 2 and Superman in the Sixties trade paperbacks. It will break your heart.