In Review: Action Comics #993

This is incredibly fun and having Booster Gold become involved will only increase a reader's delight.

The covers: A pair to collect for this fantastic issue. The Regular cover is by Dan Jurgens, Trevor Scott, and Hi-Fi. This is a stunner, with Booster Gold holding back Superman from interfering with Krypton’s destruction. In the background, little Kal-El’s rocket zips out of the explosion to its destiny. The characters look fantastic and the coloring is stellar, with the planet’s iconic green dominating the image. This allows the characters in their bright colors to really stand out. An excellent job by everyone and this is the cover that I purchased. The Variant cover is by Francis Manapul with the Man of Steel speeding at the reader, his right fist in the reader’s face. Behind him is a frantic looking Booster. There’s a computer wormhole effect behind them which reminds the reader of the time travel story. I’m not liking the way Superman looks, though Booster looks fine. The colors are also done well, but if the title character doesn’t look good, what’s the point? Overall grades: Regular A+ and Variant C+

The story: Dan Jurgens has crafted an outstanding story. Booster Gold and Skeets have arrived at the Justice League Watchtower just after Superman has used the Flash’s Cosmic Treadmill to go back in time and investigate Krypton’s destruction. Just as he’s about to pull the device into a Time Bubble, the Flash appears and attacks him. Booster fights back, explaining that Superman has already used the forbidden device. Superman has indeed gone back in time as Krypton was destroyed. He’s exposed to some type of chronal storm where he witnesses several conflicting images: his parents, his birth, his exodus in a tiny ship, the destruction of the world, several ships leaving the doomed planet, his parents living to their elder years with him by their sides, a female Superman, and his working with General Zod. He arrives somewhere unexpected, causing him to question his reality. At this point, Jurgens returns to the Watchtower as Booster and Flash fight. The Daily Planet is also visited, where Jonathan is hearing an unwanted story from an unwelcome source, until hearing something about a family member he had forgotten. This strand is left for a future issue, as Booster arrives at a destination and the hammer comes down upon him. This is a terrific beginning to a tale that I’m on fire to see continue. Overall grade: A

The art: The pencil art is by Jurgens, with the finished inked art by Joe Prado and Cam Smith. I was in high school when Booster Gold had his own series, so to have him return to the DC Universe illustrated by Dan Jurgens is like a trip through time for me. I love the look of this book. Booster looks fantastic, as does the Man of Steel, though I do miss Skeet’s dorsal fin. Pages 6 and 7 are a double-paged splash with Superman in the center of a fractured background, with each piece containing an image of a possible timeline. There’s a full-paged splash on 9 and it looks fine, with the architecture being outstanding, but I would have liked to have seen it peopled much more than just a few distant vehicles. The four pages focusing on Jonathan and the others at the Planet are not as tightly rendered as those with Booster or Superman; they look fine, but use very thin lines, making the characters seem unfinished. Back with the heroes, the visuals improve and are the kind I’ve come to associate with Jurgens. This book has me wanting to see Jurgens illustrate a monthly Booster Gold book. Overall grade: A-

The colors: Hi-Fi makes the visuals of this book beautiful. Look at the first page to see why: the many colors that create a shine to Booster’s suit, the different shades done on the metallic backgrounds, and the bright work done on the circuitry boards in the walls. I also like that Booster’s narration boxes get yellow, while Superman’s are a dark blue: a good visual clue to quickly inform the reader whose thoughts they are reading. The cascade of colors from the chronal storm are also neat, looking both cosmic and threatening. Pages 6 and 7 are the stand outs of the issue, with Kal-El being bright in his iconic togs and the shattered visuals around him being light enough to suggest they are suggestions of the past and future. Overall grade: A+ 

The letters: Rob Leigh creates scene settings, thoughts, the book’s credits, the story’s title, Skeet’s unique font, sounds, a planet’s name, and the tease for next issue. I like that the font for the narration is different from the dialogue, showing it to be a different form of communication, and Skeet’s dialogue is wonderfully robotic looking. However, the diminutive AI’s speech is so large it looks as though it’s crowded in the balloons that contain it, giving the impression that Skeet’s is always yelling. A slight shrinking of his speech would have been welcomed. Overall grade: A- 

The final line: Superman continues to inch forward to discover who or what is responsible for the universe’s Rebirth. This is incredibly fun and having Booster Gold become involved will only increase a reader’s delight. The visuals are great, with some terrific scenes of the book’s co-star. A winner in every way. Overall grade: A

To order a digital copy go to

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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