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Action Comics #886

Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2010
By: Michael Deeley

Greg Rucka & Eric Trautmann; James Robinson
Pere Perez; CAFU
DC Entertainment
Chris Kent learns the tragic myth of Nightwing and Flamebird. It convinces him these gods are real. In fact, Flamebird fulfills her part of the bargain with Jax-Ur and leads the heroes to his secret lab. There Jax-Ur demonstrates his newest, deadliest creation. Meanwhile, Captain Atom learns more about the magic realm he was forced to attack and why he canít get there easily. But there is a path through the center of the Earth-Skataris, home of Warlord!

The mention of Warlord convinces me Robinson is going to reference every original character from DCís First Issue Special, the 1970s showcase series for new characters and series. Atlas and Codename: Assassin debuted in that series. Weíve also had a cameo from that versionís Outsiders. Iíll have to investigate what other first issue characters weíll be seeing soon.

The bulk of this issue is the myth of Nightwing and Flamebird. Itís an old story of jealousy, defiance, and incest (the old myths are full of it). Itís an interesting piece of Kryptonian culture. Kryptonís been portrayed as a purely scientific society for years. Iíve seen little of their religion or spirituality. So kudos to Rucka and Robinson for expanding that aspect of a fictional culture. Their creation myth describes a god who brought forth life and the universe to cure his loneliness resonates with the legacy of Superman.

As interesting as the myth was, itís still a very familiar tale. I like the style, but itís lacking in originality. I could tell how it would end before all the characters were introduced. But it does provide context for the coming battle between Chris, Thara, and Jax-Ur. And with a cliffhanger that implies one of their gods has been revived, or at least brought it back the Phantom Zone, it has me looking forward to the next issue.

In short, not bad, but not great. Superman super-fans may have a greater-than-average interest in Kryptonian religion. The rest of you can come back next month for the big fight.



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