This review will be full of spoilers, as I’m afraid that I can’t really get into much without revealing who Clark Kent really is. Most of this issue focuses on that and there are three main parts to it, being the leadup, the reveal, and some behind the scenes play with Jon and the mystery character.
First here is a quick non-spoiler review of Action Comics #975. We finally get to see who Clark Kent is and it isn’t a disappointment, did you guess correctly? Being an oversized issue we get three stories here, all having to do with the “Superman Reborn” story arc. The whole team did an awesome job on this book, from story to art it is a pleasure to read. If you are trying to follow the Mr. Oz thread in DC Rebirth, then this is a must-read, as it gives more information on that story as well.
In Superman #18 we saw that Jon was taken away by strange blue flames. Almost like he was being erased while in Superman’s arms. We see Superman and Lois vowing to find their son and finally reveal Clark Kent’s true identity. Something that has been toyed with since the beginning of Jurgens run. Opening up in this book we see Superman and Lois making their way to Clark’s apartment in the hunt for Jon. Now just a fair warning, I will be talking about who Clark Kent really is and the details of this story below.
Once they find Clark Kent a confrontation arises between Clark and Superman with Clark able to hold his own if not mock Superman. Before truly revealing who he is, Clark toys with Superman, making himself look like other villains Superman has faced. He changes into Lex, Bizarro, Brainiac, Mongul, Doomsday, and others. Finally revealing himself to be Mr. Mxyzptlk!
Mr. Mxy explains his villainous plot in typical style, explaining that he took Jon because Superman had forgotten about him. Jon is now his plaything and he has stored him in a very safe place. The culmination of his plot being that no one will remember that Jon even existed. After Mr. Mxy disappears he leaves Superman with Lois in his old apartment and now Lois doesn’t even remember who Jon is.
The final act in this issue shows Mr. Mxy and Jon in some alternate dimension, where he is holding him. This last piece helps to decompress who Mr. Mxy is, why he is doing this, and what lead to him being Clark Kent. With a lot to decompress here so let’s go over how he became Clark Kent first.
Mr. Mxy was captured by Mr. Oz as he was returning to play with Superman. Mr. Oz “pulled him off the board” as a precautionary move, since Mr. Mxy represents chaos in Superman’s world. There is a plan afoot by Mr. Oz and he does not want Mxy causing any issues, so he kept him in a prison of sorts to avoid any ripples in the plan. Convinced that Superman would save him Mr. Mxy waited it out, saying that he would return to save him. Well, Superman never comes, Mr. Mxy being fed up with waiting to be rescued finds a way out of Mr. Oz’s prison. Upon escaping Mr. Ox is still chasing Mr. Mxy, so in an attempt to get away Mr. Mxy turned himself into Clark Kent, but in order to sell it, he had to make himself believe he was Clark Kent.
This is how we got the mysterious Clark Kent, it was really Mr. Mxy convinced that he really was Clark. However, over time, he began to dig to find out what was really going on, just like everyone else he couldn’t figure out why he was there. Upon seeing the Superman Family, without him, he finally remembered and it all came back to him. This leads to Mr. Mxy taking Jon and directly into this comic.
Wow, so that is a lot to take in, all in one comic. Since this is 2 of 4 we still have two more issues to see where this goes, as we are left with Superman trying to find Mxy, Lois not remembering her own son, and Jon in an alternate dimension with Mr. Mxy. How this all plays into Mr. Oz’s plan we will see but count me in for next week!
Reviewed by Tim Montoya
Action Comics #975
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by: Doug Mahnke, Jamie Mendoza, Wil Quintana
Published by DC
Release Date: March 8th, 2017