(SPOILERS!) In this issue, Superman and his friends are trapped in the Phantom Zone, the Kryptonian prison barren of all substance and matter. The Phantom Zone is outside the normal time/space continuum “where one never ages and is cut off from contact with every other living being.” Lois, Jonathan, and Supergirl are in the Fortress of Solitude where Zod has taken over with his henchmen Mongrul, Metallo, and Blanque. Zod has a diabolical plan involving Cyborg Superman and the Eradicator, who is also in the Phantom Zone. As conflict tears at the team of villains, Jonathan receives support from an invisible, yet highly effective, mystery person. In this issue, the team of Superheroes learns the strength of a unified team and gains resiliency from an unexpected helper.
What is this all about?
‘REVENGE’ part two! A battle of titanic proportions rages through Superman’s arctic fortress as General Zod reveals his ultimate plan by accessing the Phantom Zone. Superman’s family’s lives hang in the balance as ‘Revenge’ concludes.
The tone of this book is dark and desperate. Superman, Kong Kenan, Superwoman, and Lex Luthor are in the Phantom Zone! The Eradicator and Cyborg Superman are there, as well. While the Superteam is trying to find a way back to the fortress of solitude, the team of villains has been sent to the Phantom Zone to achieve a mission for Zod. Conflict erupts between the opposing groups in the Phantom Zone while conflicts develop between the team of villains in the Fortress of Solitude. An unlikely group of heroes emerges as Jonathan, Supergirl, and Lois finds a way to free Superman and his cohorts.
Superman regains his sight while in the Phantom Zone. It is explained that the Black Vault played off Superman’s fears when it removed his sight. When Superman entered the Phantom Zone, he entered an immaterial state that released him from his connection to former bodily limitations. The restoration of Superman’s sight is both physical and emotional. He learns that his friends can help him to be safe, as well. This idea is used as a vehicle to provide hope. The team solidifies and Superman returns to full power.
The story further demonstrates the desperate circumstances by showing an unconscious Supergirl lying at Zod’s feet. In addition, Lois is shown frantically searching for Jonathan. Her courage returns when Jonathan receives help from an invisible friend before escaping from Zod’s clutches. Jonathan, Krypto, and Lois play a role in distracting Zod long enough for help to arrive.
Zod’s plan is revealed when the Eradicator is successful in locating Zod’s wife and son in the Phantom Zone. Zod utilizes the Phantom Projector to pull them to safety along with Superman. The story culminates with Zod being reunited with his lost family and Superman reuniting with his family in the Fortress of Solitude.
In a final twist, Zod’s wife talks him out of destroying what’s left of the Superteam to instead fix his wounds. Superman is vulnerable and the rest of the Superheroes are still in the Phantom Zone. Zod appears has the advantage. The decision is puzzling and confusing for the reader. However, the decision allows them to project the rest of the Superteam back to the Fortress of Solitude. Superman leaves Cyborg Superman in the Phantom Zone because he’s “Aware of what he’s capable of.”. The final panel shows Zod, his Wife, Son and the Eradicator looking down planning to take over the planet.
The issue leaves the reader with some lingering concerns in need of closure. Zod is a strong villain, and he is stronger with his wife and son extracted from the Phantom Zone. Team Zod, along with the Eradicator, have plans to take over the earth. Near the end, the story shows an invisible mystery man aiding Jonathan and mentioning future contact with Lois (spoiler). It will be interesting to see how these two unresolved plot points develop in future issues.
Reviewed by Tom Zimm
Action Comics #984
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by: Patch Zircher, Rob Leigh, HI-Fi
Published by DC
Release Date: 7/26/2017