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Action Comics #875

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Action Comics #875“The Sleepers” Part 1Greg Rucka – WriterEddy Barrows – PencillerRuy Jose and Julio Ferreira –InkersRod Reis – Colorists Warning: Contains Spoilers Story Synopsis:In Sydney, Australia a high level executive of Empire Communications Network (ECN) talks to an employee about getting the Daily Planet’s Cat Grant to do an expose on the growing threat of Kryptonians on Earth.He is cut short when the Kryptonian Nightwing arrives, knocking him through the floor.Flamebird follows and is attacked when the businessman ascends back up through the floors. Defending his partner, Nightwing takes on the exec, revealing his name to be Tor-Van, a Kryptonian sleeper cell posing as a human.Nightwing and Flamebird defeat Tor-Van and trap him in a little gun thingy, most likely a mini Phantom Zone projector. The dynamic duo takes off.Back in Metropolis, Lois Lane is watching this live on TV and raises an eyebrow in suspicion.At the 7734 base, General Sam Lane is working with a team to try and figure out who Nightwing and Flamebird are, but to no avail.General Zod and Alura meet and discuss Thara Ak-Var’s recent disappearance from New Krypton. Alura fears that Thara is a traitor and is partly responsible for Zor-El’s death at the hands of the humans.Commander Ursa is seen suiting up for her mission.At the Fortress of Solitude, Flamebird who is revealed as Thara Ak-Var (Supergirl’s good friend), and Nightwing who is Christopher Kent (Zod’s son) are discussing how much their new costumes suck.Thara and Chris flirt a little and Chris goes to get changed. Suddenly, he is heard screaming.Thara races to see what’s wrong. Chris’s body is rapidly growing. Thara holds him, comforting her good friend.Overhead Chris’s crazy mother Ursa appears, gun drawn, and tells them that she’s happy that they are kneeling.To be continued…Drew’s Review:Greg Rucka is one of my favorite comic book writers. I dug his run on Adventures of Superman a few years back and his OMAC Project series was top notch. Of course it is only fitting that he deliver the goods in this issue. I feel that he is setting up some really great stuff right here. He has always been known for his interesting character development and stories. Strong characters mainly drive his scripts; his run on Adventures of Superman proves this point. Within the pages of that series he created one of the only interesting Superman villains of recent times, Ruin. He also updated the Parasite from being a boring lame-o to the Parasite twins, two very dark creatures. Of course his run was right around the time Infinite Crisis hit the DCU and no writers were able to build on what he started. For example when Lois Lane got shot while covering a story over in Iraq (which is a pretty neat idea for a story) it just kind of fizzled due to creative restraints set in place by the need to have Infinite Crisis tie-ins everywhere. I’m hoping that his current story will not be interrupted by any “events” and that he will be able to develop these two fairly unknown characters into greatness.I like Nightwing and Flamebird, and I like that they secretly are Thara and Christopher Kent. Chris was a character introduced during Geoff John’s Last Son story (which suffered greatly due to the artist’s inability to keep up). He was General Zod’s son but was found by Clark and Lois and raised for a few weeks as their own kid. This factor was driven down our throats as a way to bring a character like Jason over from the movie Superman Returns. I personally wanted to like this kid, I really tried but in the end felt that he wasn’t developed at all, not even a smidgen. I didn’t like Superman Returns and thought that the character of Jason was created only to stir up controversy, something that the first Superman film in 30 years shouldn’t focus its energy on. The fact is simple; Jason was introduced as a giant middle finger to thecomic book fans. No one wanted the character or needed him and bringing him into the comics was just as bad. All that said I like the inclusion of his character as Nightwing and the fact that the Phantom Zone is causing him to age rapidly. Already Greg Rucka is making an otherwise lame character into a more interesting one.The Kryptonian sleeper cell idea is pretty badass as well. This leads me to believe that Zod is planning to conquer Earth subversively. Also I’m guessing that means Project 7734 is Earth’s defense against the onslaught of Kryptonians and the upcoming war between Earth and New Krypton which seems inevitable unless Superman’s message of hope and inspiration can reach his people in time.The art this issue wasn’t that bad either. Some of the characters looked kind of different, mainly Thara and Chris, but for the most part I felt it gelled well with Rucka’s writing style. The new costumes for Nightwing and Flamebird were terrible though and I hope we see a return of their previously worn tights. I couldn’t get over the fact that Nightwing looked just like Blue Beetle. It was quite funny.I’d call this issue a very enjoyable first part to what should be a fun arc. If you’re a Superman fan than there is no reason for you to drop this title in his absence. His presence is still felt throughout the entire story, even though he is not seen. I give it 4 out of 5 Speeding Bullets, and am psyched that Mr. Rucka is on this title. Rock on sir!Short Recap:Story 5/5: Solid start to what should be a kick ass arc, lots of interesting characters to read about, and it’s Greg Rucka, man.Art 4/5: I don’t like Nightwing and Flamebird’s new duds and Nightwing looks just like Blue Beetle, but it does show promise.Cover 3/5: I kind of like it, it has a kind of retro-y pulp hero feel to it. However the words are stupid and don’t belong here, this isn’t Nightwing or Flamebird’s introduction!