SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for “Action Comics” #963, on sale now.
Most of the action scenes in “Action Comics” #963 revolve around Clark Kent and not Superman, but as readers of the series in DC Comics’ new “Rebirth” era know, this storyline is more than a matter of Clark simply forgetting to don a costume. It’s part one of Dan Jurgens’ new arc entitled “Superman, Meet Clark Kent,” and that’s exactly what happens this issue, as the new Superman (or previous Superman, if one prefers) formally meets the new Clark, whose origins, for now, remain a mystery. Patrick Zircher returns to illustrate the new storyline, which ties into the events of the last one, and again prominently featuring the mysterious corporation known as Geneticron.
The confines of that company are where things kick off, as Clark is seen scrambling through the building’s corridors, apparently as an unwelcome intruder, and overcoming a couple of its security forces as he proclaims to be investigating a secret held within the organization. The explanation as to the nature of this secret has to wait, though, as the scene flashes back a Daily Planet press conference, one held by new Planet publisher Lex Luthor himself. The press gathering, in part, is to give the reluctant Clark the opportunity to explain not only his apparent resurrection, but also to convince the public at large that he in fact is not Superman, and never was, despite Lois Lane’s earlier Planet exposé to the contrary.
Clark attempts to explain that his investigation of Geneticron had put his life in danger, and that Superman had advised Clark to go into hiding while he secretly took his place. It’s a tough sell to some members of the disbelieving crowd, one of whom pulls a handgun and attempts to shoot Clark, believing the reporter would not be harmed and thereby prove that he really is Superman, after all. The attempt is thwarted by Metropolis Special Crimes Unit Chief Maggie Sawyer, and Clark is quickly escorted from the building.
Later, Clark passes a lie detector test that convinces Perry White, at least, that Clark never masqueraded as Superman; a test that is later revealed to have been administered by Batman, and the dark haired, bearded administrator of the test could very well be a disguised Bruce Wayne.
Clark explains to Jimmy Olsen that his investigation into Geneticron had “lingered,” thanks to Superman, instilling his resolve to resume it as the two make their way to Geneticron’s headquarters to interview their CEO. When the CEO abruptly turns them away, Clark instructs Jimmy to leave and infiltrates the building, bringing the action back to the present events leading off the issue. When one of Geneticron’s security goons gets the best of Clark and throws him off the building’s roof, Superman himself finally appears to save Clark from a presumably fatal fall, and sets up the opportunity for the two to finally have a face-to-face moment. As a bearded bystander, who was also seen at the press conference earlier, takes notice of Clark’s rescue, Superman demands some answers as the issue concludes.
The one-word next-issue caption on the final page, “Proof,” teases that some of these answers might be forthcoming in “Action Comics” #964, on sale September 28.
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