Action Comics Volume 9: Last Rites

Writer / Artist
Action Comics Volume 9: Last Rites
Action Comics Last Rites review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: DC - 978-1-4012-7410-8
  • Volume No.: 9
  • Release date: 2017
  • UPC: 9781401274108
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

Last Rites brings Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder’s run on Superman to an end, but far from satisfactorily. The continuity picks up from Truth, where it was revealed the threats Superman faced over previous volumes are all connected. That’s clever, and there’s no problem with immortal villain Vandal Savage being the previously unrevealed mastermind behind those threats and Superman losing his powers.

However, as was the case for the wretched Superdoom collection, this is another selection of random chapters from a crossover. The first might be a decent story wrapping up Pak’s plots thrillingly, but to find out you’d have to pick up Superman: Savage Dawn, which supplies the entire story, as seven chapters are missing here. Unlike Superdoom, there is at least some chance of figuring out what’s happened between them, but Last Rites doesn’t supply the ending. The sample art is from Ardian Syaf working from Kuder’s layouts, one of only two artists drawing an entire chapter.

Still, you may be thinking, that leaves another two chapters. These are written by Peter J. Tomasi, and guess what? They tie into another crossover story, and if you want to read all of that, then you’ll have to pick up The Final Days of Superman. What can be figured out here is that Superman seems certain something’s up and he’ll no longer be around, and there are others who may or may not be replacements. Paul Pelletier, Dale Eaglesham and Scott Eaton draw everything nicely enough, but good luck figuring out what’s going on from Last Rites alone.

This is a shoddy, money-grubbing exercise designed to fool the unwary into buying a graphic novel that makes no attempt to offer a complete story. DC’s thinking is that they’ll earn a few dollars from fooling a few people not wired into their publicity machine. The reality is such people will think very carefully before buying another Superman graphic novel. Leave this well alone.