By Andy Frisk
March 11, 2010 - 22:03
Jax-Ur’s plans finally come to fruition as his master plan is revealed. He has created a new version of Rao, the Kryptonian father god. While not quite all powerful, this “False Rao” (as Lois calls him) is powerful enough to potentially threaten the very existence of Earth. Nightwing and Flamebird attempt to stop this abomination, but Jax-Ur (recently revealed to be Vohc The Builder, another mythical being from Krypton’s past like Nightwing and Flamebird are) has other plans, and it’s going to take more than Flamebird to bring False Rao down…Meanwhile, on New Krypton, chanting members of the Religious Guild reveal that “Rao awakens…”?
If Rao awakens, then they can’t be referring to the False Rao since he’s already “awake.” It’s totally possible that the True Rao is about to show up. If he does, then what will he think of his squabbling children and their new home? The current storyline running through Action Comics just might end up being the one to watch as an awakened True Rao would have a very interesting affect on the direction of the story and its fast approaching climax.
The heart and soul of Action Comics, its two protagonists Nightwing and Flamebird, have really been put through the wringer recently, and things don’t seem to be looking up for them any time soon. These two have served admirably as metaphors and analogies for the mystical yet very literal power of love. Each loves the other very much as Chris and Thara, and the mystical love between their Nightwing and Flamebird personas simply serves to amplify and reflect the universal experience of love that Chris and Thara share. Mythically though, Nightwing and Flamebird are doomed to be separated and the same might be true of Chris and Thara. Rucka and Trautmann, with the introduction of Jax-Ur as Vohc (the mystical scientist) ratchets up the metaphoric musings by playing with the idea of science vs. religion or even more powerfully, the idea of the science inside religion. Jax-Ur creates a god through science with the help of a bit of Flamebird’s divine spark. It’s a marriage of the divine and profane and its destructive capabilities are horrific. Yeah, there are definitely some profound ideas afoot here…
Perez continues to do a fine job bringing these magical and science fiction characters to life (especially the False Rao), but it is Mena’s coloring work in this issue that really brings the characters into the light. The red glow that he creates around False Rao as he stalks through the Middle Eastern desert is beautifully done, as is the red sun like glow that emanates from the faces of the Religious Guild members. His color work on the desert sky is also powerful as it blends dusk and night on the horizon.
Powerful glows and star filled skies at dusk really reflect and enhance the mood and theme in Action Comics #887. We’re dealing with motivations and emotions that are as primary as the light of the stars yet subtly mutable like the colors of an evening sky. Nightwing and Flamebird’s love might be doomed mythically, but we as readers hope that it’s not at the hands of Jax-Ur/Vohc and his False Rao, if at all.
Rating: 8 /10