Action Comics #1030
DC is approaching a weird crossroads where the latest editorial mandate seems to move on to the 5G concept in everything but name. In the wake of Dark Nights Death Metal, most of the creative teams have been upturned or old titles have been revived.
Action Comics has definitely been one of the biggest beneficiaries of a change in creative team with Phillip Kennedy Johnson offering the kind of take on Superman that was lacking throughout Brian Michael Bendis’ run. Naturally, Johnson arrives on the title just as Karl-El is being phased out per Future State/5G while his son is being ushered in the role of Superman.
I’m going kicking and screaming with this creative direction, but Johnson is doing a wonderful job giving it the proper gravitas and depth needed to make this work.
Superman’s powers are slowly fading and he turns to some Justice League allies for help. The brief discussion with the Leaguers had me wishing Johnson had been given the keys to write Justice League instead of Bendis as he quickly showed a better command of the characters’ voices and their dynamic.
Johnson also gives us some quality scenes with Jon and Damian Wayne. It’s a little discouraging that there’s writers like Johnson, Tom Taylor and Ram V who so easily strongly get the DC characters and they’re taking over just as big sweeping changes come.
Mongul prepares for his next battle with Superman and gains a new ally with a means to take Superman out of the equation permanently.
Johnson partners with Daniel Sampere (Future State Aquaman, Injustice), who has a very classic style that captures the heroic essence of Superman and his allies. Fortunately with the sweeping changes to the Superman titles, Sampere will remain on Action Comics with Johnson. Adriano Lucas’ color work is striking this issue with bold use of primary colors and easy transitions between the brighter Superman scenes and the crushing bleakness of Warworld.
l’m still not loving The Midnighter back-up story. Now that his role has been expanded as a member of Superman’s galactic team, he’ll have a greater importance in the books so it’s worth reading this story from writers Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad.
Action Comics delivers high quality Superman action and while the back-up story fails to hold up its end, this is a comic well worth grabbing.
Rating: 9 out of 10