Review: The End Of An Era In ‘Action Comics’ #1035

by Tony Thornley

It’s been coming for months now. The war between Superman and Mongul has reached a breaking point and in Action Comics #1035, we see it’s going to be much more intense than anyone expects.

The first major arc of this Superman era comes to a close here, and it’s a big one for the entire Superman family. It comes from Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Daniel Sampere, Adriano Lucas, and Dave Sharpe.

Enough is enough. Mongul has threatened his friends and family. He’s brought Earth to the brink of war. He’s destroyed his home. Superman has no other choice. It’s time to leave Earth … and take the fight to Warworld.


I just … I think this might be my favorite single issue of Superman in a very long time. I’ve been concerned about where this arc was going for a while. We had a Superman who was a bit more unrestrained, a little bit weaker, and a lot angrier. We had a direct threat to Lois Lane in a way that I was worried she was about to get fridged. It was a delicate tight rope that the creative team was walking.

And, frankly, they pulled it off.

Johnson was able to pull Lois out of danger in a believable way. He was able to show Clark facing the consequences of what he’s done while pushing forward to face Mongul. We can feel for Thao-La, and continue to see this frightening new version of Mongul as a unique threat to what we’ve seen before. Even better, he uses Superboy’s knowledge of the future to cast some doubt on what’s about to happen. It all comes together to a great story.

Sampere and Lucas continue to show what they can do here, and that’s increasingly “challenging Jimenez and Morey as the best art team at DC.” Sampere has a great sense of scale, and his layouts move the action through the pages with a flow which evokes motion and impact. The slower pages, with Lois and Clark, embrace the love and deep emotional connection between the couple, including an incredible splash page of the two lit by the moon. Lucas’s colors are bright and use light to lead the eye with the action. 

It’s a great Superman story, hands down. It ends on a note of self-sacrifice, and what is more Superman than doing the right thing in the face of overwhelming odds. And now war is coming to Warworld.

Action Comics #1035 is available now from DC Comics.


An era of Superman ends and a new one begins. The creative team absolutely sticks the landing and points us to an uncertain future. The only sure thing is that we’ll be reading.

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