The Warworld Saga begins as Superman begins one of his greatest battles. The story conveys a deep understanding of the lead character, and the art knocks it out of the park. It’s not a perfect issue, but it is exactly what a Superman story needs to be.
It’s been building for months. Now the time has come. Superman and the Authority have arrived on Warworld, and Action Comics #1036 embeds us in the war.
The beginning of this saga poses some interesting questions and shows us that there might be more to the story than we may quite realize. It was created by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Daniel Sampere, Adriano Lucas, and Dave Sharpe.
Superman and the Authority have arrived at Warworld, and they’re ready for him. Mongul has prepared on multiple levels, ready to break him body and spirit. What Mongul hasn’t prepared for, is underestimating the Man of Steel…
This story is fascinating for the layers it has. Johnson shows the understanding he has of Superman as a man, as the best of humanity. When Clark sees a stranger tortured and killed, he still takes a moment to show reverence and compassion for this person he never knew. When its repeated, in an attempt to break him, Johnson shows how it not only fails but how it strengthens his resolve to stop Mongul. It’s a capsule of what Superman really is as a person, but also as a concept.
Sampere’s work as the series artist continues to get better. He shows the team’s downtime on the way to Warworld as a way of showing their personalities, and helps build them up as characters. He’s able to show so much in just their interactions with one another, or the activities they’ve chosen as they try to take their minds off the mission.
With Lucas, they’re also able to show the terror of Warworld. This isn’t the high-tech Roman coliseum of the 1990’s. This is a horrible place painted in reds and yellows, while we see the poverty and suffering of the captives. They make meeting Mongul and his inner circle a grand moment, but it’s a horrifying moment that they pace perfectly to give it the frightening weight it needs.
The going seems to be getting tough. The question is whether Superman himself can actually put up the fight that’s needed. I can’t wait.
Action Comics #1036 is available now from DC Comics.