Superman and the Authority have now been on Warworld for months. We’ve followed the adventures of Jon Kent while he’s been gone. But Action Comics #1042 doesn’t just show that the revolution has begun, but also there’s an effect on the home front.
Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Ricardo Federici, Lee Loughridge, and Dave Sharpe continue the Warworld Saga as the war hits home in an unexpected way.
The comatose Phaelosians in the Fortress of Solitude have suddenly started to deteriorate and Lois Lane might the only one who can find a cure. Meanwhile Superman’s war against Mongul is gaining support and territory, despite a stunning betrayal. What links these two things together? The mysterious material known as Genesis, which may be drawing Lois and Clark closer than they may expect.
Johnson could have continued to just cover the revolution on Warworld and this story would have been just as compelling as it has been to date. He doesn’t do that though. By returning to Lois, Jon and Thao-La, he draws the story back to Earth in a way that makes the current story more compelling. It also opens up paths of storytelling for the future, making it clear that not only is Johnson playing the long game, but he’s also dedicated to adding toys to the Superman toybox that can be used long term.
I really enjoy Sharpe’s lettering work as well. He’s able to make the battles feel more viceral through his sound effects work (which blend into the art really well). At the same time, he gives life to Johnson’s dialogue through bubbles that become part of the action, particularly as Superman and OMAC spar in the arena, both with fists and words.
Federici and Loughridge have already shown how they are able to make the series feel equal parts Superman and Frazetta. The battles look glorious and Clark still holds his Superman stature and grandeur, despite being beaten down to the level of a slave.
What really stands out though is that they’re able to switch so easily to a much more urban and realistic sci-fi, as Lois, Jon and John Henry Irons do their best to help the Phaelosians. Though their artistic style is still recognizable, they shift their style in the linework and colors just slightly to make those scenes (which are still fantastical) much more grounded.
Action Comics, without a doubt, is one of the best superhero books on the stands right now. I’m eagerly awaiting each issue and can’t wait for what’s next.
Action Comics #1042 is available now from DC Comics.
The smart storytelling and gorgeous art of Action Comics continues. This is one shaping up to be one of Superman’s greatest adventures.