Action Comics #1029 is here and ever since Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Phil Hester’s take over of the series, I have been eagerly awaiting this very issue! The team smashed their first issue out of the park, and I am very much looking forward to seeing where the pair take these characters.
But before we get into the issue itself, let’s take a look at the covers. The standard cover for this issue is by interior artist Phil Hester, along with inks by Eric Gapstur and colours by Hi-Fi. I think this is a great cover, it perfectly showcases the thoughts and feelings of Jon Kent and I think the concept of it all is very effective. I am really enjoying Hester’s art style in this series, and so far his covers really showcase what he can do with these characters.
The variant cover for this issue is by Julian Totino Tedesco and my god it is gorgeous! The piece is full of hope, full of light and full of detail. This is an incredibly realistic piece, which really allows Superman to shine. I love the positioning of his cape blowing in the wind and I also love the use of a very classic Superman suit. It’s very fitting to the title and concept of this arc in particular. This is a truly gorgeous piece and I cannot wait to own it.
Action Comics #1029 opens up with Superman and Superboy continuing their fight to seal up the breaches that have been mysteriously opened up. The pair find people stranded and in trouble, and on their journey to rescue them they find out just how these breaches have been opened up and who is behind it all. Once again Jon continues to worry for his father, after learning from his time with The Legion that this is one of the last documented adventures of his father, but we know Superman won’t give up that easily!
I really loved the writing in this issue, writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson really has a way with words. This issue was so easy to read considering the heavy themes that are sometimes explored. The writing is truly touching and so beautiful, personally I love that the really deep moments are done with narration, as an explanation of thought. These are difficult conversations for the pair to have, so I think it’s great that it’s written this way, and it really shines a light on Superman as a parent and also a son.
I really love how Johnson explores Superman and his tenacity. He is well aware that Jon has a bit more insight into the future and his exploits due to his time with The Legion, yet that doesn’t phase him one bit. Superman will always do right, regardless of the consequences that may follow and I really love that the writer is exploring this, because it’s a huge part of who this character is. What’s also great about exploring this in this context, is that these traits and lessons are unknowingly rubbing off on his son, Jon. In the Future State event and also Infinite Frontier it was suggested that he would not live up to his father, yet with each issue we see him in he really grows as a character and as a force for good. So I love that he is defying the odds.
The artwork is by Phil Hester and I really love it. Like I said before, this arc so far covers some deep themes which really showcase the thoughts and feelings behind these characters and highlights some of the burdens that they face. This is especially the case for Jon Kent, but I feel that Hester’s artwork really eases the narrative. I feel that is down to the vibrant and bold artwork that really draws you in and that is really accentuated by Eric Gapstur’s inks and Hi-Fi’s colours. I particularly love the detail when it comes to a change in atmosphere. The colour palette perfectly reflects the location and some are instantly recognisable, that can especially be said for Smallville.
Action Comics #1029 is a fantastic follow up, which has brilliant and extensive character development and some really sweet and tender moments between the two core characters. Not only do we really progress the narrative and arc previously introduced, but we see the introduction of a villain and narrative that really sets this arc in a different and dangerous direction.
Haven’t picked up your copy of Action Comics #1029 yet? You can get the standard cover by Phil Hester here (UK), or here (US). Or if you prefer the variant cover by Julian Totino Tedesco, you can get that here.
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