Action Comics #1033 is finally here and with each issue of this fantastic series, I find myself more immersed and intrigued. Phillip Kennedy Johnson is already creating an iconic Superman storyline for people to love now and in the future.
But before we get into the issue itself, let’s take a look at the covers. The first cover is by interior artist Daniel Sampere, with colours by Alejandro Sanchez and I think it’s a great cover! It really feels like a film poster to me, and that’s down to the positioning of the characters on the page and their stances. Each character boasts detail and realism, that can be said for Superman in particular, this truly is a great cover.
The first variant cover is by Julian Totino Tedesco and boasts a huge array of Supermen from the past and present. I adore this, it really feels like a tribute piece to my favourite superhero and though I’d have chosen a few different takes on Superman to be included in this piece, the attention to detail is phenomenal and cannot be faulted. This is a gorgeous piece that any Superman fan would be proud to have on their wall, including myself!
The third and final variant cover is by Jen Bartel and completes the sketch trilogy that she has worked on. I love this piece, this is a really classic and quintessential Superman, with a spit curl and bold jawline. The black and white tone of the cover really adds to this as well, it makes it all the more striking.
Action Comics #1033 goes a long way to really build this story line into something epic! Not only does it introduce further tension between Atlantis and the government, but we get a huge reveal when it comes to Thao-Lar, the reasoning and the motivation behind her arrival to Earth.
The issue starts by introducing deceit and tension between Atlantis and the government as Amanda Waller sends Task Force X agents to get intel on The Genesis Fragment. I’m intrigued to see how this plays out, as it very much seems like an usually timed distraction, but it has a majority of The Justice League’s attention in the wrong place. They are prioritising this issue, when there are potential lives at stake on Warworld.
I love how Superman reminds them of that as he highlights what the real threat is and where their attention should lie considering who the fragment belongs to and where it came from. A lot of people think of Superman as ‘the nice guy’, which of course he is, but it was great to see him really put his foot down in this issue to get his point across, which was sadly needed.
Once again, it was great to see Thao-Lar and her ways explored. Like I said before I’m really enjoying getting to know her, she is a fascinating character and I am eager to get to know her and her motivations. Not only that but we also explore the Warzoons a little further and really get to know their place in all of this. Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson has once again done a fantastic job with his story telling and world building and this issue in particular really knits some of those gaps together to create a truly intriguing storyline.
I will say though that this issue is rather Superman light for an Action Comics issue and has some rather gory moments. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy them, because I feel like it went a long way to really showcase the height of these stakes and was very effective.
Though Superman does get his time to shine with several incredible speeches that really encapsulated exactly who Superman is when it comes to a situation like this, it was really the supporting cast that shone in this for me. Particularly Lois Lane, who as usual is a complete badass in this. Though she overheard some of the plans from the Warzoons in terms of Thao-Lar’s purpose, I adored her reaction to them threatening her. That is the Lois Lane I know and love.
The artwork in this issue is by Daniel Sampere with colours by Adriano Lucas and it is absolutely perfect. It expertly matches the tone of the issue and there are so many beautiful moments, particularly the panels where the House Of El come together to prevent the war on Atlantis. Though this is a out of this world story, the realism in the artwork is fantastic and that is really enhanced with Lucas’ colours.
I love the way that the pair present each and every character in this issue, their personalities, traits and ways are perfectly encapsulated, not only does that honour the characters perfectly, but also fans. For example I adore that Lois Lane has purple eyes, for me that is a beautiful touch.
There are several moments where Phillip Kennedy Johnson really allows the artwork to tell the story in this issue and it is so effective. Even though an image can tell a thousand words, it can sometimes be hard to follow and interpret the way the writer intends, but that is not the case in this issue. It really allows your imagination to do the work and it really enhances the effect that these moments have on the reader.
Action Comics #1033 really ramps up the stakes of this storyline as readers are teased with Thao-Lar’s purpose on Earth. Phillip Kennedy Johnson is expertly crafting an incredibly intriguing story arc here and the fantastic and iconic artwork by Daniel Sampere and Adriano Lucas makes this an arc not to be missed.
Haven’t picked up Action Comics #1033 yet? You can get the standard cover by Daniel Sampere 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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