Action Comics #1034 is here and man, this has been such an incredible story arc. I’ve really enjoyed it and with each release I find myself drawn even further into the series.
But before we get into the issue itself, let’s take a look at the covers. The standard cover is by Daniel Sampere and Alejandro Sanchez and it is sensational. Once again this feels like an epic film poster and I love how dramatic it all feels. This is a really bold and striking cover that perfectly spells out the drama that is going on. Thao-Lar looks incredibly intimidating as she stands confidently with burning eyes.
The variant cover is by Julian Totino Tedesco and it is magnificent. It really reminds me of the Fortress Of Solitude scenes in Superman: The Movie, and that is a great thing. I love how Superman’s origin story is told within the crystal shards, it’s very clever and just looks gorgeous. The fact that Superman is the only character or thing in colour on this cover really allows him to stand out.
Action Comics #1034 opens up right where we left off in the previous issue as Lois Lane stands up to the Warzoons who are threatening her and Thao-Lar. I absolutely love that Thao-Lar has sided with Lois and The House Of El at this point, that was a really triumphant moment for both her and for Lois. It was incredible to see the pair hold their own during that opening fight sequence, especially Lois.
Phillip Kennedy Johnson is clearly a fan of history and mythology and that shows in his writing and some of the features within traditions and customs of Warworld, not only that but also the dialogue. Thao Lar has a very formal demeanour, and mind set especially when she spoke about her dead fighting alongside her, it’s little details like that that really draw me in as I too am a fan of this.
Once again this is a rather brutal sequence, especially for the likes of an Action Comics title, like I said before for me it is not a bad thing at all, but I can imagine it doesn’t rub some the right way. For me, it really added to the stakes for Thao-Lar, and it is essentially what led to her showcasing her incredible power which was an epic moment. Not only that but it is really setting up this version of Mongul to be one of the most brutal yet and he is clearly an enemy to fear as Thao-Lar eventually converts to his ways and orders.
We then see Superman and the rest of the Superman Family continue their plea to stop the threat of potential war between the government and the Atlanteans. This whole sequence is nail biting stuff, the stakes are clearly high between both parties and the atmosphere is palpable. This is executed perfectly with the writing of PKJ, but mostly down to the artwork by Christian Duce and Adriano Lucas. The panels which feature Superman trying to diffuse the situation are harrowing, you can clearly see that this man is starting to lose his patience as neither parties pay him and his words any mind.
Following that he makes a decision that not all of his party are quite supportive of and for me having read Superman: Son Of Kal-El #2 this aspect really connects the two series in terms of some of the topics it covers, which is great to see. It is at this moment where the three realise there is something very wrong and you can instantly see the fear in both Superman and Jon’s faces as they realise that something has happened at The Fortress. Again hats off to Duce and Lucas for the incredible artwork here, the fact that you can instantly look at a facial expression and feel what they are feeling is a rare skill to have.
Like I said before, the artwork is absolutely incredible throughout, each and every panel and page is full of detail, full of emotions and full of incredible and engaging artwork. I particularly love the panels and pages showing Superman, Superboy and Supergirl charging through explosives which are being fired against their will. There are several moments and pages where PKJ really lets the artwork do the talking which seems to be a common theme in this series. I love that there is minimal dialogue here as it really is the artwork that tells the rest of the story perfectly. This creative team work expertly together and I cannot wait to see more of it going forward in this series.
Action Comics #1034 is an action packed and incredible read that really had me on the edge of my seat. This series, the writing and the artwork for it has been phenomenal and I cannot wait to see where this series goes from here.
Haven’t picked up Action Comics #1034 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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