Action Comics #1044, “Warworld Revolution” Part 2 is a non-stop issue full of jaw dropping moments. Superman and Mongul are doing their best to stack the final confrontation to their respective advantages as The Warworld Saga races to its conclusion. The back up story also ties-in as “A World Without Clark Kent” Part 1 continues where Lois, John Henry, and Thao-La left off in Action #1042.
This issue has three great covers by three great artists. The standard cover is by Lucio Parrillo and really captures the feel of Superman turning the tides of battle. Cover titled Kal-El Rising, the blue and red of Superman’s suit really stands out amongst the otherwise muted color palet. Parrillo’s high attention to detail adds a level of realism akin to an artist rendition of an actual event. I could look at this cover for hours and not feel as though it was a waste of time.
Ian Churchill’s variant is a take on the classic alley transformation from Clark to Superman. The art seamlessly flows from background to foreground without the use of motion lines. If you could hear a picture, this one would definitely be playing the John Williams theme.
The Pride variant by Derek Charm features Lois and Clark openly supporting Superman (Jon Kent). Appearing as part of a celebration, Superman is flying by a crowd of people with his parents displaying the Pride Flag adorned with the El Crest. Charm’s brightly colored art and ink style not only conveys a sense of joy but also feels like an animation still. Superman has always stood for inclusivity and equality and this cover depicts that tradition perfectly.
Riccardo Federici and Will Conrad share interior art duties with colorist Lee Loughridge on the headliner. The magnitude of their art is as epic as the written story. To have such alien, horrific, and grotesque scenes/creatures occupy these pages without being over-the-top is a fantastic feat of skill. Their talents continue to shine through moments of heartfelt emotion easily making this some of the best art in comics today.
Artist David Lapham and colorist Trish Mulvihill take on the backup story. There’s a retro news strip quality to their art that gives it a unique look. Using only seven pages, they spare no amount of talent and skill to deliver an edge-of-your-seat opener. There is no doubt this is the perfect art team for what appears to be in store for us.
Phillip Kennedy Johnson gives us two times the excitement by writing both stories this issue. The lead story finds Superman continuing to gather what remains of The Authority. We’re given a glimpse into the origin of one Mongul’s Unmade which has surprising ties to the Justice League: No Justice storyline of 2018. There definitely feels like there’s more to this origin tale that will play out in future issues. From there, we’re off to rescue another Authority member and the resulting rematch of another Unmade. The shocking results of that rematch then ties into the fate of another ally of Superman as we see Mongul prepare his plans to handle the rebellion.
We then shift back to Earth in the backup story where Lois, Kara, and John Henry continue to nurse Thao-La back to health. Things get urgent and a last ditch effort is implemented by Supergirl with cliffhanger results. Yet, the last two pages of this tale probably holds the most unexpected and surprising reveal of the entire issue. A long unused and somewhat forgotten Superman villian heralds their return.
The end of The Warworld Saga may have already been announced, but Action Comics #1044 proves the thrills an excitement of this story is far from over.