REVIEW: Action Comics #1022

Action Comics #1022 is the calm after the storm as Clark and Conner look to establish a connection after the intensity of the ‘Metropolis Doom’ story-arc which concluded in the previous issue. This issue really is all about the discovery of family and connections thought to be lost forever.

Before we go further into the issue, let’s talk about the covers. Firstly, the standard cover by John Romita Jr, this is a great moment in action and represents the newly formed bond between Kal and Conner. I have to say it’s the colours by Brad Anderson that really steal the show on this piece. They are so incredibly realistic and that really adds a nice contrast when paired with Romita Jr’s cartoonistic artwork, and Klaus Janson’s inking.

Action Comics #1022 Cover
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

As for the variant cover, god I love this piece. It is so beautiful. Once again Lucio Parrillo has created something fantastic. Having such a realistic and intricate piece as the variant cover really makes up for the cartoonistic standard cover. This truly is a piece that I would like on my wall.

Action Comics #1022 Variant Cover
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

Action Comics #1022 really is a beautiful issue. Brian Michael Bendis has done a wonderful job of re-establishing Conner Kent firstly within the pages of Young Justice, and now Action Comics which has seen the youngster rubbing shoulders with DC Comics’ finest. Conner Kent was a fan favourite character whose popularity skyrocketed during his tenure in the Teen Titans under the stewardship of writer Geoff Johns. Conner truly became a corner stone of not only the Superman family but the DC Universe during that period in history.

Unfortunately DC Comics couldn’t quite replicate the characters former glory when he was re-introduced to fans as part of the publishers New 52 event. In my opinion this new interpretation of the character just didn’t connect with the audience. This seemed even more evident to me as Conner was omitted completely from the publishers Rebirth initiative which commenced in 2016.

However absence really does make the heart grow fonder as nostalgia and a real longing for Conner and his timeline swelled greatly over time. Well, he is back and this is the issue I’ve been waiting for. Action Comics #1022 sees Conner re-establish bonds between himself and the ‘Superman Family’. These moments are just so heart-warming from start to finish. When the publisher talked about honoring it’s legacy and injecting love and hope back into its’ titles, it’s this issue that certainly encapsulates that edict. Action Comics #1022 beautifully acknowledges the past while finding room for everyone to coexist in the present and to move forward cohesively into the future.

Like I said these scenes are totally joyous and uplifting. The acceptance Conner gains from our beloved characters along with the affection he receives is truly inspiring. Once again this is a perfect example of Superman’s true strength – to represent and promote acceptance and belonging for one and all .

Action Comics #1022 is exactly what I needed it to be. Not a single punch is thrown but there didn’t need to be. This issue not only features rich character development but the intrigue that comes with a character who is tied to a prior timeline. This makes for fascinating reading indeed. 

Superman’s supporting cast also get time to shine in this issue especially Perry. Perry is formidable as he leads The Daily Planet into unknown territory. Perry is commanding and leads from the front as he rallies the troops like no other. This is the most serious I’ve seen Perry in a long time. The Daily Planet truly means the world to this man and he will do anything to ensure it’s survival.

John Romita Jr’s artwork in this issue is superb. Every page is full of crisp and detailed artwork that is complemented beautifully by Danny Miki’s inks and Brad Anderson’s rich colours. The colours in this issue really pop. Every page is just so vivid and vibrant. It really is a treat when we change environment, especially Smallville which looks sun-kissed and heavenly.  You can almost feel the warmth radiate off of the page.

Every characters face is etched with emotion as they participate in deep and meaningful dialogue that is totally riveting from beginning to end. Bendis’ dialogue is just so authentic. Every conversation feels realistic and full of emotion. Conversations ebb and flow according to how familiar or comfortable our characters are with each other and that is portrayed perfectly.

Action Comics #1022 was a great read, which really pushes the narrative forward and throws even more questions at us. Why can’t Superman remember the past? Just what happened there? I can’t wait to see what happens next in this series.

Haven’t picked up your issue of Action Comics #1022 yet? You can get the standard cover by John Romita Jr here (UK) or here (US). Or if you prefer the variant cover by Lucio Parrillo, you can pick that up here.

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