It’s time for Action Comics #1030, where newly minted Action Comics scribe Philip Kennedy Johnson continues his run in earnest with a new artist and a bang up first chapter in what’s sure to be an epic arc!
But before we get into the issue itself, lets take a look at the covers. Our main cover by Mikel Janin is wonderful, and depicts Superman pushing against an invading warship at super speed! The pose! The colors! The artistry! DC is having a very poor time trying to produce a subpar Superman cover these days. This is a gorgeous piece.
The variant cover by Julian Totino Tedesco is another frame worthy cover, and seriously folks, I could see this hanging in a museum. It’s a beautiful painting with a little boy dressed as Superman striking a flying pose, with the Man Of Steel himself superimposed in the background. The backdrop of golden clouds gives these piece a particularly classical look, evoking the heavenly aesthetic of many a renaissance painting past. Whether the boy is meant to be a young Clark, or more likely, any young child of the real world pretending to be Superman, the image is timeless and inspirational. The Superman pictured here reminds me of the George Reeves iteration, which was a great touch.
Moving onto the comic interior, the alien despot, Mongul, is back! Correction, make that the son of the previous Mongul (and the grandson of the original), who recently assumed the throne back in Superman: Villains #1.
A good bit of the book is focused on Mongul, his cronies, and his homeward of Warworld, all sporting new looks and freshened backstories, filled with the fleshed out lore PKJ is known for writing. The dialogue exchanges between characters hint at deep and vast world building happening behind the scenes, which we’re sure to learn more about in future issues. A mysterious hooded figure makes an appearance in the Mongul section, presenting himself as a formidable character. Though it remains to be seen who this mystery man really is, it’s a plot point that has me very intrigued and hungry for more.
The rest of the book has us checking in on Superman and his family. Clark is doing tests with the Justice League as the decrease in his power levels continues. This scene really shows Superman’s tenacity, which I love. Regardless of the power he has lost and the circumstances, he is still willing to give his all to protect the planet.
We get a great fun little scene with Jon and Damian, setting up Jon’s future role in the coming Superman series. It’s nice to see these two together again, and the banter between them has barely changed since the days of the Super Sons, which is great to see. Though Jon is now older, he is still the same person and it’s great to see him have a heart to heart about his feelings with his best friend.
The issue ends with a mysterious invasion of earth, led by some very unexpected invaders. I won’t spoil it here, but it definitely raises curiosity as to where this story is headed and if you are like me, you have already speculated as to who these invaders might be. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Kelex cameo! Yay! And another nice tidbit for long time fans is a peek inside the bottled city of Kandor, a rare treat these days, and the vistas are spectacular.
Speaking of the art, the interiors by artist Daniel Sampere and colorist Adriano Lucas are fantastic. You look at the pages and just see the characters as they might appear in your imagination, a perfect transition from minds eye to ink, who could ask for more? The drawings are detailed and realistic, and just as a Superman comic should be, the colors pop with the full rainbow spectrum! I am very much looking forward to seeing more art from this creative team.
Action Comics #1030 puts rubber to road as we embark on an exciting new story line from Philip Kennedy Johnson. One seemingly full of classic villains, intrigue, twists, and high quality artwork.
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