Action Comics #1032 continues an epic story line by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, with each issue I grow more intrigued. This is an excellent story arc so far, with fantastic artwork and I genuinely look forward to the next issue as soon as I put the current one down.
We’ll start with the covers, the standard cover is by Mikel Janin and it is fantastic. This is an excellent action piece with incredible detail, I absolutely love the determination shown on both Superman and Aquaman’s faces and postures. The perspective is very clever too as we (the reader) can be seen inside the mouth of the sea monster, which shows how truly trapped Superman and Aquaman are, these are very high stakes and Janin showcases that perfectly.
The variant cover is by Julian Totino Tedesco and continues his run of phenomenal and iconic variant covers. This piece is truly magnificent and I feel it perfectly captures a classic looking Clark Kent as he hurriedly changes to Superman. The use of blurring to show his speed is very effective and I love how the Superman emblem pops with it being the only bit of colour on the piece.
Action Comics #1032 kicks off right where we left off as the unknown and potentially Kryptonian refugee (Thao-La) has escaped and destroys Kelex. I was sad to see this happen in the previous issue, but I will say now that it does add more complications to the situation for Superman and the rest of The Superman Family. Kelex provided a lot of the information to them including language translations, and now that cannot be utilised they really are on their own and need to find different means of communicating with her.
In this issue we really start to explore who Thao-Lar is, her history and her capabilities, which to me is very exciting. Straight off the bat she is a very intriguing character, who I have already grown quite fond of, her faith in Superman is (or was) inspiring and just goes to show that his impact is felt across the world and beyond. I really adored the moment where Lois stepped in to console Thao-Lar despite the potential danger she posed, especially to her.
Once again Phillip Kennedy Johnson is doing an incredible job building the ‘Phaelosians’ race in terms of history and back story, I have loved getting to know them a little bit more in this issue and look forward to getting to know them going forwards. Johnson’s take on Superman is once again iconic, it is exactly how Superman should be. I particularly loved the moment where he starts to question what’s really going on and why. Despite one of those thoughts is that this is a trap set by Mongul, because countess Phaelosian lives are at stake he is completely willing to do what needs to be done to save them.
There really are so many layers to this story arc, and this issue really just reinforces that notion. First of all we have Superman trying to learn about and gain the trust of Thao-Lar, we then have the Warzoons and the fragments collected by Atlantis, we have these very mysterious illusions that Superman has seen and then a potential war between the Atlanteans and the government. Though this issue answered a few questions that I had as a reader, it most definitely threw a lot of spanners into the works and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all fleshes out.
The artwork by Daniel Sampere and Adriano Lucas again is fantastic and incredibly vibrant, which I love. The detail is next level in each and every panel, Sampere really is an expert at setting the scene and his work really brings Johnson’s storytelling to life. The same can also be said for Adriano Lucas’ colours which are vivid and striking throughout. The pair work spectacularly together and I really love how strangely realistic and then how out of this world some of the pages are, it really adds a unique balance which keeps readers drawn into this unfolding mystery. My personal favourite moment was seeing Superman uppercutting a Kaiju-like monster, that moment was truly epic and the execution of it was spectacular.
Action Comics #1032 continues a very fascinating story arc, as threads from this mystery seem to unravel and really intrigue readers. These are new grounds being trodden here by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and I am really enjoying his creations in terms of races and world building, and I cannot wait to see where this story goes.
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