Action Comics #1038 continues the incredibly exciting and brutal Warworld age story arc! Each and every issue in this arc has been excellent and with each release my love for Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s take on Superman grows.
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 just so impactful and painful to see Superman on his knees chained up in front of Mongul. The detail is incredible on this piece, and that just adds to the effect this cover has. The colours are fantastic too as Superman’s suit is a little darker in tone, which perfectly matches that of the issue itself.
The variant cover is by Julian Totino Tedesco and it is yet another fantastic one! This is a very interesting look for Superman, which feels similar to that we saw in the Worlds Of War series. It really reminds me of Conan The Barbarian and similar characters and themes to that. There is no detail spared in this piece, it is excellent. I always look forward to seeing what Totino Tedesco does next and this did not disappoint.
Action Comics #1038 picks up right where we left off in the previous issue, as Superman and The Authority’s attempt to take down Mongul and his champions went sour.
They’ve been separated and chained up and I have to say it is rather difficult to see. Especially when it comes to Superman, who has either been stripped of his symbol of hope or it tore off during battle. Seeing him chained up on his knees and being tormented in this way is something we never expect to see with Superman, and that makes it all the more distressing and poignant.
Writer, Phillip Kennedy Johnson really knows how to make us readers feel uncomfortable, and I say that as a compliment. Not the mention the incredible artwork here, which is by Miguel Mendonça. The artwork speaks volumes, you can see the anger in Superman’s facial expressions and you can see how barbaric this situation on Warworld is. As mentioned before, the team have been split up and held captive in different areas of Warworld based on their skills. It will be very interesting to see what their new “roles” will be on Warworld and how that will have an impact on the story arc to come.
This is another fantastic addition to the Warworld Saga and though I’ve been a fan of the arc since Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s first issue, this one has my favourite Superman moment of his. Superman is placed in a cell with a group of people from Warworld who had hope that he was to be their saviour, from the way he is all banged up and bruised, you can instantly see and feel their disappointment. As a Superman fan, seeing people lose their hope in Superman is absolutely heartbreaking, that is exactly one of the very things that he stands for.
Despite how it looks for the mission it is clear that he still stands for those very same things and his plans have not changed in light of what’s happened. That is clear from his speech to Midnighter, which I adore. To others his hope may seem deluded and completely crazy, but to him that’s his way of life and nothing will get in the way of that. That dedication and determination is what I love about him, but it’s also what has drawn the people of Warworld closer to him.
The artwork is by Miguel Mendonça with colours by Adriano Lucas and I have to say it is incredible. The many action sequences are fantastic and the pair perfectly showcase what Warworld is like in terms of atmosphere and it’s people of many races and backgrounds. The facial expressions on each and every character in peril is done so well, you can instantly see how they are feeling and the anguish that each of them face. Knowing that Mendonça is a huge Superman fan, it must have been difficult for him to draw him so beaten up, but man it’s clear that he gave it his all there and that painful image is enhanced by Adriano Lucas’ incredibly realistic colours.
Action Comics #1038 is an incredibly brutal yet inspiring read that really takes Superman fans to a very different place than we are used to. This entire creative team are clearly giving it their all and it shows, this is already a fantastic and iconic Superman story arc.
**The above links are affiliates, which mean I will earn commission from any products bought via these links**