Action Comics #1042 is here and I feel like I say this with every review I do for this series… we have another incredible addition to this iconic story arc.
But before we get into the issue itself, let’s take a look at the covers. The standard cover is by interior artist Riccardo Federici and it is just epic! His artwork is truly on another level and I cannot believe we get to experience it within the pages of a comic book. The detail is phenomenal as usual and the red sky gives a real sense of danger to the situation. It’s brilliant.
The variant cover is by Julian Totino Tedesco and it is yet another incredible cover from his work on this series. His covers have a real classic Superman vibe to it, which I adore. His Superman is a more realistic take on the early versions we experienced in 1930’s/40’s. It’s very nostalgic and Superman looks incredible intimidating as numerous bullets bounce off his chest.
Action Comics #1042 opens up back at the Fortress of Solitude with Lois documenting her time with Thao-Lar. I loved this moment, it was great to get a bit of lightheartedness among the chaos of Warworld. Not only that, seeing Lois mistake her son for Clark just goes to show how much she misses him, but also how similar to him he is. Whilst I enjoyed the story previously with the first introduction to Thao-Lar, part of me forgot how much I missed learning more about the character. This opening sequence was very welcome.
Back on Warworld the stakes are incredibly high as we see Superman really take on what it means to be ‘one of them’. Though he has adapted to fight like them in order to get ahead, he still has his true way of thinking and that is showcased during the fight against O.M.A.C. It’s sad to see them pitted against each other like this by The Teacher, but it just goes to show how much more will power and focus Superman has than most others.
As always Phillip Kennedy Johnson really adds to the scope of his world building for this story arc and Warworld. I love the fact that some of the dialogue is written in alien dialect with absolutely no translations, in my experience with comics this is very rare. It really puts you in the shoes of the characters that have been thrown in to this situation.
It’s here that Superman and his accomplices get their focus. The Teacher has made a huge mistake in his arrogance and it has given those who almost lost hope an opportunity. It’s here that the stakes are drastically altered, despite the lack of opportunity in the previous issues, this changes everything. This sequence was fantastic and Superman’s narration that goes with it? *chefs kiss*.
The artwork is by Riccardo Federici and Lee Loughridge and it is absolutely incredible, it cannot be faulted. The detail is spectacular and so realistic, it really allows you to step into the action. I love the realism here, it’s very rare you get this level of it in the pages of a comic book, particularly one that is based off planet. I also adore the drastic colour palette change when switching locations, the Fortress is vibrant and hopeful and Warworld is dreary and feels dusty, it really sets the scene.
Action Comics #1042 continues a truly iconic Superman story arc. I cannot recommend it enough, it has spectacular artwork, a phenomenal plot and the perfect Superman. Mark my words, this is one of the best Superman story’s ever told.