Action Comics #1050 was penned to be the game changer for the future of Superman in comics and this issue does just that! After having read it myself, I can honestly say I’ve never been so excited.
But before we get into the issue itself, let’s take a look at the cover by Steve Beach. It is stunning and showcases Superman soaring to the skies with such elegance and the realism is photo realistic. I also love the classic take on the suit, I never tire of seeing it. It’s safe to say that Beach’s covered for this series have been phenomenal.
Here are all variant covers available with art by: Jim Lee, Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair, Alex Ross, Megan Huang, Crystal Kung, Lee Weeks & Brad Anderson, John Giang, Rahzzah, Gabrielle Dell’Otto, Mike Perkins & Mike Spicer, Riley Rossmo & Ivan Plascenia, Dan Parent, Steve Liber & Nathan Fairbairn, Simone Di Men, Pamela Hoogebook, Nathan Szerdy, Rafael Sarmento, Jonboy Meyes, Al Barrioneuvo & Annette Kwok, Alexander Lozano, Steve Rude, Mike & Laura Allred and Ariel Colón.
Action Comics #1050 opens out with Manchester Black fulfilling his last ‘mission’ for Luthor. Despite the fact that he was initially helping him with information throughout the Warworld Saga, this cocky Mancunian wastes absolutely no time insulting him after their agreement goes awry. I adore this take on Manchester Black, he’s not a character I enjoyed much prior to this, but this story arc brought a fresh new take on him.
The issue then moves onto the Kent Farm, as the family host a dinner for Perry White, here we get to see the start of the reinstatement of Clark & Jon’s secret identities and I feel that it was handled perfectly. For the Kent Family it’s devastating to see someone close to them ‘forget’ such news and in particularly in which the way that Perry White takes it, and as a reader it was quite harrowing to read.
In this issue a lot of questions are answered, including how and why the secret identity is being reinstated, whilst also reconfirming a bit of background behind Superman & Lex Luthor’s relationship or should I say rivalry and this moment had me on the edge of my street. I really appreciated this, sometimes it’s easy to lose sight as to why Luthor feels this way towards Superman. Luthor is particularly chilling in this story arc and the pair sometimes underestimate each other in what they are capable of. We get some great Lex Luthor moments where the reader really feels like he has the upper hand, but we also get some incredible Superman moments, especially as he finally reveals his power status.
A lot of people, including myself were sceptical about the decision to reset the secret identities, mostly because I felt in some way it was too soon and I was worried about how it would be pulled off. With that said, I have to say Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Tom Taylor and Joshua Williamson have handled it perfectly. There is a real reason for it, and even with just one issue it has provided so much drama, it isn’t just a case of re-telling everyone again, there are serious consequences and stakes at large here.
This opportunity provides Clark with a moment to reflect on whether this is a blessing in disguise and here we finally learn about what it has been like for Lois. Though it is Clark and Jon’s identity, revealing that doesn’t just affect them and has affected those around them. It was heartbreaking but really refreshing to see how it has affected Lois and now Clark has a chance to give her that back. Whilst we are used to seeing Clark adjust to this change, it’s great to see Jon take on this new challenge and I really look forward to what secret identity he wields.
The interior artwork is by Mike Perkins, Clayton Henry and Nick Sagitta, with colours by Frank Martin and letters by Dave Sharpe and they really come together to bring us something special. Usually I’m not a huge fan of multiple artists on a single issue, but it’s perfectly done here. Each major scene change brings in a new artist and each and every one of them give it their all to bring us dynamic and exciting artwork that flows perfectly throughout the issue. There are so many moments where the writers let the artwork speak for itself, it’s masterfully done. That is also the case for the lettering and use of onomatopoeia throughout the issue and you really get a sense for the sights and sounds surrounding these characters.
Action Comics #1050 is an excellent issue which is full of twists, turns and surprises. The issue expertly sets up for what’s to come in the upcoming Superman titles and I have never been more excited for the future of the Men Of Tomorrow. With Johnson, Taylor and Williamson, it’s safe to say they are in great hands.