Superman: Action Comics #1030 – Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Becky Cloonan/Michael W. Conrad, Writers; Daniel Sampere, Michael Avon Oeming, Artists; Jordie Bellaire, Taki Soma, Colorists
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Phillip Kennedy Johnson is telling different stories in the two main Superman titles, although we now know that this will only last a few months before Jon Kent steps up as Superman in one of the two titles and Tom Taylor takes over. But Johnson is on this one for the long haul, and he seems to have a master plan here. An opening segment on Warworld does a good job of finally differentiating Mongul from various other alien tyrants—having some real fun with the twisted Shakespearean nature of his frequent replacements. As Warworld heads to Earth, Superman deals with a much more serious problem—his powers have been dwindling slowly ever since his interaction with the creatures from the Breach.
Much of this issue is dealing with Superman’s possible mortality, as he questions whether to ask his son to step up. Lois gets some great scenes, including the reveal that she’s writing a book on the legacy of Krypton, but the best scene is a conversation between Jon and Damian. With Damian’s aging up a bit too, the two are closer to the same level again, and their interaction has some really fun moments as well as some great emotional beats and shocking reveals. The issue ends with a stunning possible reveal of just who Mongul has been keeping at Warworld for years—and it may just upend everything we know about Superman. It’s one of the most intriguing starts to a Superman run in a while.
The second part of the Midnighter backup is stronger than the first thanks to a focus on the twisty relationship between Midnighter and Apollo (who was mostly missing last issue). The reveal that Midnighter has been switching back and forth between his future self is a clever use of the character’s reputation for crazy pulp adventures. I was still not exactly interested in the machinations of the evil transhumanist scientist Midnighter is chasing—he spends a lot of time ranting about his plans to transcend the flesh and experimenting on unfortunate subjects, but still seems to be a bit of a stock character. But even if he’s just here to motivate Midnighter into action, that should be a satisfying comeuppance.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.