Review – Superman: Action Comics #1042 – The Revolution Begins

Comic Books DC This Week
Action Comics #1042 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Superman: Action Comics #1042 – Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Shawn Aldridge, Writers; Riccardo Federici, Adriana Melo, Artists; Lee Loughridge, Hi-Fi, Colorists

Ray – 9/10

Ray: For the first act of the Warworld Saga, Superman has been taken lower than we’ve ever seen him. Stripped of his powers, placed in the arena, and forced to fight the very same people he’s battling to save, it’s been amazing to watch him evolve into a new kind of hero—“the Unbloodied Sword,” the face of the Warworld resistance. But with Mongul and his elites coming for them, with OMAC having switched sides to supposedly get the resurrection of Lia, and with his strength dwindling more by the day, the tone seems almost hopelessly bleak. But if anyone counted Superman out, they shouldn’t have—this issue is probably the finest moment of his battle over the run, with some of the most stunning visuals yet.

Stasis. Via DC Comics.

Johnson has assembled a huge crew here, and he knows how to use all their powers—both for the heroes, and against them. Meanwhile, the plot is just as strong back on Earth. As Lois and Jon try to keep the last Phaelossian from dying due to her injuries, the mission takes Lois to the laboratory of John Henry Irons. It’s been a while since we saw the former Steel, since his niece took over the mantle after he was injured and now became one of Superman’s allies on Warworld. But John has been one of Superman’s oldest friends for a long time, and it’s clear his knowledge of tech might just be the key to getting Superman back—especially after a dramatic cliffhanger this issue. It’s another strong installment as the revolution looms.

The Martian Manhunter backup by Shaun Aldridge and Adriana Melo had a lot of potential, but it relies heavily on characters we’ve never seen before. The villain in particular is surprisingly still a blank slate even after several issues, with their mystery identity sort of being the point of the reveal. Where it works is in the dramatic visuals of J’onn’s transformations, and in the quirky interactions with some members of the supporting cast. But the competition with some iconic recent Martian Manhunter stories meant it struggled to make itself memorable in bite-sized chunks.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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