Superman: Action Comics #1049 – Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Writer; Mike Perkins, David Lapham, Artists; Lee Loughridge, Trish Mulvihill, Colorists
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: The conclusion of the “Kal-El Returns” storyline, which brought the entire Super-family together for the first time in over a year, delivers with an emotional coda that works really nicely despite the whole stakes. When we last left off, Superman had taken his new foster kids Osul and Otha to the zoo and to meet his old friend Bibbo Bibbowski—only for the family outing to be interrupted by something shocking. The New Gods of Apokalips and New Genesis working together to retrieve Olgrun’s Fire from Osul’s body. Superman fights valiantly to defend his new kids, while Bibbo leads the young Phaelossians in a rescue mission that helps them realize the core of what being a hero is.
But Desaad isn’t going to be deterred so easily, and he quickly grabs the boy to pull the power out of him by force—and learns a harsh lesson about messing with the Old Gods. There’s a great scene with Superman and the boy that it’s pretty clear came from personal experience about bearing a great power. There’s also an inspiring coda involving the residents of Warworld as Superman sends them on their way with a legacy to remember their fight. But while this is strong and hopefully, a terrifying subplot is looming as Metallo makes his reluctant breakout from prison—and Luthor manipulates more than one Superman rogue for his most dangerous plot in a long time. It’s a great finish to this chapter of Johnson’s run.
The character of Thao-La has been incredibly key to Johnson’s run so far, and she gets her spotlight in the backup as she and Supergirl face off against one of Mongul’s most ruthless loyalists. The villain has made a move on Metropolis, but is foiled after a brutal fight—but this isn’t really about his plot. It’s about what different people do when the war is finally over. Thao-La finally finds peace and becomes the hero and leader she was always destined to be, while our villain seeks a new master—and finds it, in a great cliffhanger. Excellent stuff.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.