Friday, May 26, 2023

Review: Action Comics #1055

Action Comics #1055 came out this week and was another crackling issue. 

Since Action Comics became an anthology, the issues have run the same pattern. The main story featuring the Superman Family is just dynamite. The Superman/Lois/Young Jon story is solid. The last feature is okay. And that pattern happens again here. All the stories are solid but the main story is just comic gold.

The main feature is written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson with art by Rafa Sandoval. It continues the Metallo story but with the added bonus of the big bad being Hank Henshaw the Cyborg Superman. Kennedy does the usual bit of magic, weaving in story beats for all the family members. Superman remains a role model for the twins while trying to rehabilitate Metallo. Kara is the smartest person in the room. And best of all, we get the return of the Eradicator. That means all 4 members of the Reign of Superman are in this story! There's action! There's plot! There's character moments! 

The young Jon story is proceeding just about the way I thought it would. Lee Weeks is back on art. It is good to see young Jon learning the ropes and some valuable lessons. But I think Dan Jurgens telegraphed the plot twist a little.

Lastly, the Steel story by Dorado Quick and Yasmin Montanez has branched out to include some of the extended super-family. But I don't know exactly where it is going. 

All in all, a very good issue with a sparkling lead.

On to the details.

The Necrohive, deceased drones animated by the Cyborg Superman, are attacking A-Town, the refugee housing for the Warworlders still on Earth.

Seems like the team can take them out without much problem. 

I like the chemistry between the members. And I am extra happy that Kenan Kong is here, quoting Star Wars and kicking butt. It really feels like a family and I am here for that.

I know we are getting a Supergirl story in an upcoming special but until then I have to settle for her moments here and in World's Finest.

I love the way Phillip Kennedy Johnson writes Kara. She is the Kryptonian scholar, the voice of reason, and usually the smartest person in the room. 

Here Superman has come up with an idea on how to track down the Cyborg Superman. Without his even saying what his plan is, Kara knows what he is planning and she hates it.

I love that. 

It is a risky plan.

Superman reintegrates the Eradicator knowing it can track down 'unpure' Kryptonians. It immediately wants to off Conner and Jon. They aren't 100% Kryptonian. 

Supergirl's 'SEE?!' is a perfect response. She should hate this plan. 

But somehow Superman is able to convince the Eradicator to track down the Cyborg Superman, another 'sullied clone'. 

But I laughed out loud at Supergirl's bit. She knew his plan was the Eradicator before he said it and she appropriately recognized how it wasn't a good one.

So the Family splits up into teams.

Jon, Kara, Kenan, and Natasha fight the NecroHive in Metropolis.

Good to see Kara on the mend and laying the smack down.

From the first scene to this one, the action sequences by Sandoval are fantastic!

The rest join Metallo and the Eradicator in tracking down Henshaw.

I have really enjoyed Superman mentoring and truly fathering the Twins. As we have seen Otho has been hardened by Warworld and still reverts to a 'might makes right' mentality. She can't understand why Metallo is joining them after he attacked them.

Superman continues to dole out the wisdom. Your enemies can become your friends sometimes.

Will she learn the lesson? 

We continue to learn John Corbett's sad backstory in flashback. 

He found his uncle's gun and felt powerful with it in his hand. His father was an abusive maniac. To save his sister Tracy, John killed his father. That is tragic. 

But then that feeling of power is twisted. Joining the military, John learned to embrace being a weapon and continued to lose himself. 

I don't need all my villains to have sympathetic backstories. But I don't mind this. Corbett grew up in a horrible situation and people have been abusing that to twist him into something unrecognizable.

Sandoval brings us this story in photograph stills giving it a sort of police file feel.

Alas, Metallo did all this to protect his sister who unfortunately has already been altered by the Cyborg.

Nice cliffhanger!

In the second feature, Princess Glyanna has taken Jon to her planet as a captive. She demands Superman shut down the rebellion trying to dethrone her or else.

From the beginning, I thought she would be the villain and sure enough she is responsible for her planet's ecological catastrophe. 

But to get to this point, Doombreaker had to be stopped in his tracks by a stasis gun in this ship found by Lois who, of course, knew how to use it and what it did. It is a bit of a leap. 

Lee Weeks' art is sketchy and strong. 

The Steel story has him showing the Metropolis Future Fund board his plans to make Metropolis the city of the future. He enlists Conner And Natasha to show how kinetic energy can be channeled in his force field tech meaning the city will be forever safe. There are even Steel-bots to help the citizens in danger. The dialogue, especially from Conner and Nat is a little rough.

I don't know if I exactly know where this is going. This is another 'this takes place before Action Comics #1050' stories so I have to fit it into my timeline. And I don't know the stakes knowing what we know. The art is more cartoonish than the other stories. 

The main story is the best part of this issue. Phillip Kennedy Johnson is just hitting it out of the park and Sandoval's art is brilliant.

Overall grade: B+


Martin Gray said...

Terrific review, the main strip is firing on all cylinders. I see your point about Lois and the stasis machine, it never crossed my mind - I will believe a reporter can work out alien technology! I had to No Prize Superman’s ‘That can only be…’ before the page turn. Because he really should know his wife’s voice. I decided his word balloon, despite appearances, comes before hers, but after the ray blast began!

Anonymous said...

Good Old Kara, she climbs out of her sickbed and intones the voice of reason at the "Super Summit". I like how she unselfconsciously shows up in her Kryptonian Bathrobe...but then she is related to almost everyone in the room (BTW "The House of El" has gone from Two Cousins to Dozens hasn't it?) one way or I guess Girlfriend Feels She Can Go Casual.