REVIEW: ‘Action Comics,’ Issue #1049

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Action Comics #1049

Action Comics #1049 from DC Comics is a rousing story of family and triumph. Phillip Kennedy Johnson pens both stories in this issue. The first tale with Superman features art by Mike Perkins and colors by Lee Loughridge. The second tale featuring Supergirl and Thao-La is drawn by David Lapham, with colors by Trish Mulvihill. Dave Sharpe handles letters for both. Last time, Superman hurried to the Metropolis Zoo to save Osul-Ra from getting unalived by Orion, Kalibak, and Metron of the New Gods. A brilliant fight broke out full of fantastic art, colors, and SFX.

This issue begins at Stryker’s, where we find Lex Luthor continuing to bait Metallo into breaking out of prison to battle Superman. This time his method of enticement is downright low but befitting of Luthor’s persona. Interestingly, Metallo is a degenerate machine, and the state doesn’t seem concerned with giving him even a functional, low-grade robotic form. But this time, the seeds of rage are planted, and the Metallo arc, on a slow burn thus far, hopefully, lasts for some time.

Meanwhile, Superman smacks Orion and Kalibak around with the grace of a ballerina. Osul-Ra, the poor Kryptonian kid they want to smash since his body holds the ancient power of the Ogrun, has a wonderful moment in this story. But even though the fight is spectacular, thanks to Perkins’ graceful art and Loughridge’s thematic use of colors every few pages, this issue sings when it puts Superman’s behavior on display. Johnson has soared from day one by showing readers Superman is an uncompromising bastion of compassion. From his speeches on Warworld to now, he continues to be an inspiration. His talk with Osul and others captures this hero’s titanic benevolence, a much-needed trait in an age of constant strife. I feel this has been the finest representation of the Man of Steel, character-wise and artistically, at least since the New 52 began. Wherever this story goes with Luthor, Metallo, and Superman, so long as this masterful display of heroism is front and center, Action Comics will be ground zero for how to be the good guy in the face of adversity.

Action Comics #1049 next dives into the continuation of the tale with Thao-La and Supergirl confronting Chaytil Ironbled. Right off the bat, Lapham hits us with some crowded underworld combat against a kaiju and the threat the fight is causing for the citizens of Metropolis above. It’s a classic divide-the-hero arc where characters are forced to choose one threat over another. But we have two badass superheroes on the scene. Thao-La shows her mettle in this issue, and this story really has me wanting her to get her own series, or heck, a one-shot at least. The way she is written, the heroic way Lapham illustrates her, and Mulvihill colors the character and the creatures, this entire story would make for an epic Warworld series with Thao-La as its hero. Thankfully, I don’t think we’re seeing the last of her or them in this issue. Lapham and Mulvihill pair perfectly together; you can’t go wrong with Sharpe’s lettering finesse in both stories.

Action Comics #1049 is a testament to Superman’s prowess. But more to the point, it’s a treatise on what makes this hero resonate, not to mention a statement on what the recent film version of the character lacked. His qualities are infectious, showing readers that positive influence can spread outward. This issue is more than just eye candy. It’s a reaffirmation of how to be a  hero. Excellent work all around. You should be reading this title.

Action Comics #1049 is available now wherever comic books are sold.


Action Comics #1049
5

TL;DR

Action Comics #1049 is a testament to Superman’s prowess. But more to the point, it’s a treatise on what makes this hero resonate, not to mention a statement on what the recent film version of the character lacked. His qualities are infectious, showing readers that positive influence can spread outward. This issue is more than just eye candy. It’s a reaffirmation of how to be a  hero.

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