Action Comics #1036
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by Daniel Sampere
Colors by Adriano Lucas
Letters by Dave Sharpe
The Rundown: Superman and his team make it to Warworld, but they might not be coming back.
One of the newest delegates to the United Planets is contacted by Superman regarding the situation on Warworld and his reaction to the news signals that there are some deeper secrets at the heart of Superman’s mission. Superman and his team are making their way to their location and getting to know each other before he interrupts them to come see Warworld itself. As Superman leaves the ship to mourn one of Mongul’s victims, the ship picks up a beacon meant specifically for Clark.
When Superman and his team descend, they are met with a disturbing sight courtesy of Mongul. A sight set out as a path to find the despot. When they reach Mongul’s arena, they are confronted by his champions and the truth is revealed about Superman and his powers. A truth that might mean the end of all of them.
The Story: The first few panels of this issue were surprisingly compelling, and I love how quickly the tone shifted from the idealized version of the character to one fueled by anger as he protects his secrets. Johnson does a great job of shifting the tone in that scene and making it ominous. The rest of the story is dark and an interesting departure for the character. There are some interesting themes at work in the issue as well and I am interested in seeing where the story goes next given the drama of the cliffhanger.
The Art: Sampere delivers some great visuals throughout the issue. The tone of the art brilliantly captures the dark, serious tone of the story and elicits a visceral reaction from the reader.