Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Action Comics #1036 Review

Superman's Infinity War

Written By: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Sean Lewis
Art By: Daniel Sampere, Adriano Lucas, Dave Sharpe, Sami Basri, Hi-Fi
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: November 9, 2021

Now that Superman has said goodbye to those he loved in Action Comics, Superman: Son of Kal-El and Superman and the Authority, it's finally time to head off to Warworld to see what Phillip Kennedy Johnson has planned in renewing Mongul's backstory and who he is as a whole in the world of Superman villains. On top of that, we'll also see what Guardian is up to in the Tales of Metropolis backup but personally, I don't know who needs that beyond die-hard Guardian fans who need to purge what's going on with the character in Checkmate. Shade aside, let's check out Superman and his Authority pals.  

So as I said in the opener, we're off to Warworld to see how things transpired in Future State, where Superman never returned to Earth and instead became a gladiator for the maniacal Mongul...... and to see how Phillip Kennedy Johnson is going to change Mongul from a kind of silly threat that he's become over the past decade and make the once fearsome foe a threat that is big enough to be someone who rules over an entire world of warriors. Now, while I'm here for that, this issue of Action Comics makes Mongul's new makeover just look like we're copying Thanos and the Black Order from Marvel, and while I'd like that to be just a gross exaggeration...... It's actually kind of ridiculous. Yeah, this new take on the character while it does feel bigger than anything we've had for a long time, doesn't exactly come off here as something that I hope will stick around. That being said though, there is a very intriguing dynamic about the mystery of the Phaelosians in this issue that feels like it may be doing something similar to the Green Lantern Uprising crossover story from years ago and if it continues down that line it could be a really cool bit of storytelling.

As for our Tales of Metropolis backup, featuring Guardian, we see our hero summon a digital demon through a ouija board and be sucked into its dark web/dark Metropolis world. While this backup might look great and will hopefully satiate all ten of the die-hard Guardian fans, there's never anything to these stories that make it feel like it's worth an extra dollar to this title.

All in all, this new depiction of Mongol and his Lieutenants is something that looks on the surface as a way to elevate the character and make him look like he's an actual threat to Superman and not the punching bag to the Man of Steel that he's been for so long now, it's this surface element that's most damning though since you can literally see the Marvel Comics Thanos and Black Order leaking over to these pages. Beyond Mongul though, the ever-continuing mystery of the Phaelosians is what I'm focused on now and the big of information we get out of this issue about them comes off as compelling as hell and I can't wait to learn more about them. Both the main story and the backup look great but there's not much to what we get in either story to make me happy by the end.

Bits and Pieces:

While both the main story and backup look great, there's not a whole lot of anything going on in either. Yeah, Superman and the Authority make it to Warworld where we'll see what the new status quo for Mongul really is, but once you get to that point you can't unsee that it's just Thanos and the Black Order and this aspect just makes everything feel small overall, not to mention that we immediately have to nerf our main character to make everything else we've seen make sense.  


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