Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Action Comics #1040 Review

The Power Of Hope

Written By: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Shawn Aldridge
Art By: Riccardo Federici, Lee Loughridge, Dave Sharpe, Adriana Melo, Hi-Fi
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: February 22, 2022

Let's head on back to Warworld to continue our adventure in seeing Superman & The Authority try and liberate the slaves of this planet killer and in the process takedown Mongul and all his power. Previously we saw Superman taking some lumps because he's still acting like a god among men, but that will hopefully be remedied with a little help from his fellow captors, who look like some of Superman's hope is starting to rub off on them. Deeper in the bowels of Warworld, Midnighter is gathering support in his revolution so that Apollo and him.... and maybe the rest of his team can get the hell off this hellhole. Let's jump into this issue and see if Superman's progress continues.

In this issue of Action Comics, we continue our gladiator look at Superman, but more importantly, we finally get a look at what Mongul has planned in not only breaking Superman but how he plans on using the Man of Steel to keep the people of Warworld under his boot and hopeless. While I loved the continuation and further look at this aspect of our story, other bits of the book, which were still decent, concerning OMAC and the Genesis piece came off a bit odd to me because of how little we actually know about both these aspects. I mean, here we learn that the Genesis Piece was the fuel for the Phaelosians to get to Earth, but I don't know why that would be for how important it feels and Mongul's forces want to have OMAC open up their systems to them, but since this OMAC is still an enigma it seems really strange to talk around her power instead of giving us an actual backstory. With that though, I dig where we're heading with this book and look forward to seeing where the new aspects of this issue get us moving forward.

As for our Martian Manhunter backup, we see the criminal cartel, VULTURE continue to make J'onn's past come back to haunt him, which ultimately is a greatest hits from Martian Manhunters past in not only his previous incarnations, like the Bronze Wraith during his time in Justice Experience, but his villains as well and in this issue we see our favorite Martian go up against Dr. Trapp and now that Arnold Hugo isn't going to be far behind. 

All in all, Action Comics continues to be a delight in its storytelling, in not only its main story but the backup as well. The art, while in the previous issue I loved, this installment I found myself wishing it was a little better even though I still think the aesthetic really works for this kind of story concerning Superman. As for the Martian Manhunter backup's art..... goddamn is it amazing. There's a page of just Martian Manhunter declaring he's Martian Manhunter that is possibly the coolest thing I've seen all month, not to mention that the story continues its entertaining deep dive into J'onn J'onzz's past while making it relevant to the present and hopefully the future of the character. Superman's story while still enjoyable left me wanting a little more just because we're moving forward with concepts and characters that never really felt like they were fleshed out and hopefully all my misgivings about these aspects are changed as we go forward, where this is just the stepping stone to learn all we need to know. Even with this though, I'm still digging what we're getting from Action Comics.

Make sure to listen to our Weekly DC Comics Recap and Review Podcast to hear us talk more about this book.  Just look up "Weird Science DC Comics" anywhere you listen to podcasts, and make sure to rate, review, and subscribe!

Bits and Pieces:

Action Comics continues to be a great book in both its main story and backup and that goes for the art as well. Yeah, I think that the art of this issue isn't quite as good as we got previously in our main story, but the Martian Manhunter backup looks so great that the full page of J'onn J'onzz in the story will remind you why he's our favorite Martian. Some great stuff coming out of this book and it remains something that I look forward to each and every issue.


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