Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Action Comics #1049 Review

Written by: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by: Mike Perkins
Colors by: Lee Loughridge
Letters by: Dave Sharpe
Cover art by: Steve Beach
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: November 22, 2022

Action Comics #1049 finds Superman battling the forces of Apokalips as they seek to confiscate Osul or the god-power within him. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor sets a plan in motion with the help of Manchester Black and Metallo.

Is It Good?

Action Comics #1049 is not bad. Phillip Kennedy Johnson firmly grounds Superman's return to Earth in classic fisticuffs, motivated by his time on Warworld. You get rock 'em, sock 'em fights against Kalibak and Orion to kick things off with a bang while Luthor cleverly sets up an assortment of "lesser" villains for an undisclosed plan.

What's great about his issue is Kennedy's steadfast approach to Big Blue with big punches and impactful speeches. This Superman is motivated by hope and a willingness to fight for honor. Kennedy's Superman is a classic, chivalrous Superman in every sense.

Kennedy's plot begins with Orion and Kalibak arriving on Earth to kidnap Osul because he's the host of the Fire of Olgrun. Apokalips believes such power is too dangerous to be left uncontrolled. Superman, of course, agrees to disagree as Osul is under his care and protection. Mayhem ensues.

What's not so great is the disconnect between Luthor's thread and Superman's thread and the art.

Luthor contacts Metallo and Manchester Black to force their participation in some plan. In isolation, the scenes play out well, and they underscore just how dangerous Luthor can be, but the scenes between Manchester and Metallo don't appear connected, and there's no clue dropped about Luthor's plan. In other words, the Luthor plot and the Superman plot feel like two stories spliced together that don't have anything to do with each other.

Mike Perkins's art is odd in this issue. Figures, faces, and limbs are stretched and distorted in odd ways in several panels. During the opening fight, Superman lands a punch on Kalibak, and Kalibak looks like he's stretched toward the edge of the page. Ambiguous body shapes suit Perkins well in Swamp Thing, but it doesn't work here.


About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces

Action Comics #1049 brings Superman back to classic Superman form with big fights and evil Luthor plans in the making. That said, the Luthor thread feels oddly disconnected from the main plot, and Perkins's weird body distortions don't fit a book starring the Man of Steel.


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