Thousands headed into Stockport town center for a free Comic Con at the weekend. There were dancing Stormstroopers, cosplay champions, hundreds of Spider-Men, comics and costumes galore, and Batman got a Greggs..
We knew Stockport had its fair share of comic and movie fans but WOW (Cough)! What a day! We all want to say a massive thank you to all of you folk who turned out on Saturday. It’s safe to say that it was one of the most fun days to be around the town center in recent memory for us, and perhaps many other local comic and cosplay enthusiasts! We even heard on the grapevine that over 20,000 people had descended on the town over that day. If that’s true that’s bonkers, but it certainly would be no surprise judging by the size of the crowds.
Of course, a mega-thankyou goes out to Totally Stockport, The staff of the Merseyway, Paul Prescott (Funky Figures and North West Comic Conventions), and our own John Webster (Wow Comix and Wow Events) for the arrangements. But also a big thankyou also to Stockport as a whole! The shops around the town and their staff, the families, the wanderers, the cosplayers, and the vendors. There were cameras out and smiles everywhere. It was just so great to see Stockport town center so vibrant on a bright sunny day, especially after such a polarizing couple of years with Covid. Hey, nobody could complain about the lack of masks on Saturday!
Due to us at Wow Comix working for most of the event, we only got a few snaps overall. If you have any photos, we would love to see them and add them to our blog here if possible! Send them over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM our socials!
So, here is a small selection of what we imagine will have been thousands of overall photos taken on the day! Let us know if you spot yourself! (Wait, isn’t that the last thing a crowd of masked Superheroes would ever… Oh, never mind!)
Due to us working for most of the event, we only got a few snaps overall. If you have any photos, we would love to see them and add them to our blog here if possible! Send them over to us at email@example.com or DM our socials!
Justice League offers two stories with marked contrast, each bringing its own strengths to the mix. Both teams share a base of operations but their stories are pleasantly divergent in tone.
Justice League #68
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis (Justice League), Ram V (Justice League Dark) Art: Scott Godlewski (Justice League), Sumit Kumar (J.L.D.) Colours: Gabe Eltaeb (Justice League), Nick Filardi (Justice League Dark) Letters: Josh Reed (Justice League), Rob Leigh (Justice League Dark)
Published by DC Comics November 2021
Justice League #68 seems to be rolling out the red carpet for DC fans and newcomers alike with its cover from David Marquez and Alejandro Sanchez, depicting a huge gathering of heroes outside the newly rebuilt Hall of Justice. There’s Superman offering a welcoming gesture in the foreground and, behind him, members of not only the League but also nods to JLD and other cameos besides. Perhaps even more notably, Batman is smiling. If that doesn’t invite you to read on, then what will?
It’s a really warm piece of art, which depicts the aftermath of recent events in Justice League in just the right way. Comics don’t always have to be full of drama and pathos, after all (at this point, readers of the Justice League Dark backup story will admittedly not connect the vibe of the cover to their favored content!).
As before, the issue opens with Brian Michael Bendis giving readers an ‘in case you missed it’ synopsis page, with mugshots of the prominent heroes within. This is a nice touch for comic fans who might either be taking their first ride with Justice League or are more inclined/able to dip a toe in only every now and again. It also helps younger readers keep track of events; a wise move, in light of the pacing of this title in recent times. In essence, though, it levels the playing field each time and broadens the appeal.
Rejoining our heroes in the aftermath of their battle with Synmar Utopica (think alien Superman gone awry), we find them in a surprising face-off with the United Order (an intergalactic JL). They are debating proper use and control of the Phantom Zone and, even in the wake of such a harrowing battle, tensions are mounting. The resolution of this is interesting and gives a nice insight into Superman’s intergalactic standing.
We then move to a much-needed light relief scene involving Doctor Fate’s mild panic over John Constantine’s transgressions – both real and imagined – while he was in the Tower of Fate looking after Naomi’s parents. These pages serve not only to amuse but also act as a further ‘catch-me-up’ for those needing it (another sign this comic is trying to include newcomers). Meanwhile, the Justice league debrief and set about rebuilding the Hall of Justice (at least, two of them do…).
The second half of the Justice League story involves Checkmate, Green Arrow’s ‘other team’, a group tasked with covert operations/spycraft. We join them as they watch footage of Leo Lane, aka. Daemon Rose, fight multiple Deathstroke’s. This fight follows on from the ambush at the end of the last issue and shows some of Leo’s prowess. The group makeup of Checkmate is interesting, with a particular highlight being The Question (a Steve Ditko creation thought widely to have influenced Alan Moore’s Rorschach). Checkmate seems to be interested in Daemon Rose, be it as a potential threat or ally.
Hints of another shadowy group emerge, one intent on killing the Justice League. Before more can be revealed, all hell breaks loose once again, leaving us wondering what comes next. Until the next issue…
‘United Order’ part 5 brings the intergalactic threat storyline seemingly to a close while expanding on plot seeds planted in recent issues. There’s now a sense that perhaps the mega threat of Synmar Utopica was in fact Bendis’ ‘magician’s assistant’; while we were watching the spectacle, hands were busy at work, building the true threat.
Certainly, his approach to writing Justice League seems to be focused on delivering entertainment with variety, almost in the style of the Saturday morning cartoons. We have big headline characters, with impressive action set pieces, drama, comedy, and cliff-hangers. What new peril will the League face down next?
While the sheer volume of characters involved in his stories might seem off-putting to some, he is careful to offer some guidance for those not fully immersed in the series. This is a commendable approach and is one that might further appeal to a younger audience too.
The writing is supported not only by some fine lettering from Josh Reed but also by a different art team this time, with Scott Godlewski and Gabe Eltaeb working hard to bring us well-defined and dynamic superheroes. Panels are always laid out thoughtfully to enhance the narrative: wide and cinematic when suitable; closer, more intimate for dialogue. Their art is eye-catching and atmospheric throughout and delivers some cool moments.
Speaking of cool moments, the Justice League Dark story has many. ‘The Wrong Way Up’ opens on the catastrophic events facing John Constantine and the company as they try to both stop Merlin and save Atlantis. Matters go from bad to worse as they tackle the many problems and distractions Merlin has left in his wake. Ram V has written this in such a way that even with characters like Constantine, Detective Chimp and Zattana in the mix, we always have the sense that Merlin is several steps ahead of anything our heroes might fathom.
We’re given page after page of excellent reading here, with no end of superlative art depicting some seriously ‘way-out’ moments. The closing page for this issue has some serious nightmare fuel, so be warned…
This run of Justice League Dark has been consistently superb, and all credit is due to the team working on it. It’s clear they’re having great fun with a very cool story and the ‘back-up’ story (as they are sometimes known) stands as a wonderfully contrasting counterpart to the lead.
Justice League offers two stories with marked contrast, each bringing its own strengths to the mix. Both teams share a base of operations but their stories are pleasantly divergent in tone. This issue gets bonus points for a double dose of Constantine, too. There’s something for everyone here, but I’d mention – perhaps in hushed tones – that Justice League Dark is the show-stealer. It’s excellent.
We take a look at seven classic George Perez covers.
A dark cloud has been cast up comic fans from all across the globe recently with the sad news of the impending retirement of the great George Perez.
If the retirement were under better circumstances for George then we have no doubt the same bravado would ensue, but alas it is not the case as it has been forced upon him by way of ill health. Tragically, it has become clear that it does not appear to be getting any better and one week ago CGC announced that on the 31st of January, George Perez would be holding one final, all be it private, signing session.
The impact and influence of George’s work upon the industry is legendary, his stories have become timeless classics and perhaps most impressively of all, many of the characters that he either created or redefined are still considered by many to be the definitive or standard setting versions, something that is backed up often in TV/Movie adaptations in recent years.
This is the start of a short series of articles we will be doing looking at some of our favorite elements from his most popular works. We are looking today at our seven favorite classic covers this time, perhaps an artists best way of becoming a household name of course is doing a classic cover, and George certainly knows how to set us up with something alluring to behold on the shelf, so lets take a look…
Logans Run #1 – (1977)
Perhaps its that totally awesome logo, or that mad dash out of the page that Logan and Jessica are doing in a remarkably Kirby-Kamandi like manner (Michael York-Mandi?), but anyway this cover has imprinted on many a readers memory. A fun little run too, if you like that kind of thing! We do!
The New Teen Titans #1 – (1980)
Iconic to the core. Having all the Titans on the front was always a must, but that badass arrangement around Raven coming towards us as the poor green skinned cannon fodder that’s about to be pummeled would have been an eye catcher for any punter in the shop that day looking for a bit of new DC action.
The Infinity Gauntlet #1 – (1991)
Just look at thing thing… I mean, flash forward thirty odd years and look around at the marketing used for the MCU, the designs on packaging for toys (good ones) and all manner of other things, this really has aged beautifully. Possibly more widely known now that it ever was back in the 90’s, its George’s ability to cram so much, so clearly and without any offence to the eye on any cover that continues to astound today.
Wonder Woman #20 – (1988)
This one may have as much to do with the story than it does the cover art. Without giving much away ‘Who Killed Myndi Mayer’ was a great arc that came at just the right time in the Perez run, with us witnessing Diana’s continuing struggle to find her own moral compass within a confusing new world, and on the back of the grim murder of her eccentric and controversial publicist. This mock newspaper cover was just the right tone needed to carry the story forward, and always sticks out when flicking through the run and brings us to a brief stop, as we pull it out and go “Ah yes… Who was it who killed Myndi again?”
Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 – (1985)
What needs to be said, arguably it doesn’t get more iconic than this. Its always been his most dramatic cover, that’s for sure. First we have that gut wrenching and hopeless pose from Superman, then there is the fact he’s holding his (spoilers) Supergirl, his dead cousin who is drooped in his arms with what on an initial look would be quite graphic injuries for a Superman feature cover from DC 1985. Then finally you have the wave of characters who mourn in the background, silhouetted like an army of the dead. It stinks of failure. Its perfect.
The New Teen Titans #39 – (1984)
There were lots of quality stories going on within the New Teen Titans, but one that was perfectly reflected by its cover was that of issue #39.
Kid Flash, or Wally West rather, formally announces that he is leaving the team and soon after Robin announces that he too is giving up being Robin entirely. It has some subtle emotional twists in the narrative, and despite not being a true classic, it certainly delivers. Much like the cover, which reflects the narrative within really well. You are very much left with an empty feeling, possibly even upset upon finishing the read, and so when turning back to the cover Perez gives us a perfect summery. No background, no jokes, no care or nostalgia for their uniforms at all as Robins costume conveniently hangs rather ominously from the Titans logo. Dramatic indeed.
Wonder Woman #36 – (1989)
I’ve read this run several times and I can’t for the life of me remember what part of the story this covers, however, it matters not. Just look at the cover. Perfectly capturing what feels like the essence of a character in one image. There are loads of brilliant Perez covers in his Wonder Woman run, many with Diana in battle of course, but this one stands out in particular for that incredible expression of harmless joy and the striking angular T pose as she leaps high above her home. This run had its really dark moments, but Perez knew how to treat us with iterations of these characters that we genuinely felt happy for when they were totally happy, and rare times they were indeed. It was the 80’s…
Green Arrow and Black Canary facing overwhelming odds in the form of multiple (!?) Deathstrokes is exactly the sort of high-concept, action packed, crowd pleasing scene we might expect from Justice League.
Justice League #67
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis (Justice League), Ram V (Justice League Dark)
Art: Phil Hester – Pencils, Eric Gapstur – Inks (Justice League), Sumit Kumar (J.L.D.) Colours: Hi-Fi (Justice League), Romulo Fajardo Jr. (Justice League Dark)
Letters: Josh Reed (Justice League), Rob Leigh (Justice League Dark)
Pubished by DC Comics Released 14/9/21
Green Arrow and Black Canary facing overwhelming odds in the form of multiple (!?) Deathstrokes is exactly the sort of high-concept, action packed, crowd pleasing scene we might expect from Justice League. David Marquez and Alejandro Sanchez really deliver with this kinetically charged cover; it’s a crazy piece of choreography and the sort of thing that can only really work in comics.
‘United Order: Part Four’ opens on two contrasting scenes: a moody, Bourne-esque sequence as Leonardo Lane/The Daemon Rose nurses his wounds and gathers his thoughts following his near-deadly encounter with a Deathstroke imposter; meanwhile, the Justice League and The United Order are locked in a mighty battle with the nigh-incalculable might of Synmar Utopica (a Superman analog gone awry from the farthest reaches of the Galaxy).
Even with the recent addition of Black Adam and a new ‘mega power’ from another world, Naomi, the Justice League has been struggling to contain the mighty alien threat. Following his escape from the United Order, he raced to attack Earth and draw out Superman. In the process, the Hall of Justice has fallen. Incredibly, Synmar Utopica seems indomitable, even with the added might of various alien heroes from across the galaxy. His power grows ever stronger, feeding off the might of his opponents. This leads to Batman and Superman resorting to drastic measures…
This Justice League story has been quite high concept and high impact so far, and this chapter is no exception. Just as with the previous story written by Brian Michael Bendis, there are a large number of characters in play, and each gets their own ‘title card’ introduction. This is a great idea for those not familiar with all characters and certainly comes into its own when dealing with members of the United Order. There’s a fair amount to keep track of as more characters enter the fray and yet this remains a title which seems geared toward accessibility, inclusion and popcorn entertainment.
It’s occurred to me while reading previous issues that perhaps Bendis is writing for a younger, or at least newer audience, one accessing comics by way of the DC cinema and TV offerings. Certainly Justice League has been working on this level thus far and has even had tie-in covers with the recent ‘Zach Snyder’ cut of the Justice League film. With an approach that courts mass appeal, Bendis writes huge battles and set-pieces punctuated with classic, comic book style dialogue throughout this action packed issue.
His words are paired with some high intensity art from Phil Hester and Eric Gapstur, coloured here by ‘Hi-Fi’. There’s a bold, slightly angular style which calls to mind some of the DC animated series while also having a tone all its own. Hester’s distinctive renderings are emphasised with sure-handed inks and high-saturation colours. Each art team working on this title thus far has brought its own stamp, and these guys are no exception. It’s a busy story, with some crowded sequences, but they convey proceedings with confidence and skill.
Moving from the high octane, interstellar antics of the main Justice League story to this issue’s instalment of Justice League Dark, we find an entirely different proposition. This story has been phenomenal, so far; lurking in the shadows of the main title, waiting for the unsuspecting reader…
Any comic story that opens on a wide black panel, empty aside from a quote from Algernon Blackwood (a British writer of supernatural stories, admired by many, including H.P. Lovecraft, for those looking to delve further!), is looking to do things a little differently. The JLD are in pursuit of Merlin (yes, the Merlin of Arthurian legend) and hope to stop him from achieving his goal of tapping into some ancient dark power.
We join the action in Atlantis, a city under siege. While John Constantine plays for time with Merlin, Aquaman, Zatana, Etrigan and company fight to defend Atlantis’ borders from multiple sinister threats raised or summoned by Merlin. It’s an action packed episode for this run, almost atypically so, having been at times more cerebral and deeply atmospheric in the past. No matter the pace, however; Justice League Dark delivers on every page, every issue.
With Ram V, at the helm, this run has been immensely enjoyable. Often clever and surprising and unfailingly engaging, Ram V’s story has been a joy to follow. With a motley crew facing down one of the greatest magical beings in this or any other existence, there have been many memorable moments. I’m happy to report that this time out is no exception. Further, Ram V seems to collaborate with some outstanding teams, and the guys working on the art and lettering this issue (as with all previous ones) provide some truly excellent, jaw dropping panels.
Justice League is a title to be enjoyed either by jumping right in and embracing the feeling of not knowing entirely what’s going on, or you can choose to backpedal through a few back issues and play ‘catch-up’. It pretty much works either way, and chances are good you’ll find things to enjoy, as Bendis and the team bring some big-moment super hero story beats to the page. Justice League Dark, meanwhile, can similarly be enjoyed either way but almost certainly would reveal its best version when read in its entirety. It’s a really special title, and one I hope gets a collected edition in the future.
There are some huge moments within this issue, and the team have delivered some pitch-perfect work here. It’s a gripping and satisfying end to an excellent story…
Written by: Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Superman), Sean Lewis (Tales of Metropolis)
Art: Daniel Sampere (Superman), Sami Basri (Tales of Metropolis) Colours: Adriano Lucas (Superman), Ulises Arreola (Tales of Metropolis) Letters: Dave Sharpe (Superman & Tales of Metropolis)
Published by DC Comics Released – 28/9/21
The sixth and seemingly final part of the ‘Warworld Rising’ saga brings us a cover depicting ‘The Goodbye!’, words which can be read in a number of ways, as we see Superman leaving not only Lois and Jon but the Justice League too, if the headline on the paper at Jon’s feet is to be believed. In the wake of events during the stand-off between Atlantis and the surface dwellers, this is not too surprising. It’s a great cover from Daniel Sampere and Alejandro Sanchez, capturing the emotional departure of Superman perfectly.
Reading on and we’re straight into the action as Jon and Supergirl take on Thao-La while Superman whisks Lois to safety. The ensuing explosive battle is complicated further by Mongul’s ongoing insidious interference and eventually leads to Clark seeing this particular nemesis face-to-face.
As Superman and family have a brief respite to recover from the events set in motion by Mongul, discussion turns to what happens next, both within his family and with his ‘other family’, the Justice League. The League visit the Fortress to check on all concerned and confirm that, as things stand, they cannot accompany Superman to Warworld. Batman and Superman share a quiet word, alluding to a second team (this further outlined in Batman/Superman and The Authority #1) while Bruce expresses concern for his friend, Clark.
What follows for the rest of this final chapter are emotional scenes of farewell as Clark says goodbye to Jon and then Lois ahead of his departure for Warworld, with his backup team being fully revealed on the closing page.
In writing this series, Philip Kennedy Johnson has always done an incredible job of balancing plot and character development with spectacular action scenes. We have a huge amount going on each issue and yet never feel overwhelmed. He’s a talented storyteller, juggling a good number of characters, settings and events and weaving a cohesive whole as he goes.
Meanwhile, Dave Sharpe has always supported and enhanced the work of each writer on both main and back-up titles through clear, clever and effective lettering and this issue is no exception. It’s always a pleasure to read when Mr. Sharpe is helping guide our way.
Further guiding us are the excellent panel layouts, which hold some of the most striking art you could hope to see in a superhero title. Daniel Sampere conveys super humans in really effective ways, with dynamic poses, judicial use of exaggerated anatomy and clean, confident line work. The end result is stunning, especially when paired with gorgeous colour work from Adriano Lucas. This issue in particular is a stand-out one for Mr. Lucas, as he takes the spectrum and makes it his own, using light to reinforce the emotional impact of each scene.
There are some huge moments within this issue, and the team have delivered some pitch-perfect work here. It’s a gripping and satisfying end to an excellent story.
Replacing Midnighter as the backup story is ‘Tales of Metropolis’. Our first tale is ‘The Guardian’, brought to us by a team who seem ready to have a lot of fun. In this opening story, they mine the rich vein of urban myth and folklore and emerge with something very much of the present day. We join Jimmy Olsen in detective mode, with trench coat to boot, as he investigates stories of kids getting involved in something called the ‘Cloud Game’ and subsequently going missing.
It’s clear something dark and dangerous is afoot, and so he enlists the help of Guardian. As more kids fall prey to the high-tech ouija board and the malevolent villain Dismember, Olsen and Guardian race to save them and stop the situation from getting worse.
This is a strong opener for Tales of Metropolis. The story is fast paced and well written, with convincing dialogue and a good sense of character from the pen of writer Sean Lewis. Olsen’s narration via internal monologue works well here, serving to take us down those mean streets of Metropolis with him as he searches for the missing kids.
Art is dynamic and expressive, with a clean, well executed style which renders the characters in a really pleasing way. As I look at Sami Basri and Ulises Arreola’s work, I see some hints of manga/anime influences blended in with a distinctly modern western style and, especially when considered along with the colours, the art could easily be the basis for the look of another run of animated shorts (Tales of Metropolis was a series of animated shorts featuring some of said city’s more notable characters). Basri’s characters are lively and engaging, and each panel has gorgeous and vivid colours from Arreola, making for a great first outing.
Here’s an issue where we see the close of one story and greet the start of another. It’s an easy recommendation, as the closing of Superman’ story contains some unforgettable and classic moments. Meanwhile, the new Jimmy Olsen and Guardian tale has plenty to offer and feels both a contrast and compliment to the lead story. Action Comics remains a really nice title in the DC lineup. If you haven’t done so before, consider jumping on board, as new storylines begin.
We pick up with Lois facing off against the Warzoon, fanatical followers of Mongul. She is joined in the fray by Thao-La, who is still trying to cast off the influence of her tormentors. Things quickly descend into chaos…
Action Comics #1034 Review by Andy Flood
Written by: Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Superman), Becky Cloonan & Michael W. Conrad (Midnighter)
Art: Christian Duce (Superman), Michael Avon Oeming (Midnighter)
Colours: Adriano Lucas (Superman), Taki Soma (Midnighter)
Letters: Dave Sharpe (Superman & Midnighter)
Published by DC Comics Released: 24/8/21
‘Attack on the House of El!’ is the dramatic tagline emblazoned on the cover of Action Comics #1034 and it’s paired with some equally eye catching artwork from Daniel Sampere and Alejandro Sanchez. Our gaze is first drawn to a high angle shot of Superman as he makes a shocking discovery then to two figures looming large in the shadows above; Thao-La, seemingly thrall to Mongul.
For those following the story so far, this will act as a clarion call to open up and read on, as events leading to ‘Warworld Rising Part 5’ have been building up to something big. Maybe that something big is starting to happen? We pick up with Lois facing off against the Warzoon, fanatical followers of Mongul. She is joined in the fray by Thao-La, who is still trying to cast off the influence of her tormentors. Things quickly descend into chaos.
Meanwhile, Superman still seeks to resolve mounting tensions between the surface dwellers and Atlantis. His chosen actions here will no doubt have consequences in the future… What follows is a frantic return to the Fortress once Superboy, Supergirl and Superman share the joint realisation that all is not well. What unhappy fate awaits them?
This issue, while having cover art from Sampere, features a new interior artist, Christian Duce. Immediately, his work dazzles with dynamic figures depicted in hyper-kinetic scenes of battle. Paired with the always excellent eye-candy colours of Adriano Lucas, this issue is a visual feast. While Duce retains the feel of Sampere’s work on previous issues, he leaves his own mark here with panel after panel of action and excitement. At one point, we even get a double page splash which is hugely memorable and entirely ‘Superman’. Sound effects are writ large throughout and the emotional impact of Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s superb story is shown to great effect in the close shot panels. It must have been intimidating to take over from Daniel Sampere, but Duce has done so with style.
Johnson’s writing on this series has been impressive throughout, controlling pacing with an expert hand and guiding us through quick fire events with a clear sense of where he is leading us. He knows when to let the action speak for itself while also being a fine judge of just how much to build the tension and suspense. There’s always a feeling of even more things to come, which is one of the elements that can be most enjoyable when reading comics.
As we rejoin Midnighter and Miracle Man in the recursive time loop events of ‘The Passenger’, we see them busting their way through Trojan’s complex. They wise crack as they go and trade on one another’s strengths and abilities as they tackle obstacles and crazy cultists. Their dialogue is great fun to read as they move from one crazy panel to the next.
This action-packed chapter is a great showcase for the talents of the creative team to shine through. Seeing great writing come together with bold, inventive art and create a unique experience for us readers is something I always look forward to when opening a new issue of a comic. The Midnighter team really deliver some great entertainment here and the mutual respect the creators have for one another’s input is always readily apparent.
Action Comics reliably delivers two immensely enjoyable stories, both with a different feel, both equally cool. There’s page after page showing what super hero comics can offer and it will no doubt please fans both old and new. It is, once again, highly recommended. Now to look forward to both issue #1035 and the Midnighter Special, where his story concludes!
The first notable thing when picking up this issue is the new logo. It’s been overhauled by Darran Robinson, who has done a great job of encapsulating (in his words) 82 years of history. It’s a logo with a modern feel which still manages to echo ages past. The cover title ‘Under Siege’ refers to some of the story to follow and pairs well with further clues reflected in the excellent cover art.
The cover is handled on this occasion by the team of Daniel Sampere (also interior artist) and Alejandro Sanchez (colours). We have Superman in a determined pose, framed by Thao-La and a great depiction of Lois channeling strong ‘Ripley from Aliens’ vibes (foreshadowing a great scene she has later in the book). All this is set against the backdrop of Atlantean preparations for war. Anyone who has been reading thus far will know by now that tensions are mounting. It’s another great cover for this run, promising a good read.
And it’s no empty promise; there’s a lot to take in during this issue, with events moving pretty quickly. ‘Warworld Rising Part 4’ opens with scenes of espionage, as we witness two high-tech camouflaged figures infiltrate the crashed alien ship held by the Atlanteans. It’s a really atmospheric sequence, which leads us headlong into a face-off now made considerably worse. As the Justice League debate events and the best course of action (in itself making for some very cool pages), Jon and Lois are meanwhile trying their best to accommodate the refugee Thao-la as she struggles to adjust to her new situation. Tensions soon escalate even further, as the surface forces of Earth and the Atlanteans teeter on the brink of war and the Warzoon attack Thao-La at the behest of Mongul and his cronies.
If this sounds like too much to take in, fear not; Phillip Kennedy Johnson has done a fine job of making sure we are never lost, instead providing us with a truly enjoyable thrill ride. He delivers on the promises of both the cover and events of preceding issues while keeping multiple plates spinning in truly entertaining fashion. The dialogue is superb throughout, often being highly emotive, and we are with both him and the characters every step of the way until the closing panel.
Daniel Sampere’s art is, once again, just what the book needs. He gives us dynamic action, imposing superheroes and dark, mysterious bad guys. He etches lines of tension into the character’s faces, and draws us further into the drama unfolding. There are numerous occasions throughout this issue where a feeling of Sampere’s original pencils shine through, something I personally love to see, as the shading lines and contours are further enhanced by subsequent inks and colours.
And what colours they are! Once again, Adriano Lucas treats us to hugely atmospheric palettes, always giving us a firm sense of place and expanding our levels of excitement. The colours are bright and dynamic and support the story perfectly.
We have more excellent colours from Taki Soma as we move on to the Midnighter story in this issue. Her choices are always fresh, and support Michael Avon Oeming’s striking art in a hugely complimentary fashion. The writing duo of Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad have written a story which showcases the strengths of the medium. It’s high concept and has a touch of the bizarre yet the creative team work together so well that it entertains and impresses each and every time.
The pairing of Midnighter and Mister Miracle works very well here and introduces a comedic element that plays well through their dialogue as the action unfolds. It’s another jam packed instalment, and the creative team here ensure that every panel pops and every line engages. This Midnighter run feels very new and fresh and serves as a great companion piece to the lead story.
Dave Sharpe letters both stories again and, as ever, his work is clean, clear and well considered. It really makes a difference when a comic is as easy to read as it is to look at or scan over. Thank you, Mr. Sharpe!
Everything about issue #1033 of Action Comics impresses, from cover to closing page. We have two excellent companion titles to enjoy and are spoilt by a wealth of great art and storytelling. It’s one of those comics which has you reading along thinking, “what happens next?” while feeling no small dose of excitement. If you haven’t done so already, give Action Comics a try. There’s a lot to like here.
That’s right folks, Batman ’89 and Superman ’78 are on the way, and what better way to celebrate the revisiting of these absolute classics…
That’s right folks, Batman ’89 and Superman ’78 are on the way, and what better way to celebrate the revisiting of these absolute classics than to offer you the chance to save a little and pick up Superman ’78 #1 for only £2 when buying the two!
You will also find the variants on the website, however this offer is for these standard covers, which are pretty cool looking I must admit. Is it just me or does the idea of revisiting this era leave you with a little nostalgic grin? I mean, that looks to me like Gene Hackman and Margot right there, and… and that is very much a Keaton chin of course on the Batman cover.
It’s going to be a trip down memory lane by the looks of it! Get onboard and pre-order now, the offer only extends until the end of the week!
Lots of great 40,000 and Sigmar sets available in our Stretford store. Check out the great value starter sets and for those of you needing that extra shade or two will be happy to see that our paint rack is back to being fully stocked too!
A load of great value and collection worthy full sets are on display in Stockport right now. Stories such as the iconic All Star Superman, Civil War, Green Lantern Rebirth and Alien: Earth Hive, and many more are all in excellent condition and waiting for you now!
As much as we would love too, we can’t keep this guy hanging around, he’s just too big and he’s blocking out our R2-D2 display, so you can take him home for only £90 this week! (That’s the cheapest anywhere around!)
COMIC OF THE WEEK!
The New Mutants #98 – First Deadpool!
A fine copy for reading or grading, only a faint crease in the bottom right hand corner would keep this beauty of the absolute top tier with regards to quality. Copies like this are going for between £350 and £450 right now, and over the next we days we are offering it too you for only £200!!! Head to our Stockport store to have a look!
Colours from Adriano Lucas are just as striking as the cover and deliver page after page of spectacle. There are some huge moments in this issue, and they are executed with style.
Action Comics #1032 Review By Andrew Flood
Written by: Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Superman), Becky Cloonan & Michael W. Conrad (Midnighter) Art: Daniel Sampere (Superman), Michael Avon Oeming (Midnighter) Colours: Adriano Lucas (Superman), Taki Soma (Midnighter) Letters: Dave Sharpe (Superman & Midnighter)
Storm swept seas are the stage for a titanic battle on this issue’s cover. Mikel Janin has produced another excellent cover here, with both Superman and Aquaman really popping against the backdrop of their gargantuan foes.
Once inside, we rejoin the story inside the Fortress of Solitude, where Supergirl and Lois continue to unravel the mystery of the refugees. Along with Superman, they try to talk to one of the survivors and reassure her. These scenes show some of the strong empathy and kindness which make these characters both endearing and relatable. Meanwhile, events take a more sinister turn in Atlantis as the mystery shard is investigated, leading to a huge crisis and hinting at more terrible things to come.
While Superman is paying a visit to another member of the Justice League requesting help, they hear of a new threat (resulting from the events in Atlantis). A spectacular and truly epic battle ensues, during which Superman uncovers more pieces of the puzzle. An unexpected arrival in the wake of this battle leads to hints of even further strife in the future.
The pacing of this issue is once again superb and keeps us turning the page, eager to find out what happens next. Phillip Kennedy Johnson shows great command of dialogue throughout, particularly during the scenes involving the refugee. As his story reveals answers to some of our questions, we also encounter new enigmas and are left wondering what our heroes will face next.
Dave Sharpe provides lettering for both stories and his work is on point once again, ensuring that our reading experience is effortless and clear.
The interior art from Daniel Sampere and colours from Adriano Lucas are just as striking as the cover and deliver page after page of spectacle. There are some huge moments in this issue, and they are executed with style.
Meanwhile, the backup story centred on The Midnighter conveys its own sense of style, with impressive art from Michael Avon Oeming and bold colours from Taki Soma. There’s some really inventive panel layouts, with visual elements recalling some of the weird machinery dreamt up by Jack Kirby in his art. All of this serves an intricate plot and scenes of stark contrast as Midnighter struggles to escape an infinite time travel loop and the machinations of Trojan. The writers (Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad) guide us from a thoughtfully written discussion of relationships between Midnighter and Trojan through to scenes of cold disconnect as we witness some of the horrors wrought by our bad guy. Once again, this creative team really deliver.
This issue of Action Comics is full of the great things that make superhero comics so much fun to read. There are incredible scenes and exchanges which fuel the imagination and keep us coming back for more. This title is proving to be a great ‘gateway’ comic which offers a lot for those wanting to read more about some of the DC heroes they know from cinema and TV. That we get two excellent stories each time makes this one really easy to recommend.