Tag Archives: Superman

Action Comics #1034 Review

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.


Verdict

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!


(Suggested ages 13+ by DC)

Review by Andy Flood, 07/09/21

Action Comics #1033 Review


Review by Andy 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)
Published 27/7/21Published by DC Comics

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!


Verdict

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.


(Suggested ages 13+ by DC)

Review by Andy Flood, 02/08/21


Pre-order Batman ’89 this week and get Superman ’78 for only £2!


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!

Find the deal right HERE on our website.

What is HOT in Wow Comix stores this week?


WOW COMIX STRETFORD

Warhammer section fully re-stocked!

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!

WOW COMIX STOCKPORT

Full Sets

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!

WOW COMIX BURY

Super Sized Batman Funko needs new home!

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!



Action Comics #1032 Review

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.

Verdict

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. 


(Suggested ages 13+ by DC)

Review by Andy Flood, 29/6/21

Action Comics #1031 – Review

Action Comics #1031

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)

This issue greets us with a fantastic cover by Mikel Janin, showing Superman fairly bursting from the page.  It’s a promise of what’s to come inside, and this dynamic scene encapsulates all the excitement from the opening moments of ‘Warworld Rising, Part Two’.

We join Superman and Superboy as they battle to save a refugee ship, beleaguered by a swarm of Warzoon ships intent on bringing it down.  The whole scene is full of classic Superman moments and sets up a good deal of intrigue among the action.  From there, we travel first to The Fortress of Solitude, then on to Atlantis, meeting other iconic DC characters along the way.  Here Superman is almost in detective mode, as he tries to unravel the riddle of the ship’s occupants and their pursuers.

It’s gripping stuff, revealing our nemesis first via brief mentions of his name, then later through displays of fanatical devotion from his followers.  The closing moments of this chapter foreshadow some dark days for Superman and his companions.

Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s writing is superb throughout this issue.  Through skilful use of dialogue and pacing, he entices us with enigmas and builds emotional tension throughout, rewarding us with a genuinely enjoyable read.  We are left wanting to know what happens next, in that way that only a good comic can.  His writing is presented through some great lettering from Dave Sharpe, with clear cues for emphasis and unusual speech patterns.

Meanwhile, Daniel Sampere has taken Johnson’s words and created incredibly cinematic pages with them, using everything from full page splashes to smaller, intimate panels which at times give us a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ feel.  Indeed, we are privy to the musing of god-like beings, and Sampere’s art conveys their stature perfectly.  To flow from a massive action set piece to a more cerebral sequence so effortlessly is no mean feat.  On each page, the art is enhanced by awesome colours from Adriano Lucas.  He uses clever palette changes to ease us into set changes and draw us further into the world on the page.

As if all that weren’t enough, we are then treated to a continuation of a Midnighter story in ‘The Passenger, Part Three’.  The theme of mystery continues here, even giving us some curious references to Warworld.  Becky Cloonan & Michael W. Conrad manage to work a whole lot of story into their comparatively short page count, with bone-crunching action, intrigue and even an emotional exchange between lovers working their way into the mix.  It’s immediately engaging, even without knowledge of prior events and this is a huge testament to the writers’ skill.  The Midnighter is a character shrouded in mystery and is presented here in a dynamic way.

The writing is supported by bold and exciting art from Michael Avon Oeming.  He uses some great layouts here, always appropriate to the moment (and there are a great variety).  Once Taki Soma has applied her wonderful colours to the page, we have a very atmospheric experience to enjoy.  And again, we are left wanting more.

Verdict

This issue of Action Comics is full of things to show people what comics can do.  The creators really play to the strengths of the medium and seem to enjoy their characters and settings.  They have also created something which is inclusive and (aside from moments of violence) is suitable for all ages. If you want big, cinematic action paired with intimacy, intrigue and suspense, then this is the issue to jump in on.  I for one can’t wait to see what the next issue brings!

Review by Andy Flood, 16/6/21