Mild Mannered Reviews - Action Comics

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Action Comics #1053

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 28, 2023
Cover date: May 2023

Cover: Steve Beach
Variant Covers: Steve Beach, Lee Weeks, Rafa Sandoval, Nathan Szerdy, Lucio Parrillo And Eleonora Carlini

Reviewed by: James Lantz
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Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Rafa Sandoval

Metallo's Blue Earth cyborgs have attacked Steel. The rest of the Superfamily, including Superman is fighting them. Metallo believes Superman has hidden his sister thanks to someone who may or may not be her telling him so via messages coming to him within his mind. There have also been orders from someone claiming to be Lex Luthor guiding Metallo's actions. Now, Supergirl has Kryptonite in her bloodstream thanks to the Army of Metallo.

While S.T.A.R. Labs studies a surviving Blue Earth Cyborg, Superman confronts Lex Luthor in Stryker's Island. Both men surmise that the voices Metallo is hearing are driving him insane, making it more imperative that he be found soon. They do well to be concerned, for Metallo is losing his grip on reality as he's ordered to kill the Superfamily. To complicate matters further, Otho seems to have attacked Metropolis and killed someone.

5Story - 5: I haven't read the new Superman series yet, but I will. That said, Phillip Kennedy Johnson continues to make this the best Superman-related monthly comic out now. He has added a lot of depth to every character while crafting a fantastic story. Metallo especially comes off more just a cybernetic gangster. That's long overdue. I've really looked forward to this series since Johnson took on the writing duties, and every issue, in general, makes me impatient for the next one. I really haven't felt like that about a comic in a long time.

4Art - 4: There are still panels here and there that look like too much ink was used. Maybe Rafa Sandoval or DC Comics have a surplus of ink. This doesn't mean I don't like the art. I just feel some things are overly darkened. That suits some of the more shadowy characters and settings of the DC Universe. It doesn't quite fit a Superbook.

"Home Again" - Part 3

Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Lee Weeks

Without knowing where the Kents live, Doombreaker has been drawn to the area by the crystal Jon had. Meanwhile, Jon Kent and Princess Glyanna head for the planet P'luhnn. Glyanna's family has been blamed for her world's recently limited resources. Thus, civil war has broken out. Fearing for her life, Glyanna sought Superman. She has the son of the Man of Steel to aid her. He does so while Doombreaker finds the crystal to complete his transformation. At the same time, Jon's assistance has led to the ship on which he and Glyanna are captive to inadvertently crash land.

5Story - 5: This really deserves a monthly book of its own, one that could possibly even retcon some of the mess made by accelerating Jon's growth to adulthood. They've done that with Franklin Richards. Why not do the same with Jon Kent? Anyhow, this story is perhaps one of the best in recent comics. Give this feature a full-fledged comic series, DC.

5Art - 5: To call Lee Weeks' art "Stupendous" is a grievous understatement. It's great having him and Jurgens on a story together.

"Head Like A Hole" - Part 3

Writer: Leah Williams
Artist: Marguerite Sauvage

In an effort to figure out who is after Power Girl, she and Omen ask Jon Kent for help. Within his mind's language centers, a code similar to what was found in Beast Boy and Supergirl is discovered. However, in the process of doing this, Johnny Sorrow is released. What his plans for Power Girl are will be covered in the upcoming Power Girl Special.

4Story - 4: The story is getting better. However, changing characters in each chapter does feel sudden. I would have liked that to have been slightly more gradual and see how Beast Boy and Supergirl were after their sessions with Omen and Power Girl. All in all, this feature has been better than expected in spite of some flaws. Hopefully, the Power Girl Special will address all the things I've pointed out when it's released.

4Art - 4: The art style is great for this feature, but I'm picky about S shields. The ones drawn in this look oddly off.

4Cover Art - 4: My only problem with this cover is the blurb's words ruin the impact of its image. It's otherwise perfect, but writing something on it seems like overkill to me.

5Variant Cover Art - 5: These variants are a vast improvement to some from the last couple months of this new direction. I still say there needs to be more focus on the content within comic books instead of multiple covers. Yet, the images used are beautifully drawn, painted, colored, etc.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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