Mild Mannered Reviews - Action Comics

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Action Comics #1056

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 27, 2023
Cover date: August 2023

Cover: Steve Beach
Variant Covers: Rafa Sandoval, David Talaski, Juanjo Lopez and Otto Schmidt

Reviewed by: James Lantz
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"Ex Machina"

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Rafa Sandoval and Max Raynor

Though neither wishes to hurt the other, John and Tracy Corben are fighting each other while the Cyborg Superman battles the actual Man of Steel. The rest of the Superfamily aside from Steel is weakened due to the amounts of Kryptonite in the area. The underground refugee camps will be destroyed, Metropolis overrun by drones, and the Super Twins will be the Cyborg Superman's next victims if Superman does not find a way to stop the cybernetic foe.

As Connor Kent and Steel deal with the drones, Metallo uses his Warrworld upgrades and Kryptonite heart to rip apart the Cyborg Superman's new body while Henshaw's mind remains in the Phantom Zone. Superman helps Tracy Corben, allowing her and John to reunite. Whatever the future holds for Metallo, he may very well do good thanks to his sister and the Superfamily. Our heroes may not get time to celebrate, however. Knight Terrors are coming to the DC Universe.

5Story - 5: It's no secret that I've lost hope with most current comics, and I tend to be overly opinionated about how awful I feel a lot of them have been in the past couple of years or so. Yet, Joshua Williamson and Phillip Kennedy Johnson have provided the light in the darkness with their work lately. This was not too long or too short of a story arc. It had the perfect blend of character moments and action. Johnson proves he has an amazing understanding of Superman and his world. His run on this title gives me hope for whatever he plans for the Hulk at Marvel. I look forward to what he'll do next for this book as well. Many new writers could learn a thing or two from Phillip Kennedy Johnson.

4Art - 4: Faces seem off in some images, and art styles clash. This makes looking at the art hard on the eyes. It's still good, hence the rating. Yet, the flaws do stick out like a sore thumb.

"Home Again" - Part 6

Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Lee Weeks

With Lois watching over Doombreaker, who is in stasis, Superman has been brought to P'luhnn. He refuses to help Glyanna. Yet he does keep rebels and the bratty dictator from killing each other. This is to allow his super senses to find Jon in the lead prison where Glyanna put him. Jon makes noise loud enough for his father to hear, but Glyanna is wise to the plan. She cuts off all the oxygen in Jon's cell. This increases the boy's efforts, though they may not be enough. Jon loses consciousness.

5Story - 5: This chapter does take a slightly predictable route, but that doesn't stop it from being a great read. I've been enjoying this series since its return, and I still hope DC comes to their senses and allows it to have a bigger format like a monthly book or another mini-series. Dan Jurgens proves yet again why he's still among the best creators in the business with this feature.

5Art - 5: Weeks' style has gotten a bit rougher in recent years. However, that shows a maturity in the art, and it works perfectly for this series.

"Steel: Engineer of Tomorrow" - Part 3

Writer: Dorado Quick
Artist: Yasmin Flores Montanez

NMister Terrific, Steel's silent partner in Steelworks, wonders what John will do for himself. He responds by saying he's using his tech to save lives is what he wants and needs to do to balance out what Amertek did with his knowledge. He continues to do this when he faces Amalgam without his armor and armed with his hammer. John stops himself from nearly killing Amalgam thanks to Mister Terrific, and the cyborg is sent to prison. Yet, who sent Amalgam to combat Steel?

To be continued in "Steelworks #1"...

5Story - 5: Michael Dorn is the definitive voice of Steel. I even told him so when I met him at a Star Trek convention in 2006. It's his voice I hear every time I read a comic featuring the character. In fact with Dorn as Steel and LeVar Burton as Mister Terrific, you'd have the perfect cast for a Steel animated series. I'm rambling, but hearing the right voice for a character helps the enjoyment of the story. I enjoyed this immensely, and it's the perfect lead-in to "Steelworks," especially if you are a Steel fan like me.

5Art - 5: Yasmin Flores Montanez is truly underrated as an artist, particularly on Supertitles. I'd love to see Montanez work on Phillip Kennedy Johnson's stories in this title.

5Cover Art - 5: I missed Steve Beach's covers. I love his style that mixes all ages of Superman with fun and action.

5Variant Cover Art - 5: The art on these variants is fantastic. I'll leave it at that, as I'm sure people are tired of my complaining.

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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