Action Comics #1000
Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 18, 2018
Cover date: June 2018
Cover: Jim Lee
Variant Covers: Various
Reviewed by: Mario Bennese
Since this is a collection of short stories, I’ll do my best to summarize each as succinctly as possible.
For the City That Has Everything:
Superman returns to Earth after stopping an alien invasion in process. The entire city of Metropolis has gathered to celebrate and honor their hometown hero.
Vandal Savage sends Superman through time where the Man of Steel lives through his various incarnations over the years.
An Enemy Within:
Maggie Sawyer and the Metropolis Police Department try to handle a hostage situation at a school while Superman is off taking care of a Brainiac mind control situation.
Butch Matson, the man whose car is famously smashed on the cover of Action Comics #1, is revisited by the Man of Steel. Superman gives him a pep talk, encouraging him to not let his rough past define him.
The Fifth Season:
Superman is called to an observatory by Lex Luthor who currently possesses tools to remove certain bloodlines from the time stream. Lex remembers his youth, studying the heavens and hoping for someone to save him from his rough home life. Hero and villain share a moment of humanity as they observe the stars.
In the future, Earth prepares to meet its fiery death. The human race has been evacuated to another planet. Superman returns to Earth for one last time to visit the graves of Jonathan and Martha Kent.
Clark Kent has a story due in five minutes, but gets preoccupied by various situations around Metropolis requiring his attention.
A theme park presents the life story of Superman, right up to his heroic death which…hasn’t been thought up yet. The whole theme park exists in the imagination of Mr. Mxyzptlk, who admits to holding a certain fondness for the Action Ace.
Faster Than A Speeding Bullet!:
Superman races against time to save a woman from being shot. The woman takes action to help herself, allowing Superman to help her.
Superman engages in battle with new villain Rogol Zaar.
Story – 5: Now this is how you celebrate the Man of Steel! This is absolutely the level of fanfare I was expecting with an issue this big. The stories perfectly capture the spirit of Superman and I was smiling ear to ear as I read the issue. There are some stories I like more than others, but on the whole, I’ve gotta give this a perfect score. If I had to pick my favorites, I absolutely loved the stories Faster Than a Speeding Bullet, Of Tomorrow, The Car, Never-Ending Battle, and For the City That Has Everything.
Faster Than a Speeding Bullet was nerve-wracking. I was legitimately on the edge of my seat and worried that Superman wouldn’t make it in time to save the day. It was so good I actually went back and reread it.
Of Tomorrow made me cry. I love Tom King’s run on Batman and I loved when he briefly had Superman in the book. This short story makes me want him to do a Superman story even more than I already did. Superman returning to Earth one final time to pay his respects to his parents is the most Clark Kent thing I’ve seen in a while. It’s beautiful, haunting, and deeply touching.
The Car won me over initially for the novelty of it focusing on the aftermath of Superman’s encounter with Butch Matson in the very first issue of Action Comics. Then the true story began with Superman providing words of wisdom, and some very good advice. Regardless of if it’s considered canon, it brings a bit of a softness to the rather rough-n-ready Superman of the Golden Age.
Never-Ending Battle doesn’t have that deep of a story, but I’m a sucker for seeing the various incarnations of Superman back-to-back. For the City That Has Everything also hits the right notes for me, celebrating how inspiring Superman is. I don’t have any other particular reason than me enjoying my favorite hero be commended for the work he does. Over the past decade or so, a lot of stories have involved people reacting fearfully towards a character which really shouldn’t be feared. It’s just nice to see him celebrated in the DCU.
The other stories are just fine and also made me smile, but not as much as the ones I just discussed. This issue also includes the first taste of Bendis’ Superman and, although it’s brief and doesn’t properly give the reader a chance to fully determine whether his run will be good, it does kick things off nicely with an intriguing cliff-hanger.
Bravo, DC and all creators involved in the creation of this landmark issue! A special thanks goes out to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster for creating Superman and in turn inspiring countless generations of heroes. Here’s to the next 1,000 issues!
Art – 4: With anthology books like these, you can expect the art to be different from story to story. The art in this book is for the most part consistently stellar, but The Fifth Season is the one story with art that just didn’t click with me. It wasn’t bad, but I also didn’t think it was up to par with the other work present. Diving into each story and discussing the art would be rather time-consuming and would make this review a rather lengthy read, so suffice it to say that the big name artists do what they do best.
It’s also neat to see some new Curt Swan art, though none of the pages feature any new drawing of the Man of Steel.
Cover Art – 5: I adore this cover. It’s Superman as I love to see him: Smiling, cape flapping, Metropolis behind him, and in that iconic hands-on-hips pose that we have all recreated at some point or another. That’s Superman!
Variant Cover Art – 5: Because there are so many retailer-exclusive variants, I’m only going to cover the decades covers. Each of these variants perfectly capture the spirit of the Superman comics during their respective time periods. I have some that I like more than others, but at the end of the day, I still shelled out for all of them.
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