Action Comics #1029
Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 23, 2021
Cover date: May 2021
Reviewed by: James Lantz
“The Golden Age” – Part 2
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Penciller: Phil Hester
Inker: Eric Gapstur
Cover: Phil Hester
Variant Cover: Julian Totino Tedesco
Clark and Jon have been fighting the aliens coming out of the dimensional rift opened by S.T.A.R. Labs. Amanda Waller has been using these battles to test the effects on Superman, who seems more vulnerable to these creatures’ attacks than his son. Clark intends to have a serious talk with S.T.A.R. Labs and Waller. Jon fears that this will be the mission in which his father will die even if 31st Century historical records are unclear. However, Clark knows that there comes a time when every child must see their parents’ fall. Jon must step out of Clark’s shadow, but Superman will always be a part of Superboy’s life. Meanwhile, Mongul and his minions are monitoring the Kents’ tussle with the insect-like aliens. He knows Superman is dying. Yet, the cause is unclear. In spite of this and Jon Kent being immune to these monsters’ melees, Mongul still believes Superman is a greater threat to his plans.
Story – 5: While some moments seem to repeat the previous chapter, that is kind of necessary if you haven’t read Superman #29. It also gives more impact to Jon’s worry over his father. It adds to the character moments that are the point to “The Golden Age”. Phillip Kennedy Johnson has some big shoes to fill after Brian Michael Bendis left the main books. However, he’s off to a good start with this one. I have faith Johnson will continue making his run a fun one as he progresses through the Kents’ lives.
Art – 5: My first reading of this made me hate the art because I didn’t like Hester’s Hulk in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up. He looked too much like Fred Flintstone for my taste. My second read through helped me like what he’s drawing for Superman.
“The Passenger” – Part One
Writers: Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad
Penciller: Michael Avon Oeming
Inker: Michael Avon Oeming
From a possible future, Midnighter comes to the present to clean up the streets of Metropolis. With a supercomputer in his head, he’s taking out bad guys and leaving a body count. The A.I. is communicating mentally with Midnighter. His vocal outbursts worry his love Apollo. That love may not last long if Midnighter listens to the supercomputer’s suggestions, for it feels the vigilante should purge the impediment of emotions. Apollo wonders if Midnighter is okay after hearing angered responses from the next room.
Story – 5: I am familiar with Michael W. Conrad’s work, BUT I haven’t had a chance to read any of it before now. I loved Becky Cloonan’s run on The Punisher. This story feels very similar to that with some Terminator influence mixed in. That makes the story fun even though it’s also grim and gritty. All those elements work perfectly with the internal character moments. Midnighter could have come off as a Punisher or Gangbuster knockoff. However, Cloonan and Conrad make him so much more. Now, let’s see if Midnighter can’t team up with Superman in the future.
Art – 5: The choice in artists surprised me. I’m a fan of Oeming’s work. He provided perfect visuals for this.
Cover Art – 5: Like the main story’s interior art, this took time to warm up to. Had this been say, a comic featuring the Hulk or Batman, the style wouldn’t work at all.
Variant Cover Art – 5: I was reminded of the Kellogg’s Pep ads I saw online with Superman when I saw this one. I love it.
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