Action Comics #1048
Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 25, 2022
Cover date: December 2022
“Kal-El Returns” – Chapter Three: “Olgrun’s Heir”
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Mike Perkins
Cover: Steve Beach
Variant Covers: David Lapham, Rafael Sarmento And Riccardo Federici
Reviewed by: James Lantz
Metallo has a new body thanks to Lex Luthor. However, he wants no part of Luthor’s plan. He prefers to remain in Stryker’s Island. Meanwhile, Otho-Ra and Osul-Ra are with Lois and Bibbo at the Metropolis Zoo while Kal ponders the Warworlders’ future and investigates a mysterious energy signature in space. The gods of both Apokolips and New Genesis are on Earth. They want to know why Superman awakened the First God during the trials of Olgrun. That very act could possibly bring the wrath of the New Gods upon the Earth.
Osul-Ra could have died had Superman not used the fire of Olgrun to save him. However, he may have inadvertently turned the young Phaelosian into a New God. Orion wants to take him for training. This reminds Superman of when Jor-El took Jon. He also feels he’s breaking his promise to both Otho and Osul. Yet, these beliefs lead to the start of a conflict between Superman and the New Gods while the world wonders what the outcome will be.
Story – 5: I was unaware of this being a crossover with “Superman: Son of Kal-El” until last week. My recent writing deadlines have prevented me from keeping up with new comics news as much as I’d really like. I wish I could get into “Son of Kal-El”. However, I can’t. The title did start out well, but somewhere along the way, it began to feel more like a title with Jon Kent as a guest star. That said, I’ll get on with “Action Comics”.
In recent superhero comics, actions have not had any consequences due to poor writing. Phillip Kennedy Johnson is one of the few writers who has first, gotten a book’s main character right and, secondly, shown that things Superman does, in spite of their intentions could come back to tug on his cape in the end. I’ve lamented about pacing in some issues of his run, but I blame that more on editorial decisions than on Johnson himself. I feel like he has a brilliant grasp of Superman and his part of the DC Universe. This issue really proves this, and it shows how well he can handle situations such as the New Gods’ arrival on Earth. Let’s hope this leads to Johnson on a New Gods title with the return of my all-time favorite villain, Darkseid.
Art – 4: The art seems to suit a Batman or Daredevil comic better than a Superman book. However, it’s good nonetheless. Luthor and Metallo look rushed and off in their scenes, and some panels would look better at another angle or with different lighting.
“Red Moon” – Part Two
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: David Lapham
Chaytil, the oldest of the Warzoons, plans to use an Orphan Box to destroy Earth. The House of El is combing the planet to find him before is plans succeeds. Kara Zor-El and Thao-La are protecting Metropolis. Chaytil is under the city with the intention to make its populace pay for Superman’s actions.
Story – 5: I’m enjoying the back-ups with the House of El immensely. They are the perfect addition to this title.
Art – 5: Lapham put his best foot forward with this chapter. He and Phillip Kennedy Johnson are the perfect creative team.
Cover Art – 5: Okay, Superman can look like the Joker if you turn the cover at a certain angle. Still, Beach’s slightly exaggerated style works perfectly.
Lapham Variant Cover Art – 5: I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Lapham’s art lately. This variant is the perfect tribute to the nearly eight and a half decades of Superman’s history.
Sarmento Variant Cover Art – 3: Supes’ head and the image lighting looks off and ruins the art that could be great.
Federici Variant Cover Art – 5: Seeing this is a sketch variant, it’s really good at showing the beginning of an image.
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