Action Comics #1049
Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 22, 2022
Cover date: January 2023
“Kal-El Returns” – Chapter Five: “The Fight Ahead”
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Mike Perkins
Cover: Steve Beach
Variant Covers: Mario “Fox” Foccillo and Nathan Szerdy
Reviewed by: James Lantz
Lex Luthor has made a deal with Metallo. In exchange for his help, Corben’s sister, who is in prison for murdering her boyfriend and his drug dealer, will get a sympathetic judge during her trial. Meanwhile, Bibbo and Osul-Ra help innocent bystanders while Superman fights Orion and Kalibak. Desaad tries to take Osul with disastrous results as the Fire of Olgrun nearly kills the New God of Apokolips. This and the new powers frighten Osul. Hopefully, reassurances from Superman can help him before he completely loses control.
The New Gods have promised to find a way to extract the Fire of Olgrun from Osul-Ra whether he survives or not. Superman promises that he and his family will protect Osul and Otho-Ra with every fibre of their beings. Now, Kal-El must plan his next move while returning to Warworld. He promises the refugees there that they will always be a part of the House of El even when they return to their home planets. They may even fight alongside Superman and his family in the future. That future may come sooner than anyone realizes, for in addition to the New Gods, Lex Luthor is getting ready for something that requires Metallo to escape Stryker’s Island. The mole whom Luthor has apparently killed for not following his orders… Manchester Black was working for Luthor since he joined The Authority.
Story – 5: While I do hope this arc doesn’t run as long as previous one in this series, I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of each chapter so far. Phillip Kennedy Johnson seems to understand the subjects he writes about in a way few new writers do these days. “Action Comics” continues to be the best of the Super monthly books thanks to his stories. My only complaint would be more editorial, as it feels like the powers that be decide on certain things that caused later books “The Warworld Saga” to suffer somewhat. Johnson himself has done a fantastic job as of this review, and I hope he continues to do so.
Art – 4: This issue’s art looks extremely overinked. This makes details look too obscured in what is otherwise a well drawn main story.
“Red Moon” – Part Three
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: David Lapham
Kara Zor-El must save Metropolis while Thao-La’s fledgling superpowers defeat Chaytil and destroy his Orphan Box, thereby making his monsters useless for his plans. Weeks later on Warworld, Thao-La feels regret for chaining Chaytil in prison. However, she may lament her regrets when other Warzoons arrive to liberate him.
Story – 5: I’m curious to see what happens as a result of the last couple of panels in this one. The story and the back-up series, like the main serial, is incredible. I hope Johnson stays with this title for a long time.
Art – 5: Lapham really should be doing the story’s art in this title. His style shows a pure understanding of Superman, his supporting cast and the environments of that part of the DC Universe.
Cover Art – 5: The art itself is excellent. I’d just have chosen some other image to convey the same sentiments.
Foccillo Variant Cover Art – 5: While not what I’d choose as a variant, it’s well done.
Szerdy Variant Cover Art – 5: This is perhaps my favorite of this month’s “Action Comics” variants.
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