Action Comics #1058
Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 24, 2023
Cover date: December 2023
Cover: Steve Beach
Variant Covers: Jorge Jimenez, Carla Cohen, Freddie E Williams II, Jorge Fornes, Gabriele Dell’Otto
Reviewed by: Marc Lax
“New Worlds” – Part Two
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Rafa Sandoval
Continuing from last issue the Blue Earth leader’s associate, now in the guise of Superman, pounds on a powered down Clark hoping Metropolis and the people of Earth see the destruction being caused and will blame it on Superman. Clark goads the fake Superman to pull out all the stops using super hearing and heat vision until he’s finally expended. Clark finishes it with a left hook taking down his opponent.
Later Norah Stone talks with reporters again putting down Superman and telling the people of Metropolis she has “exciting” things to show them. Back at the Kent apartment the Super Team gathers with the so called super twins. We find out they’re going to school at Steelworks and Otho got into a fight after someone insulted her brother. While Lois admonishes her for fighting there’s a click at the door. Clark none the worse for wear stumbles in.
Kara decides to take the kids to the bedroom for storytime. She reads to them a book from the great library of Kandor. The House Fables of Krypton. She begins to tell them the story of Red Son and Starchild.
After explaining to John Henry how Norah weakened him so her associate could have his powers Superman says he can feel his powers slowly coming back. In the meantime he asks if John Henry has anything for him to use until his powers come back in full.
At a secret sanctuary Norah speaks to a being coming from a well surrounded in green mist. She explains how the powers she bled from Superman can now power a team of their own. She also believes she can turn one of the Supers to their side. The beings in the mist sound pleased. Meanwhile at Steelworks John Henry forges a steel suit for Superman. He takes it for a test spin.
Story – 4: A fun story that moves the action along and takes us closer to the final battle. Clark fighting “Superman” ended fairly quick with him using his wits to outsmart his opponent. Who would know better what would happen if Superman used most of his powers at once? I loved that Clark got in the last shot. Now the whole super twins story is annoying. I know Superman saved them from Warworld and they needed a place to go but I don’t find myself interested in their story and eye rolling whenever they take the spotlight. More on that later. Norah has become a formidable foe if just with her words alone. Who or what is in that green mist intrigues me. Whenever a green light appears I always want to connect it with the Green Lanterns. I could be wrong here but we’ll see. While the “Clark losing his powers” story has been done time and time again seeing him in his suit of steel was pretty cool. This story is running at a clip and I’m looking forward to the final denouement.
Art – 5: Sandoval really slays us with his art this issue. Especially during the fight scene. I have no quibbles whatsoever with what he’s done here. I hope he can stay on as regular “Action Comics” artist. Hopefully later in the New Year he’ll return for a story.
“Secret Identity” – Part One
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Artist: Viktor Bogdanovic
In a story that takes place several weeks before the current “Action” story Kenan Kong, the Super-Man of China, fights alongside the Super Family. Suddenly the super twins accuse Kenan of being a spy. They bust into his apartment to try and prove it. They find a board linking all the Supers. We then flashback to the Bat Man of China and Kenan standing over a corpse of a reporter who was investigating the secret identity of Superman when he had a stroke. The Robinbot says it was heat exposure. The heat affected a certain part of his brain as if targeted by a laser perhaps. Or heat vision. Bat Man tells Kenan he should go to Metropolis and take up with Superman and his family and find the truth. Kenan tells the team they could trust him he just needs to know their identities. Supeboy says no! Kenan’s robot scans the team prompting the twins to fight him. After Kenan stops the fight his robot is through with its scanning. Its investigation concludes that Superman is Clark Kent. This startles Kenan who suddenly collapses after hearing the news and appears to be dead.
Story – 2: I suppose Kenan Kong is an interesting character but I just never warmed up to him. Here he seems to come off as a sort of bad guy. I know he isn’t but it just puts me off. Maybe once he truly becomes part of the team I’ll feel differently. Right now this particular story doesn’t do it for me.
Art – 3: Bogdanavic’s art is quite good for this story though it doesn’t really capture me. Still his pencils are serviceable.
“Panic at the Parade”
Writer: Greg Hahn
Artist: Travis Mercer
Bibbo take the super twins to the parade where they wreak havoc until Superman saves the day.
Story – 2: I’ve said earlier I am not a fan of the super twins. I find them obnoxious and this story kind of solidifies that for me. I don’t get their purpose (although I’m sure the creators are setting them up for a story of their own but I’m not interested). All they do is cause problems and get in the way of the story. Yes it’s nice to get a light hearted story now and again and it’s always great to see Bibbo. Bibbo! He’s the only reason this story gets a 2 rating instead of a 1. Personally, as a casual reader, I would skip this one.
Art – 3: The art is fine, nothing special, but I guess it serves the story. I would probably enjoy Mercer’s art more if it was on a story I liked.
Cover Art – 4: It’s a bit too dark for the story but it does tell you what we’re in for. And anytime you see Clark fighting Superman it’s a good thing.
Variant Cover Art – 4: Nice cover by Jimenez. Lois and Clark taking flight by moonlight. Very pretty.
Variant Card Stock Variant Cover Art – 3: Not a bad portrait of Kara. Although I’d like to see her in her cape more.
1:50 Variant Cover Art – 3: I like it. The S looks great and the way it all bleeds together is done nicely. Eye catching. With all that I do think it’s just style and very little substance.
1:25 Variant Cover Art – 3: Cute and serves the story well.
Artist Spotlight Variant Cover Art – 4: Nicely drawn image of Superman fighting… Metallo? Well Metallo or not it’s a great cover.
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