Action comic #1051
Expected arrival in store: January 24, 2023
Cover date: March 2023
Cover: Dan Mora
Variant covers: Steve Beach, Lee Weeks, Rafa Sandoval, Jorge Fornes, Sergio Davila, Jordi Tarragona, David Nakayama, Jack Herbert and Warren Louw
Reviewed by: James Lantz
“Speeding Bullets” – Part 1
Screenwriter: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Rafa Sandoval
The people of Metropolis and the world are beginning a new chapter in their lives. Lois Lane and Clark Kent are happy with their extended family. Jon and Nat Irons are about to open the Steelworks Tower, a building which is officially the tallest in the city. They plan to use the technology there to help the world and the universe whenever possible. The City of Tomorrow is growing and evolving to be better. Still, the happiness felt by Superman and those around him might be short-lived, as Lex Luthor uses Metallo for his nefarious plans.
Upon the opening of Steelworks Tower, the Super Twins (Phaelosians Otho-Ra and Osul-Ra) were introduced as part of the Superfamily alongside Clark, Jon and Connor Kent, Kara Zor-El, and Kong Kenan. The celebration is interrupted by an explosion caused by Metallo. The Superfamily springs into action to save people from the explosion while Connor searches for the cause, only to be caught by Metallo. The Kryptonite-powered cyborg must kill Superman and anyone who stands in his way and that of Luthor. If he doesn’t succeed, his sister will pay the ultimate price with her life.
Story – 4: This first chapter is actually pretty good. However, one has the impression that some pages have been omitted from the editorial. Phillip Kennedy Johnson seemed to have more in mind for this question. The pacing itself is fast, but if there had been a bit more story in the final product, it would have been perfect. Phillip Kennedy Johnson continues to show that he has mastered the Superman part of the universe better than most modern comic book writers.
Art-4: Some panels don’t seem appropriate for the superhero genre. These might work better in an Archie manga or comic. However, the art is still very good. Metallo is particularly well drawn.
Screenwriter: Dan Jürgens
Artist: Lee Weeks
[NOTE: This story takes place after the events of “The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special”]
Lois, Clark and Jon Kent have returned to their old farmhouse. As they settle in, a supposedly comatose Lloyd Crayton vanishes. Doombreaker could be free again. To complicate matters further, Jon secretly took the bone from Doomsday which transformed Crayton into the Doombreaker. He believes no one else can be trusted to protect his father from his power. Jon hides it before investigating a crashed spaceship. A young humanoid girl comes out of the ship and asks to meet the king of this planet. Can Jon trust her, or will she become a bigger threat to the Kent family than Doomsday and Doombreaker combined?
Story – 5: I feel like relegating the Lois and Clark feature to a save is a downgrade for such a great title. If nothing else, this sequel deserves its own miniseries. Hopefully what we see in this book and the next chapters will lead to that. I’m in “wait and see” mode, as I am with “Power Girl”, which I read before this. However, I still enjoyed it. The ending of the first chapter feels like an homage to various Superman comics from years ago. New creative teams could learn a thing or two from Jurgens and Weeks.
Art-5: I’m a huge fan of Lee Weeks’ art, it’s a bit rougher than his previous comics, but that roughness works perfectly for the style of story that Dan Jurgens is trying to give us.
“Head Like a Hole”
Screenwriter: Leah Williams
Artist: Marguerite Sauvage
Power Girl and Omen use their psychic connection created during the Lazarus Planet event to help heal the minds of DC Universe heroes. Their first patient is Beast Boy, who is stuck in calf form. The trauma of being shot at close range by Deathstroke forced him into this form. He also hasn’t spoken in a while. Power Girl battles red animals in her astral form as she attempts to help relieve Beast Boy’s mental anguish as Omen reassures his physical self. They manage to repair the damage, but have Omen and Power Girl opened up old wounds to heal new ones?
Story – 3: The boob sweat dialogue is cringe-worthy. Other than that, I might call it too soon to really give a solid rating, even if I had to give this review one. There’s a lot to like about it, including the fact that Power Girl has her own feature again. However, there are times early on in this where she comes across as a cheap imitation of Data from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” when she doesn’t understand idioms. It feels like a step back for the character.
The opener to this series does a decent job of explaining the events leading up to what we see in this issue. However, I would have liked to talk a little more about Omen, because I don’t know her as well as the other characters in this story. It’s good that DC mixes its version of Doc Samson with a bit of Charles Xavier. Overall, I look forward to future installments of Power Girl, as the series has potential despite its flaws. It’s a decent start. Still, it feels like it starts in the middle of the saga due to the “Dark Crisis” and the “Lazarus Planet.” I haven’t read any at the time of this writing. A blurb like the one in the “Lois and Clark” story that explains things that exposing the characters wouldn’t have helped much. That and the reasons in the previous paragraph are why I’ve rated this lower than I would have liked.
Art-5: The art works perfectly to set the tone for Power Girl’s new feature in this title.
Coverage – 5: This cover pretty much sums up the new chapter in everyone’s Superfamily life and is the perfect starting point for new readers.
Cover variant – 4: Like the previous issue, there’s a ridiculous amount of variants this month. So I decided to give an overall rating, as individual ratings would make this review longer than it already is. Aside from the cover by Jorge Fornes, which seems more suited to a “Terminator” comic, I felt the covers deserved a five. Fornes’ image just wasn’t up to snuff in my opinion.
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