Writers: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Becky Cloonan & Michael W. Conrad
Artists: Christian Duce & Michael Avon Oeming
Colorists: Adriano Lucas & Taki Soma
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Cover Artists: Daniel Sampere & Alejandro Sanchez
Superman is on a collision course with the new Mongul and his merciless Warworld. Mongul’s machinations are slowly unfolding before the Man of Steel as the warlord’s plot continues. While Superman has Kara and Jon help him settle the disputes between Atlantis and America, the Fortress of Solitude is under attack by warriors of Mongul. In Action Comics #1034, Lois Lane takes a stand against the intruders and holds down the fort.
The comic opens up immediately where Action Comics #1033 left off with Lois and Thao-La fending off Mongul’s Warzoon warriors. The art for this fight is great, especially the colors and designs of the alien warriors and the Fortress’ defenders contrasting with each other. The fight isn’t long or anything and there is a satisfyingly grim development by the end. The situation between Atlantis and America over the Genesis fragment of the Source continues to escalate, but Superman intervenes in a way only Superman can.
In my review for the last issue, I said that Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Christian Duce were doing a bang up job depicting a more stern and assertive Superman. Well, that continues here as we see him try to settle things between both Atlantis and America without further conflict. Judge the outcome however you will, but to me this whole affair seems like a distraction. It’s the weaker of the two plots when compared to what Mongul’s forces are doing.
Speaking of Mongul’s warriors, the comic does a good job illustrating just how brutal and devoted they are to Mongul. Previously, I said that Johnson has to be careful of making sure his depictions of the new Mongul and Warworld don’t end up becoming rip-off versions of Darkseid and Apokolips. That concern is still there but it’s eased a little as we see more of Mongul’s brutality shine through in his warriors.
I’d like to think that by the time we finally get the confrontation with Mongul himself he doesn’t come off as a Darkseid clone and more of his own definitive character and villain. However, with the way things are unfolding in the series, it seems more and more that the future depicted in Future State Superman: Worlds of War is coming to fruition. Hopefully Superman can change all that in this series.
The Midnighter backup story follows the anti-hero’s efforts taking down Andrej Trojan and his company Trojan Solutions. This time he’s got backup with Shilo Norman as the current Mister Miracle. The character dynamic is fairly decent and will be entertaining to those who like the characters. The art’s zany style continues to be a mixed bag for me, and the story reaches a predictable conclusion.
The action in Action Comics #1034 finally ramps back up. There are exciting new developments finally hitting the Warworld storyline. There are a few twists here, some more predictable than others. The comic follows though on this stern and active depiction of Superman. The art looks great and nails down the action in this comic. Readers who enjoyed the Midnighter back-up will have more to enjoy. Overall, the issue builds up momentum that will carry over into the next issue for sure.