Writers: Phillip Kennedy Johnson & Sean Lewis
Artists: Daniel Sampere & Sami Basri
Color Artists: Adriano Lucas & Ulises Arreola
Cover Artists: Daniel Sampfire & Alejandro Sanchez
Publisher: DC Comics
The war between Superman and Mongul has truly begun. The new warlord of Warworld has made his first strike against Superman by striking him where it hurts most – the people around him. Now it is time for the Man of Steel to respond back but before that, he needs to resolves things in Action Comics #1035.
This comic is what it says on the cover – this is the big goodbye as Superman leaves Earth to go fight Mongul on Warworld. But before he can do that, he needs to resolve his business on Earth first, starting with Thao-La. The storyline with Thao-La is a very predictable one as the comic reveals the full scope of what Mongul had planned for her and why she attacked Lois and Jon.
What’s more important here is how the book is setting up the confrontation between Superman and Mongul. For anyone who read Future State: Superman Worlds of War, Superman is going to Warworld and facing Mongul. This comic directly embraces that with a special, brief confrontation of a sort between Mongul and Superman. The art by Daniel Sampere and the colors by Adriano Lucas continue to be a major strength for this comic in delivering dynamic action, great facial expressions for all of the characters, and just cool images all around.
Ultimately, the main story is about Superman saying his goodbyes to his friends and family before he sets off for Warworld. The goodbyes are written in an earnest fashion, especially the ones with Superman’s family. His goodbyes to them look and feel heartbreaking, like you have this feeling that he won’t be back for a while.
Unfortunately, anyone who read the Future State story know this is the case and with the current Jon Kent Superman book, he’s going to be away from Earth for a while. There are a couple of surprises for readers here, but the impact doesn’t hit the hardest since one of the surprises requires readers to be reading another title. I’ll explain that briefly in the Spoilers section.
The backup story with Jimmy Olsen and The Guardian is actually not that bad and serves as a more lighthearted contrast to the more serious main story. The second story “Tales of Metropolis: The Guardian” is written by Sean Lewis and drawn by Sami Basri with Ulises Arreola on colors. The story is pretty straightforward: Jimmy Olsen is investigating a story with Guardian about some missing kids and weird tech.
The story has a simple mystery with solid intrigue, and a good superhero duo dynamic between Jimmy and Guardian. Nothing special but it offers a more investigative side of Jimmy than fans might be used to. It also has a villain who could’ve been a cool Sci-Fi Horror monster but is held back by an overused modern cliche about teens and technology.
As Superman says his goodbyes and sets off to Warworld, one of the surprises is he’s teaming up with the new iteration of “The Authority” to fight Mongul. The problem is how disconnected this feels. The team never shows up and is there no build up to their reveal in past issues. Plus, their very existence comes out of left field even for readers of the book Superman and The Authority since that series isn’t supposed to be canon to the current continuity.
And for those wondering, yes, it is the exact team from that book with the same looks and everything. The Authority’s inclusion feels forced like they were added in at the last minute and the comic’s just stuck with them. Hopefully, Phillip Kennedy Johnson puts the team to good use in the upcoming Warworld story arc.
Actions Comics #1035 concludes the first step into Superman’s Warworld saga. It is what it says on the cover, this is Superman wrapping up things from the previous arc and saying farewell to everyone before leaving for Warworld. Not everything is resolved as well as they should’ve been, but the send-offs with his family felt the most earnest and a little heartbreaking. The art team in the main story continue to deliver excellent art for Superman, Mongul, and the rest of the other characters. Hopefully things turn out better for Superman this time than they did in the Future State story.