Action Comics #1040 Review

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson

Artist: Riccardo Federici

Colorist: Lee Loughridge

Cover Artists: Daniel Sampere & Alejandro Sanchez

Publisher: DC Comics

Reviewer: StoryBabbler

Superman has been defeated by Mongul! After a failed attack on Mongul, the ruler of Warworld has taken the Man of Steel as his slave to fight in the planet’s gladiatorial arena. But Superman hasn’t given up hope to liberate Warworld, as his will continues to be tested in Action Comics #1040.


So, the comic starts off pretty strong with Superman fighting in Warworld’s gladiator arena, Spartacus style. Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Riccardo Federici don’t waste time setting up Supes’ situation on the planet. He’s fighting for his life while also trying to stoke the flames of rebellion in not only the Phaelosians but the rest of Warworld’s people. But Mongul ain’t having none of that.

The comic provides a good contrast between Superman and Mongul here as we see the cruel overlord best Superman but fail to break his spirit. Johnson has Superman use his “journal notes” to record his time on the planet. This is used as a more natural narration for the hero and the comic as Superman outlines his current state and the fundamental conflict between him, Mongul, and all of Warworld. Johnson is able to use this great divide between Superman and Mongul as the driving force for the comic and this storyline.

You see Superman’s influence play out with some of the supporting characters trying to survive and help Supes. You also see Mongul’s brutal influence work like clockwork gears turning the second Superman thinks he’s getting an edge over him. Like previous issues, the comic continues to worldbuild for Warworld, though not as much as before. This time it connects with a previous story element that was seemingly introduced and left to the wayside in the beginning of the Warworld Saga.

However, there is a bit that deals with Midnighter that was kind of overhyped in the synopsis but I’ll get into that real quick in the Spoilers section.


So, the synopsis says that Midnighter finds the other members of the Authority. Well, he doesn’t. In fact, he doesn’t even show up at all in this comic, Supes only receives a letter from him by Steel’s daughter and that’s all you get. But the comic does say that you’ll get more Midnighter in the next issue, so that’s likely where we’ll see that side of the story play out.

Final Thoughts:

Action Comics #1040 continues the Warworld Saga as Mongul keeps pushing Superman to his limits. The comic continues to show this clash between the two characters on both a physical and ideological level that drives the entire story. The comic’s dialogue and story is well-written while the art and colors makes this comic a great read.


Leave a Reply