Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artists: Dale Eaglesham & Will Conrad
Color Artist: Lee Loughridge
Cover Artists: Daniel Sampere & Alejandro Sanchez
Publisher: DC Comics
Superman and his Authority challenged Mongul to liberate the people of Warworld – and lost. Now he is in chains and forced to compete in Mongul’s gladiatorial fights, but Superman’s will hasn’t broken. And neither has his team’s as Midnighter scours the planet to find the rest of their team and spark a rebellion on Warworld in Action Comics #1041!
Now, I’m not the biggest fan of Midnighter, but this comic is still fun. I’ve read the original Authority series and he always came across as Batman but much darker and edgier and was always in your face about it. And that applies to this comic in almost every way. If Midnighter isn’t your cup of tea, than I’d suggest skipping this issue for the next one when it refocuses on Superman.
Essentially, Midnighter is trying to take the fight to Mongul, in his own way. Tearing down his slavedrivers, arming the enslaved members of the planet, and doing it all while delivering a swift butt-kicking and gory kill at almost every step of the way. He’s every bit as crude, violent, insensitive, and swears like a salty sailor but with grawlixes. Of course, this all so Midnighter can rescue Apollo, not anyone else. Remember, it’s Midnighter, and he’s still the selfish, edgy anti-hero that he is, but now he’s working with Superman somehow.
One strike against this comic is the abrupt artist change. Unfortunately, this is par for the course when it comes to both DC and Marvel Comics who suddenly switch artists in the middle of a story arc, for whatever reason. For this issue, we get Dale Eaglesham and Will Conrad on art for the main story and it is still cool to see. It’s great to see Eaglesham’s art since it has this epic feel that doesn’t sacrifice facial expressions or background art and can still be dynamic. The colors from Lee Loughridge also help flesh out this comic, especially when Midnighter is getting violent and busting skulls. It also helps that art and colors make Midnighter stand out from the crowd, while in some cases background characters can kind of blend into the scenery at times.
We also get some payoff with both Midnighter and Superman’s efforts to inspire the people of Warworld to revolt, in a way. The comic shows the signs of revolt against Mongul’s rule, but it’s still a work in progress. Of course, the comic also shows how Supermna’s influence is having an effect on the people fighting in the fledgling uprising, showing how it conflicts with Midnighter’s style of doing things. The comic also throws a few surprises for readers about the current status of a few main characters, including Superman.
Action Comics #1041 has things shift from Superman to Midnighter’s side of things. We see Midnighter doing his thing, swearing, busting skulls and taking names while freeing slaves on Warworld his way for his reasons. The abrupt change in artist was definitely a surprise, but Dale Eaglesham and Will Conrad still do a good job on the comic’s artwork.