Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artists: Riccardo Federico & Will Conrad
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Cover Artist: Lucio Parrillo
Publisher: DC Comics
Superman is on Warworld to liberate the planet’s slaves from Warworld and topple the tyrannical Mongul. He was defeated for a while, but the Man of Steel didn’t stay down and got back into the fight. Now, Superman is starting a revolution on Warworld, and we see the next phase of this revolution in Action Comics #1044!
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In the last few issues, we saw Superman free slaves and do what he can to not only keep their spirits up but tempered from succumbing to blood-thirsty retribution. Looking at you, Midnighter. We see bits of this shine through in the comic in Superman’s interactions with the Phalaosians and other Warworld slaves. While at the same time, we’re seeing Superman and his allies take on Mongul’s entourage of personal alien champions and his inner circle as we saw them take on “Teacher” and the eerie alien known simply as “Orphan” and his robotic guardian called “Darling.”
This issue puts some focus on Orphan and his backstory to help inform where he came from, what his connection is to Mongul, and what he had to offer the master of Warworld and now Superman and his revolution. His origin isn’t that great, it’s serviceable and connects to a specific “event” from DC Comics in recent years, if some readers don’t remember it they will be somewhat brought up to speed. Overall, it all adds up to Orphan being a contributor to the story in a significant way.
The story also shows Superman and his revolution in action as they take on another of Mongul’s champions, specifically the alien “Mother” and her brood of monstrosities to save the captured Enchantress. This is where the art from Ricccardo Federico really shines through. He makes the Mother look like a macabre witch of terrifying horror while showing off Superman like the strong, brave hero that he is facing impossible odds yet making it work. The fight itself isn’t that long but it’s nice to see and fills the action quota for Action Comicsq.
Mongul’s side of things is pretty short and uneventful until the latter half of the story, where we see the cruel warlord turn one defeat into a new victory for him. Other than that, there’s the backup story focusing on what’s happening back on Earth with Steel and friends. It’s not that eventful either and is more of showing what Steel’s crew is doing to help revive Thao-La, but it’s not that big of a story really. The second half of the backup feels more like setup for a future story that doesn’t really contribute to the current storyline. If anything, the backup is more of a functional add-on than an essential part of the story right now, but we’ll see if it does contribute more in the next few issues based on what it sets up this issue for the rest of the Warworld Saga.
Action Comics #1044 delivers the second part of the Warworld Revolution. This comic takes the time to show off a little bit of the eerie alien called “Orphan” while Superman and his allies prepare to rescue Enchantress from a macabre alien witch. The story and writing by Phillip Kennedy Johnson is solid while the art from Riccardo Federico and Will Conrad is pretty good in bringing this part of the Warworld Saga to life.