Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artists: Fico Ossio & David Lapham
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Cover Artist: Lucio Parrillo
Publisher: DC Comics
Superman has been leading a revolution to liberate Warworld and its people from the tyranny of Mongul. However, not all has gone according to plan and Mongul is on the attack, forcing Superman and his allies underground, literally. But not all is lost as Superman is led to a secret location that could restore his powers possibly stronger than before, if he can pass the tests by the Old Gods. See Superman overcome the tests of the Gods in Action Comics #1046!
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Last time, we saw Superman being led underground in the Necropolis to find the source of some of the first of the Old Gods’ power, Olgrun. But like all power related to the Old Gods, he must first pass a series of tests before he can reach the power contained within, let alone acquire it.
Phillip Kennedy Johnson really does let his inner Conan the Barbarian and Planet Hulk out in this comic as Superman gets to fight like he’s in their world. Even the tests he must pass call on more than sheer physical strength, in fact you could almost say they’re the anti-Conan and Planet Hulk tests. It also helps that Superman passes the tests in ways only Superman, or someone like him, could especially the last test.
The art by Fico Ossio is pretty good for this issue. It manages to capture that epic and brutal side every time the action starts. You can see this in the design for Superman as he’s big and bold as you’d expect but he’s still got cuts and bruises on him and is willing to risk more in his mission. The action, locations, and characters all look epic in Fico Ossio’s art and Phillip Kennedy Johnson does a good job with the ending and setting up the conclusion for the Warworld Saga in Superman: Warworld Apocalypse.
However, the same can’t be said for the backup story. Honestly, this backup story on Earth has been the worser half of the series. While the re-introduction of Conduit (who is apparently an old classic Superman villain) seems cool, he’s not doing much other than act like Metallo 2.0. Even though he may have come before Metallo, Conduit kind of has the same shtick as he does: former U.S. military, hates aliens, and he uses kryptonite energy weapons.
It also doesn’t help that there’s no real stakes in the story as Lois called in the Super Family last issue and it goes about how you’d expect in this issue. It doesn’t help that Steel, despite being on the cover, barely does anything until the end. Overall, the main story is what you’re going to want to check out in this comic, not the backup.
Action Comics #1046 brings us the penultimate chapter to the Warworld Saga. We see Superman pass through a series of tests to gain great power and he solves them in ways only Superman could, while the backup story isn’t nearly as interesting or exciting as it could be. Fico Ossio does a fine job with the art in the main story for the underground locations of Warworld and with Superman when he’s in action.