Action Comics #1050 Review

Writers: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Tom Taylor, and Joshua Williamson

Artists: Mike Perkins, Clayton Henry, and Nick Dragotta.

Color Artist: Frank Martin

Cover Artist: Steve Beach

Publisher: DC Comics

Reviewer: StoryBabbler

Superman returned to Earth, but while he’s been busy settling back in, his oldest enemies were already busy. His longtime arch-nemesis, turned Justice Leaguer, turned Legion of Doom, now independent, Lex Luthor is making his big move against Superman. He’s already enlisted the services of the cybernetic villain Metallo. Find out what else Lex Luthor has planned for the Man of Steel in Action Comics #1050.

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Action Comics #1050 Review.


Wow, this comic is bad. It’s not the worst by any stretch, and there are plenty of average issues in the past Warworld Saga that were pretty mediocre too. But because of everything that happens here, and how it was written, this issue beats them all by far. Fair warning: this review will have spoilers throughout it because there’s no hiding or getting around what happens in this issue without bringing up the reveals in the story.

Action Comics (2016) issue 1050 - Page 2

So, Lex Luthor does the impossible and uses Manchester Black’s psychic powers, utilized by a machine of Luthor’s design, to erase everyone’s memories of Superman revealing his identity as Clark Kent. Yes, that’s right, Superman has his secret identity again. Now, I know some people will be mad at this, and I know some comic media websites have already expressed their own frustrations about this, but, honestly, it’s not a big deal. The fact is DC and its comics writers never explored the full potential of Superman revealing his secret identity to the world in any compelling or excitable ways in the past 3 years. So giving him back his secret identity is fine by this reviewer. My only question is who wanted this change, DC editorial or the writers? Either way, the status quo for Supes’ secret identity has been reset, for the civilians and supervillains at least.

Action Comics (2016) issue 1050 - Page 3

The thing that this reviewer has a major problem with is how and why it all happened to begin with. This entire storyline with Lex Luthor essentially retconning away Superman revealing his secret identity is very similar to when Marvel Comics had the Young Avengers Children’s Crusade storyline basically retcon that it was Dr. Doom behind the Scarlet Witch going crazy and inadvertently causing “No More Mutants” and House of M. It was a cheap and convoluted retcon there and it’s the same here. And what’s worse, the reasoning that the writers give Luthor for doing this is laughable to say the least. And the entire fight between Luthor and Superman that followed (because of course there was a fight) was pathetic too. The problem isn’t the artwork, it’s that the fight is just not fun to look at given the context and is too one-sided. 


Admittedly, there is a kernel of an interesting story here and it’s the only positive I can think of. In their brief exchange, Lex Luthor admits the truth he angrily wishes wasn’t true: the world needs Superman. The world knows it, the universe knows it, the whole dang multiverse knows it, and so does he. But as usual, Lex Luthor believes he can improve upon Superman and make him a better one his way. Of course, the idea proposed for doing that in this comic is laughably bad and flies in the face of any common sense and style that Lex Luthor tends to have when written by other comic writers. Hopefully a better writer can pick up this idea in the future and do it justice.

Action Comics (2016) issue 1050 - Page 5

It also doesn’t help that whoever was writing this part of the comic (maybe Joshua Williamson, I’m not sure) just made Superman even more OP in making that he can cross interstellar distances now in practically the blink of any eye through a convoluted power-up. This entire comic is all about resetting the status quo for Superman, Lex Luthor, and his entire sphere of things in Metropolis and the whole Earth in DC Comics. Again, Superman getting his secret identity back is not an issue for this reviewer. The problem is how they did it and that’s what’s so frustrating.

Final Thoughts:

Action Comics #1050 Variant 500 Copy Cardstock Ariel Colon - Zeus Comics, Dallas, TX

Action Comics #1050 delivers on what Lex Luthor has been cooking up with Manchester Black. Now the big change that the comic uses Luthor to do feels similar to what Marvel did with Dr. Doom in the Young Avengers Children’s Crusade storyline, and that’s not a good thing. The biggest problem isn’t what Luthor did, at least not for this writer, it’s the in-universe explanations the writers gave him to explain the how and why he did it. It all just feels like it could’ve been handled better.


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