Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Rafa Sandoval
Colorist: Matt Herms
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Cover Artist: Steve Beach
Publisher: DC Comics
The threat of Metallo and Cyborg Superman has been resolved, but now Superman will face a different kind of enemy: the Blue Earth Movement. For a while, Blue Earth have been nuisances to the Superfamily, but now their mysterious and young leader Norah Stone has requested an interview with the Daily Planet. Her one condition: Clark Kent must interview her. See what trouble ensues for Clark in Action Comics #1057.
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I’ll get this out of the way, I’m not a fan of the Blue Earth Movement storyline, I haven’t been since it was first introduced following the Warworld Saga. It just feels like a lazy stand-in for any and all radical extremist groups in America who are anti-immigration and the immigrants in this scenario are the Warworld Refugees. However, despite my misgivings about this storyline, I’m hopeful that Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Rafa Sandoval will deliver something good, or at least something that’s not as bad as I think it could be. Also, the synopsis probably spoils a lot of what’s going to happen in the next few issues ’cause most of it doesn’t happen here, and that’s the only SPOILER I’ll have in this review.
The comic starts in a very wholesome manner with Superman just sitting on a construction beam with a Steelworks worker and is sharing lunch with him, which is illustrated brilliantly by Rafa Sandoval. The two have a chummy conversation with each other that gets a little serious but quickly turns wholesome again thanks to Superman’s sincerity. Superman soon flies to work at the Daily Planet where Lois informs him that they’re interviewing the leader and founder of the Blue Earth movement, the enigmatic Norah Stone, who personally requested that Clark Kent interview her.
Let’s start with the good stuff. The art from Rafa Sandoval is great as always and Matt Herms’ color work just makes it excellent when it covers both Superman and Clark Kent, even though there’s not much action in this issue. Speaking of Clark Kent, Phillip Kennedy Johnson does a good job in writing Clark as a sincere reporter who sticks to the facts, keeps his cool, and never goes below the belt. This is also helped by how Sandoval portrays Clark as both a lovable goof at times while tempering that with his serious and composed side when he’s interviewing Norah Stone. Speaking of Norah, let’s get to the bad stuff.
As I said, I’m not a fan of this Blue Earth storyline or the group itself, not because there couldn’t be such a group in the DC setting, but rather this group isn’t as interesting as it could be if Johnson properly grounded it in DC’s history in the current continuity, and I’ll leave it at that. It’s too early to say whether or not Norah Stone is a solid villainess for Superman, she’s clearly shady as sin as Clark discovers during their interview and that wristband is obviously sinister.
My main problem is that the interview was barely interesting until the last part where Norah says some things that clearly get under Clark’s skin. But other than that, this storyline isn’t any more interesting than all the other Superman stories that tackle xenophobia toward Superman but now it’s the Warworld Refugees. Also, Blue Earth was never a real threat to Superman or the Superfamily when they were introduced, it was Metallo and Cyborg Superman who were the real threats. In fact, the previous issue had the Blue Earth members discussing how they were on the decline before this issue, so they don’t feel like a widespread group either. The ending indicates that Blue Earth might become more dangerous to Superman, but I’m not holding my breath.
Action Comics #1057 has Clark Kent interview the mysterious young leader of the Blue Earth movement, Norah Stone. The art and colors from Rafa Sandoval and Matt Herms are great, and while there’s not much action in this issue, the writing is okay. It’s too soon to say whether Norah Stone is a solid villainess yet, and clearly there’s more to Blue Earth than we’ve seen before. But aside from the interview, not much else happens in the main story, while the backups do some heavy lifting themselves with their stories.