THIS WEEK: It’s the year 2021, and we have a very good comic with The Authority, which continues its surprising race in Action Comics # 1037. More, Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons # 1 is there, and it’s spectacular.
Note: This part contains spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy / pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdicts.
Action Comics # 1037
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, with Shawn aldridge
Artist: Miguel Mendonca, with Adriana melo
Colorist: Adriano lucas, with Hifi stereo
Letterer: Dave sharpe
This week Action Comics # 1037 continues one of the most unlikely superhero things of 2021: The Authority, who is one of the most of his time comic book concepts ever, is featured in a truly exciting new comic book. Not only that, but the Authority does it by teaming up with… Superman. I know, just totally wild stuff.
Part of the reason is that the concept kicked off with a miniseries from one of the best DC Comics writers of all time, Grant Morrison, who collaborated mainly with the artist Mikel Janin. This series – which may be Morrison’s last corporate superhero work to be printed, at least for the immediate future – has done everything to update the concept of Authority to be very of this time. Gone are the arrogant and boastful world police, and in their place came a diverse group of young people driven to be true to their identities while making the world a better place, doing good by teaming up with a paragon of virtue whose own approach to l heroism needed its own refreshment.
This book worked really well, but could easily have been a brief overview of a set of daring alternate ideas for various characters. Instead, the creators working on Action comics decided to take Superman and The Authority, and run with… to the ends of space. This week Action Comics # 1037 is the second part of a story arc that has already elevated its past experience to a bold new direction for its involved characters.
There’s so much that works in this comic – there’s the concept of Superman depowered in a way that makes sense, the gritty sci-fi aesthetic that looks like metal but in a deserved way, and the eclectic set of characters who are interesting about their own and also complement each other, a heart pounding for a team book. Simply put, I really like the whole business of this story. It’s a deep space gladiator story starring a Superman whose powers began to wane, forcing him to team up with a group of younger and lesser-known heroes. He’s fighting a new version of a longtime foe who has a lot of power, both personal and political, and whether or not doing the right thing strategically is perhaps a greater threat to him than his. fading power. It’s a great scene for the wild comic book action, character moments, and twist-driven plot, and everyone involved in making this book is firing on all cylinders.
As a result, there’s almost a new level of unpredictability in this comic that I don’t think I’ve ever seen in Superman stories. This is motivated by the fact that DC Comics went out of their way to establish Jon Kent – the son of Clark and Lois Lane – as the new Superman back on Earth. For the first time since Death of Superman, there’s a very real feeling off the page that the titular hero could be replaced. And while I don’t see Kal-El being killed and eliminated forever in this arc, thus ending a Action comics title that has been printed continuously since the 1930s, it feels like a lot of other results are on the table (as with the Batman line, we know what one of those results is because of the great work done in Future state).
It’s also apparently the book that’s been set to pave the way for the storytelling of much of DC’s cosmic side, especially when it comes to interplanetary relationships. We see the emerging council of united planets (formed towards the end of Bendis’ race on the Superman titles) trying to figure out what to do here. It is also a great reminder to the roots of The Authority, which replaced an inefficient domestic world order when this title was first launched. Going all the way on DC aliens, we also get part one of a save story here with Martian Manhunter, which is pretty fun and intriguing in itself.
Ultimately what we get with Action Comics # 1037 is a fast-paced sci-fi story full of dangers and deserved twists and turns, perfectly conveyed through visual storytelling and a feeling that the character is less tied to a familiar status quo than he ever was. It all adds up to a comic that quickly became one of my most anticipated new reads. This one gets a full and hearty To buy verdict on my part.
Verdict: To buy
- Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons # 1 is a really interesting comic, illustrated with experimental finesse by the great Phil Jiménez, and colored by the trio of Hi-Fi, Arif Prianto, and Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, this book (if I remember correctly) was first announced with the announcement of the DC Black Label imprint, which if I remember correctly (again!) was in late 2018. I haven’t had so many time to think of this title the way I would like, because the illustration is so complex, it doesn’t lend itself well to low res pdf review comics, but it’s a problem for me. I was still able to easily determine that this was a really interesting comic, though, both by illustrations that want to offer truly ethereal and new visuals, as well as a script that evolves in space. ‘an oversized comic book of creation myth, with the inherent natural power struggle, the origin of the comic. I am already asking for an absolute edition of this book.
- I also really appreciated Justice League Incarnate # 1, which somehow goes even harder on multiversal chaos than the Infinite border the miniseries it came out of did. This story runs so crazy through everything the DC Multiverse has to offer, appealing to character after character without ever feeling fanciful. It’s an explosion.
- Finally, it’s also Annual Week for I don’t know how many titles (don’t make me count them!), And I think overall these annuals are good, with most of them pointing their way. titles and characters in new and interesting directions for the coming year.
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