Review: Warworld Triumphant In ‘Action Comics’ #1037
by Tony Thornley
The Man of Steel’s war against Mongul takes an unexpected turn. The run continues to be a hell of a ride, and after this issue, I’m excited to see where it goes next.
For months, Action Comics has been building to this. We’ve known that this Mongul is different from others we’ve known, more brutal. But I don’t think anyone could have quite been prepared for the events of this issue.
The creative team made it clear that this war wasn’t going to be easy for Clark Kent. The extent of that statement is still pretty shocking to everyone. Also, it’s impossible to talk about it in general terms, so there are definitely ***SPOILERS AHEAD***. The issue was created by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Miguel Mendonca, Adriano Lucas, and Dave Sharpe.
Superman and the Authority have come to Warworld, but Mongul was ready for them. Standing in the arena, the team realizes quickly that there is more to the culture of the alien world than they thought. That means they’re not saviors, they may even be invaders. And that does mean one thing- Mongul and his minions have an advantage.
By getting this confrontation out of the way first, Johnson sets the expectation immediately for what this story is and isn’t. We knew Mongul was different, that he was more brutal. By having the Authority face him immediately and lose, we know this isn’t the same story. This is a war, not a superhero adventure, and when Clark and his team treat it as such, they lose resoundingly.
There’s obviously a hidden depth to the story that makes it much more than just a “darkest before the dawn” story. The continuation of the Durlan plot from last issue, with the United Planets’ leader actively rooting for Superman to lose, adds another layer to the larger whole. It’s fascinating and points to a story that will last far beyond the War against Mongul.
Mendonca steps into the story perfectly for Sampere. He’s obviously inspired by the DC House Style but he adds his own touches. He also has a great sense of pacing in the action, and makes the growing desperation of the situation clear on the page in the characters as well as the action. Lucas’s colors ties it together as well, and the deep reds he uses creates a great sense of foreboding.
This series has been one of my favorite superhero titles of the year, and I’m glad it’s keeping that up. I’m excited each month to pick it up, and hope that doesn’t end any time soon.
Action Comics #1037 is available now from DC Comics.