The fight Phillip Kennedy Johnson has been building towards for months is finally here as Superman faces off against Mongul. The fight has been building for some time and Superman, along with the Authority, aims to free the people of Warworld and stop Mongul dead in his tracks. Problem is, Action Comics #1036 revealed Mongul has quite a militia of superpowered soldiers to help fight them off. Witness their many abilities in a shocking second part of the “Warworld Saga” storyline.
This issue balances out Superman and his team fighting Mongul with a kind of United Nations of many worlds deliberating on whether they should help or wait it out. The last issue explored the complications of Warworld’s culture being against freedom and here we see the indecision of other planets may also get in the way of freeing Warworld. As we see Superman and his team gain small wins and small losses, the deliberation going on is also waffling, making a nice blend of fighting and thinkers winning and losing throughout.
The meat of this issue is seeing the Authority take on these brand new villains that work for Mongul. Seeing the Authority characters get taken off the board, or take one of Mongul’s characters off the board, is highly entertaining. It’s the epitome of sci-fi superhero comics, which all leads to a shocking conclusion that amps up the stakes for our heroes. We also get to see Superman take on Mongul head to head as well as discuss the fact that this is the original Mongul’s kid. This is a satisfying meeting as they clash.
The art is by Miguel Mendonca with colors by Adriano Lucas is good, capturing the weirdness of Mongul’s supervillain militia well. The look of these characters, and their powers, is rendered very well and is quite something. The art style is a bit less clean under Mendonca compared to Daniel Sampere, but in a way, it gives the fighting a grittier feel. One of the Authority gets straight-up broken and you’ll feel it thanks to the good use of blur and sound effects.
Wrapping up the issue is a Martian Manhunter backup by Shawn Aldridge and Adriana Melo. The story establishes Martian Manhunter’s day-to-day life, his cat, and how he changes his form each day he enters the community. He needs a bit of a shakeup and that is handed to him in a new case involving some stolen items from a museum. The art is detailed and pays close attention to environments right down to the ceilings and furniture in the Metropolis Police Department. Inks are a bit heavier, giving it a darker tone that’s livened up by colors from Hi-Fi. It’s a short start to an interesting Earthly adventure.
Once again, Action Comics #1037 lives up to its name with tons of action, sci-fi supervillains, and Superman intrigue. There are also political elements at work here, showing how this isn’t a simple fistfight, but a war that spans planets. Add in a good start to a Martian Manhunter backup and you have an issue that’ll keep you entertained and thirsty for more.
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