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Action Comics #1057
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Action Comics’ #1057 explores idenity and family

An amazing main story with two backups that sadly drag it down.

Acceptance is hard to come by in this day and age. 

With prejudice against minorities worsening, it would be no surprise for a Superman comic book to try its hand at criticizing the recent growth of bigotry in the world as the comic industry has done since the Bronze Age with stories of the X-Men fighting against Mutant Massacres and stories of Green Arrow combating right-wing injustice as a modern day Robin Hood. However, the topic of comic books and their approach of tackling politics is a conversation that becomes increasingly more and more shaky due to the rise of right-wing comic reader groups and some writers not knowing where to tackle a daring but hard hitting story the same way the writers of the past could. 

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Thankfully, Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Rafa Sandoval tackle the subject well in Action Comics #1057 as we watch in horror as the leader of the terrorist organization, Blue Earth, declares that visitors from distant planets are the true enemies of the human race. 

DC Preview: Action Comics #1057

DC Comics

The usage of aliens and otherworldly beings as racial or cultural subtext tends to enter shaky ground due to the lack of characters of color and/or their oftentimes strange writing that presents them as a higher minority which invites controversial situations for the story going forward, but what helps Johnson’s writing is that he presents Blue Earth not as just an anti-alien group but as a group that is subtly against the idea of immigrants and refugees as a whole. Norah Stone’s belief system is grounded within violent beliefs of destroying the protected rights of these people because she believes them unsafe for Humans. It all paints a picture of how he’s crafting her character in the script and how she appears within the striking and oftentimes unsettling scenes drawn by the talented Rafa Sandoval.

It becomes clear that Blue Earth as a new villainous entity for Superman and the Superfamily exist to get inside of their minds and create rifts between those who believe that they’re heroes and those who don’t, which effectively creates a political split in Metropolis. As a strong introduction into the brand new post Knight Terrors arc Revenge of the Demon, Part One is a chilling opening to an exciting and fascinating storyline by Johnson and Sandoval. 

On the other end of things, however, Dan Jurgens and Lee Weeks finally conclude their Lois & Clark 2 backups with mixed results as we have good and strange moments throughout. Jurgens is famously a powerhouse of a writer with characters like Booster Gold under his belt – he can truly do anything at DC, but this backup has not been one of his best. Lee Weeks as usual presents a beautiful storyline with his art but unfortunately carries a lot of the story through the nice atmosphere he brings to the scripts. Sadly, Jurgens has moments of odd pacing that leaves the backup making you wish you had more to chew on within the dialogue and story. As a backup, it did its job. I feel like if this was a proper elseworlds mini series that Lois & Clark 2 would stand its ground more because as we’ve seen with The New 52, Lee Weeks and Dan Jurgens are a dream team. 

As for the final backup we continue the love for ’90s Superman with Magdalene Visaggo and Matthew Clark’s Super is as Super Does which brings up back into the world of Conner Kent, better known as Superboy, as he goes through what is a state of teenage rage and emotional turmoil. Coming off of the heels of the recent miniseries, I was expecting to feel more excited about Conner having his own backup but I felt conflicted with their story for reasons involving character development and how Conner’s character hasn’t truly evolved in what feels like years. Just a few years ago in Brian Michael Bendis’ Young Justice , Conner is portrayed to be an adult who never grew up and now we see that manifested in almost a literal fashion with Conner now being a student with failing grades. I have to look at Conner’s newer stories and wonder why he can’t explicitly be an actual adult while his cousin Supergirl can be.

DC Preview: Action Comics #1057

DC Comics

In some ways, you can present the idea that due to being a clone, Conner’s emotional spectrum is more sensitive due to his fast growth into his teens which allows you to play with morality and personal evolution as Alan Grant did in L.E.G.I.O.N. with series protagonist Brainiac 2. Sadly, all we get is here is a confused story that wants to evolve Conner into a new character but falls flat. There is the benefit of Matthew Clark’s beautiful art and the fun writing that Visaggo has to offer but the story doesn’t drive home the need for growth that we’re all craving Conner to have. 

All around, Action Comics #1057 has an amazing main story with two backups that sadly drag it down. The art remains a strong consistent piece of these backups as they oftentimes carry the writing. I love Visaggo and Jurgens and I am excited to see how both of their stories evolve over but as an opening backup and a conclusion to a series of them it leaves a bad first and last impression.

Action Comics #1057
‘Action Comics’ #1057 explores idenity and family
Action Comics #1057
All around, Action Comics #1057 has good moments but is overshadowed by shaky side stories and questionable character development.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Rafa Sandoval's 'Revenge of the Demon, Part One' showcases the dark political world of Metropolis with discussions on immigration and self-acceptance.
Sandoval, Weeks, and Clark's art throughout each story helps set a tone all while crafting a beautiful story full of striking character designs and a sense of horror at the right moments.
As much as I love Dan Jurgens, 'Lois & Clark 2' does not add to this small town Kent family that we've met back during Convergence. Despite it all, there are some good moments but this is admittedly his weakest work.
Magdalene Visaggo is a writer I respect and love but her work in 'Super is as Super Does' will not be favored by fans of Conner Kent and regresses his character growth from books such as Bendis' 'Young Justice' and his evolution since then. I have hope she can improve but this is the weakest story in this month's Action Comics.
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