DC Comics Action Comics 1000 Is a Powerful and Emotional Superman Story
Action Comics #1000 is a landmark issue of Superman that does everything right and nothing wrong in this case. I am a man who isn’t the biggest fan of the Big Blue. I never was able to connect with this superhero who is beyond what any other could be. He is invulnerable, unkillable (save the Doomsday comments), and just overall far too overpowered. I’ve always enjoyed a hero who was full of depth and vulnerability, and had real-life problems.
When I picked up Action Comics #1000 for more obvious reasons, this being a landmark issue, it’s a big deal. This issue was the big one, so missing it would be a crime. They’d take away my geek card and I’d lose all my nerd credits, right? So, I went into it mostly wondering just what Brian Michael Bendis had in mind for the man in blue. I was excited about the list of authors and artists from past Superman books all coming together for short stories. It was reminiscent of Batman: Gotham Knight.
We have some very emotional moments in this issue, some of which caused me to be very choked up. Enjoying every panel in a comic isn’t easy these days. Not even seeing a flaw in a story about Lex and Superman standing in a planetarium in Smallville to talk about how Lex would retreat to this sacred place to remove himself from the world of abuse and hatred he grew up in. A moment of bonding over the concept of Lex having his own Fortress of Solitude showed great depth.
The Justice League… Sort of
His world wants to celebrate a man who has saved them countless times. The stage is taken by different people, from police officers to ex-cons, telling their heartfelt stories and thanking the Man of Steel. It is all directly after stopping an alien threat again and all Supes can do is keep looking to orbit, hoping he sees or hears something before it’s too late. When that time finally comes, and in the moment he is about to spring into action, he is stopped by none other than Wonder Woman.
Our hero seems confused by the interference. Superman questions her if the League has the situation handled and then one of the most powerful panels in comics happens. When Superman looks to see the League, he instead sees pretty much the entirety of the DC Universe. They are ready to have his back and carry the load so he can celebrate Superman Day with those who care about him and want to share in his adventures.
There are not only familiar and unfamiliar names and faces of past and present heroes, but the part that makes this so important is, even villains have come to support the Man of Steel during this time. You see Deathstroke, Harley Quinn, and faces of that nature. These are faces of people who should by any stretch of the imagination despise this alien savior, and they are there to help him so he can be with his family and the citizens of Metropolis. This is what comics are truly made of, even causing me to get a little choked up by this very scene.
Superman Lost in Time
Superman telling a story of chasing Vandal Savage through time is par for the course, or is it? This story follows the Man of Steel rushing after one of his sworn enemies, and each panel becomes a love letter to the past.
He returns to his 1930’s garb and stopping the famed locomotive to save the child on the tracks. He helps struggling soldiers through their pain and suffering, being able to see the despair in their expressions. They now have hope in seeing this god-like being helping them win a grueling, brutal war. We relive familiar panels and covers, one after another.
We see every classic costume during his struggles to find his way back to his timeline. He wears the classic red and blue, and I loved the lack of certain powers and how he described it as feeling so pure and simple. He did so while using the evolution of powers as a story of different weapons hindering him until he found his way back.
You see just simple super-strength, leaping tall buildings, electric Supermen, and a mullet with the silver S Shield. It’s such a great breakdown of everything the fans remember; a strong reminder of just how much our hero has evolved over the years in the hands of this group of writers.
Superman Is out of Time
There is a particular 4 to 5-page story that by all accounts should just be boring and bland. Superman hovers in front of the sun and speaks to his dead parents through a hologram. He talks about how time is almost up, and how he could move the Earth away from the sun’s gravitational pull.
Superman could save everybody, but he has lived a long, full life. He and his wife accepted it was time to give it up. The man wants to die with his family, and so he does. These few panels express more emotion than most comics in a long-running story arc.
A New Villain with Ties to Krypton’s Destruction
We’ve all seen this before. A new villain appears and they say they killed his parents, or they were responsible for the death of a planet known as Krypton. This 10-page action set is a great deal like that of Doomsday: the city destroyed, fire in the streets, broken glass upon the ground. Superman struggles with this beast.
Here comes a giant hulking monster who looks like a disfigured Lobo. His teeth are large fangs, one eye is blue and one red. He wields a massive ax and seems to be able to stomp the Blue Boyscout into dust. He continuously beats him down, again and again, telling him that he is cleansing the universe of Kryptonians. This is pretty much how the story ends, revealing that he is responsible for the death of Superman’s birth parents.
I will say that DC did their job very well. I kept turning the page, wondering what I will see waiting on the other side. Next issue, I plan to come back and likely will be adding Action Comics to my regular pull list. I am curious about just what Bendis has in mind.
What did you think of Action Comics 1000? Let us know in the comments!
Buy Action Comics #1000 for yourself here: