We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!
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Action Comics #1059 Review:
The mondo issue of Action Comics is written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Gene Luen Yang, and Dan Parent, with art by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Viktor Bogdanovic, and Marguerite Sauvage. So, three stories, with the front story revealing that — spoiler — Norah Stone, the leader of Blue Earth, is actually Janan al Ghul, the daughter of Batman and Talia al Ghul from another universe. Meanwhile, the other two stories wrap up Kenan Kong’s new status quo and show a cute date with Jon Kent and his boyfriend.
“That is such a great twist here,” host Alex Zalben said, talking about the front story.
Justin Tyler thought the issue was “awesome,” but got “a little twinge of sadness” that Phillip Kennedy Johnson is moving on from the title after one more issue an an annual. That said, he added, “I thought this revelation was great. I love the larger themes that this front story has been touching on lately of xenophobia and the way that Blue Earth is set up as a devastating villain.”
On the Norah Stone front, Tyler loved the way she “peels off one of the members of the Super-Family… It’s just so well done.” He also shouted out the art by Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira as “so expressive.”
While Pete LePage thought the art was a little too posed, and it pulled him out a bit, he added “PKJ is the man, I’m sad to see him go.” Even though this issue was a bit of a miss for him.
Zalben felt the opposite of LePage, and in particular loved the sequence where Lois Lane offers up that Norah looks a bit like Bruce Wayne, leading to a “stunned expression” from Superman as he realizes what’s really going on. Added Tyler, “Going from the macro story to that micro moment of revelation… It’s so hard to do. And it’s amazingly done from a reading and art perspective.”
Zalben continued, comparing this reveal to a similar villain reveal in The Amazing Spider-Man. In that book, it was tied to trying to remember a character from multiple issues back with no real emotional connection. Versus here, while it also is tied to an issue from a year ago, letting the reaction be on Superman and his adopted daughter, “drives the emotional stakes home, and that’s the reason it works.”
Action Comics #1059 Official Synopsis:
PROTECTING METROPOLIS IN A BATTLE ROYAL FOR THE AGES! As the forces of Norah Stone’s Blue Earth take control of Metropolis, Superman dusts off his Warworld weapons and armors up alongside Steel to take their city back! Can even the House of El defeat this potent new threat? Meanwhile, the shocking true identities of Norah Stone’s mysterious family are revealed, building to a battle royale for the ages! A pivotal issue not to be missed! PLUS: The conclusion to Gene Luen Yang and Viktor Bogdanovic’s “New Super-Man of Metropolis,” and Dan Parent (Kevin Keller) explores the world of Jon Kent like never before!