Action Comics #862 (DC Comics, April 2008 cover date)
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Gary Frank
Inker: John Sibal
Colorists: Dave McCaig and Hi-Fi
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Associate Editor: Nachie Castro
Editor: Matt Idelson
Cover: Gary Frank
After the whole “Escape from Bizarro World” dud, Action Comics writer Geoff Johns has gifted us with “Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes” to redeem himself. Featuring an intricate, compelling storyline and art that is just as top-notch, this story arc has been a welcome reminder of the power of comic books when all of the elements come together.
This issue features part five of the six-part story. In the 31st century, the Justice League has been corrupted by Earth-Man, who has spread a concocted story that Superman was actually human rather than Kryptonian and that “aliens” have been the cause of all of Earth’s woes.
On the other side of this fight is the Legion of Super-Heroes. Earth-Man is simply a jealous, Anakin-Skywalker-type who was unable to handle rejection when he applied to the Legion. Seeking revenge, he captures many of them and absorbs their powers to increase his own. Near defeat, the Legion has brought Superman into the future to help. Earth has a red sun in this time period, though, so Superman has none of his yellow-sun-derived powers.
Is Superman still super without those powers? Very much so, as his greatest power is his character—which is there with or without a yellow sun. Over the last few issues, though, the 31st century Justice League has continued to push the Legion to the brink of defeat.
At Superman’s suggestion, they call in reinforcements—the Legion of Substitute-Heroes. Unlike Earth-Man, these Legion of Super-Heroes rejects have been constructive rather than destructive and made the most of their situations.
The action ratchets up as the Subs join the battle, and Earth-Man and Superman finally begin to square off. With Johns back in form, and Gary Frank’s art just as incredible as the narrative, Action Comics is finally must-read again.
Story/Writing: 9 (out of 10)
Cover Art: 8
Overall Experience: 9