There are few characters in fiction as enduring, iconic, and inspiring as Superman. Since his introduction to popular culture back in 1938, the character has seen countless different costumes, creative teams, love interests, villains, and friends. Still, Superman remains relevant. He continues to be the symbol of “truth, justice, and the American way.” Sure, that’s a corny and maybe even outdated adage. Maybe Superman is a little corny and outdated too, but that’s okay. That’s what we need him to be. The character has endured so long because we will always hope a perfect hero like him will save us. This sentiment seems to be the unifying message of the stories featured in Action Comics #1000.
Each story attempts to pay tribute to Superman from a unique perspective. Some are more successful than others, but there certainly isn’t a “bad” story among them. They each manage to hone in on specific aspects of the character and his history. This results in some satisfying but inconsequential tales. Of course, the major draw to this issue will be the teaser for The Man of Steel, Brian Michael Bendis’ upcoming six-part event.
The Man of Steel will be Bendis’s debut at DC comics. The tease we get here is very enticing. Superman will be facing a very real threat that is backed by Bendis’s humorous and harrowing writing. His voice is the breath of fresh air that the character needs. That effect is only amplified when coupled with Jim Lee’s artwork. Being a teaser, this certainly raises more questions than it answers. It will, however, give Superman fans plenty to look forward to.
There are more standouts to be found in this issue. DC held nothing back, allowing its top writers to take a crack at the character. Scott Snyder, Geoff Johns, and Dan Jurgens all offer touching and insightful looks at Superman, his relationships, and his legacy. However, the stand-out here may just be Never-Ending Battle. Written by Peter J. Tomasi, this simple look back at major events in the character’s history will make you nostalgic even if you’ve never read a single Superman story. This is largely due to Patrick Gleason’s beautiful artwork. It is one of the few stories in the collection that manages to honor Superman without beating you over the head with a moral. It’s a refreshing and appropriate look back.
Not all the stories here are quite so impactful. They are, however, a lot of fun. Even The Game, which sees Superman sit down with Lex Luthor for a quick game of chess, brings some levity to a relationship that has been all-too dour in recent memory. Though the depictions of the characters in this story are shallow, writers Paul Levitz and Neal Adams certainly know how to show the readers a good time.
Even if you’re not a huge Superman fan, this issue is definitely worth picking up. In a way, it not only celebrates The Man of Steel, but superheroes and comics in general. There’s no better way to celebrate Superman’s birthday.
Final Score: 9/10
10 Characters Who Should Appear In The ‘Nightwing’ Movie
So Michael Cera’s appearance as Dick Grayson in The LEGO Batman Movie wasn’t enough for all you Nightwing fans, huh? Well, Warner Bros. is listening and has decided to give Heroic Hollywood’s number one sidekick his own movie. The LEGO Batman Movie helmer Chris McKay has been named the director of a Nightwing movie no one saw coming. Nightwing’s place in the DC Extended Universe is up in the air. How long ago did he quit being Robin? Are he and Batman speaking right now? Why wasn’t he mentioned in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice?
While the movie will likely answer all those questions, I expect it will also serve as an introduction to a different corner of the Batman universe. Batman might be in it for a scene or two, but the movie will need a supporting cast to help Nightwing appear as the kickass, sociable character he is. Bruce Wayne has got the brooding down, but former circus performer Dick Grayson knows how to have fun in a way his mentor doesn’t.
Hit Next to find out which ten characters should appear in the Nightwing movie.