“Citizens of Metropolis, we are here today to thank the man that has done more than we can ever thank him for…”

It’s finally here. The monumental occasion is upon us! Superman has hit 80, and Actions Comics has reached issue #1000! This feat has been brought to readers by thousands of people over the character’s 80 year history. From artists like Curt Swan and Jim Lee, to writers like Dan Jurgens and Scott Snyder. So many of DC’s talents have told tales featuring Big Blue. It’s no surprise then, that every one of those artists and many more have stories in Action Comics #1000. 

The most anticipated story, however, is the debut of Brian Michael Bendis. As a new writer at DC Comics, and one of the most famous comic book writer’s in Marvel History, his work has high expectations. Like the entire issue itself, his story lives up to the hype. There’s so much to love about Action Comics #1000, it’s difficult to talk about what stories stand out when they all stand out. From Marv Wolfman’s innovative reinvention of some classic Curt Swan art to Tom King and Clay Mann’s look into dystopian yet hopeful future. One of the more important revelations of recent DC news is that the red trunks are back! But that’s only a brief topic of discussion in this issue. Instead, the only goal seemed to be creating a great anthology of Superman stories.

Action Comics #1000

DC’s greatest writers and artists succeeded and then some. Action Comics #1000 isn’t just one of the most impressive achievements in the history of comics, it’s a fantastic issue of Superman you’ll never want to put down.

“If there’s one thing that always keeps me focused, it’s innocent people in danger.”

Yeah, that sounds like Superman. The words may be Peter Tomasi’s, but those are the thoughts of the Man of Steel alright. That’s exactly how every story in Action Comics #1000 sounds. As if together, these writers told different stories through one cohesive voice. Obviously, that’s the intention when all the stories star Superman. But this is more than that. This is about each writer taking their unique vision and channeling it through the most virtuous voice in comics. The editors and group editors clearly put their time in on this issue.

Every panel feels like perfect Superman. A look into a past or present timeline that doesn’t have to connect with the others. Peter Tomasi’s story doesn’t need to connect to that of Brian Michael Bendis. Instead, it’s like walking through a museum of gorgeous tapestries and paintings. Some are fluid stories, some are images tethered together by a monologue. But each one differs in just the right ways. Never does any story feel tedious, or will ever give the reader the impression they need to “move on to the next one.”

Action Comics #1000

Every story is a worthwhile look at the greatest superhero ever created. The most relevant of which might be the first, written and drawn by Dan Jurgens entitled, “From the City that Has Everything.” It’s a day of appreciation in Metropolis! All of its citizens want nothing more than to honor their favorite hero. That hero happens to hate praise. He’d rather be off saving the world, of course. That’s the kind of character Superman is and the kind of character he teaches to everyone who reads one of his comics. Jurgens’ story may have said the loudest, but every story is a love letter to the character. Hopefully, Superman can take some time to appreciate it in return.

“Goodbye Man of Tomorrow, your future is in the past.”

And what a glorious past it was. Almost every iconic image or costume the hero has worn makes an appearance in this issue, thanks in particular to the tireless and amazing work of Patrick Gleason. He and Tomasi’s comic takes the reader through time with Superman, in a long yet short battle against Vandal Savage. Tom King and Clay Mann’s story, Of Tomorrow, also plays with the idea of time. They send an immortal Superman to bid adieu to a dying Earth. An interesting story that only the wonderful and captivating mind of Tom King could think of. But it doesn’t feel out of place among the more typical stories.

Action Comics #1000

With every story featuring such uniquely engrossing writing and art, but the same subject, it all feels like one long and twisted run on Superman. That makes perfect sense when considering this is Action Comics #1000. The only story to have any weight on the future of Superman is the work of Jim Lee and Brian Michael Bendis. An exciting and action-oriented climax to a glorious piece of work. Every artist and colorist brought their A-Game. As did writers like Scott Snyder, Geoff Johns, Marv Wolfman, Tom King and Richard Donner. Icons who’ve already contributed heavily to the comic mythology of DC. But together, they made something special just for Superman.

The Verdict

Superman is a part of American history. An idea from two Jewish comic book writers based on the Golem myth. But more than that, it was about someone big and strong standing up for the little guy. Someone who was automatically, inherently, stronger than the bad people of the world. That’s the origin of Superman. That character is very much at the center of Action Comics #1000. The stories contained within have a bevy of different settings and plots. There are many different characters and outfits to go with the Man of Steel. Yet they all feel the same. Every panel sounds like him; every monologue reads like him. The writers and artists chosen for this monumental occasion are perfect. Each managing to tell a brand new story with that same ole Supes.

Brian Michael Bendis may be the writer most heavily involved in his near-future, but everyone from Patrick Gleason to Curt Swan to Richard Donner is just as key to the character’s past. Helping to put together this hero who isn’t perfect, but tries his hardest to be. Action Comics #1000 is a love letter to one of the greatest heroes in fiction. In some he faces his worst foes, in some he just tries to have a nice day. So much is expected of this hero who manages to live up to it all. Just like this issue. It took 1,000 issues of Action Comics to get to this point.

To be able to put out such an enchanting issue of Action Comics isn’t easy. But thanks to the work of countless writers and artists, Superman has done it again.

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Comic Book Review: Action Comics #1000
Pros
  • DC's Best Pay Homage to the Greatest Superhero Ever!
  • Every Page is Filled with Iconic and Beautiful Artwork
  • A Perfect Cap to 1,000 Incredible Issues
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About The Author

Daniel Mills
Batman & DC Writer

Daniel Mills is a screenwriter and director working in Los Angeles, California. Far too many comics and Forgotten Realms-novels led him to want to tell stories of his own. From articles and opinion pieces to reviews and screenplays, he sees every new opportunity as another new realm waiting to be explored.

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