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Action Comics #1053

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 12 critic ratings.

“No livin’ thing’s supposed to have power like this. No matter how blue your eyes are or how pretty your face is, you’re just as much a monster as me.” War rages on between Metropolis’s two men of steel, Superman and Metallo! As Metallo’s new body continues to evolve in unexpected and nightmarish ways, the voice of his “operating system” has been changing too, testing the limits of his sanity. Finally, when his alien tech takes on a life of its own and infects the most violent members of the Blue Earth movement, the resultant abominations target Superman’s greatest strength and greatest weakness: his family! Introducing the first appearance of the Necrohive!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
45 pages
Amazon ASIN

12 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    Fortress of Solitude

  • 100

    But Why Tho?

    Action Comics #1053 from DC brings very personal character stories into the midst of finely honed action. So loving the three stories per issue smorgasbord, and each is in the middle of some very personal Kryptonian storytelling. The first one is written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, drawn by Rafa Sandoval, eye-popping colors by Matt Herms, and excellent letters by Dave Sharpe. (…) Great Caesar’s ghost, buy this! Three epic stories, not one is lacking. Each is drawing from the well of the Superman mythos while having a blast expanding it. The writing is top-tier from three brilliant writers in league with some of the brightest stars in the universe of comic book art, coloring, and lettering.

  • 97

    Comic Watch

    Action Comics #1053 is rife with that level of narrative care, especially in its big ending salvo with Jon and The Super-Twins. Kennedy is doing significant work to mature Jon’s relationship with his lost childhood. A conversation between him and Osul-Ra happens when he catches on to the less-than-subtle resentment he holds for the Twins about them having the childhood he never had. However, his mature recognition of what this means for him as an older brother was astoundingly written and heartfelt. It’s reconnecting Jon to his family, and while we may not be seeing the child’s return, Jon, anytime soon, maturing and giving him this new role within his family is the next best choice.

    This issue ends on a massive cliffhanger that promises to drive the arc’s themes about the root and morality of extremism. This series continues to be a perfect storm of bombastic superhero action, beautiful art, and poignant characterization. (…) ACTION COMICS #1053 is representative of what the best superhero comics in the modern day can be. Its narrative, a blend of plot decompression and precise character storytelling, is rife with deep themes that lay just under the surface of beautiful art and bombastic superhero action.

  • 96

    You Don't Read Comics

    Action Comics #1053 is yet another Superman spectacular. The middle story is weaker than usual, but the other two are still great. Williams and Sauvage are the highlight, with their story ending in the upcoming Power Girl special. However, no matter how it breaks down, this comic is a treat.

  • 95

    Geek Dad

    The three stories in this book continue to all be top-notch, with the main story being the class of the three. Superman has really never had to face what other superheroes have at various points—a concentrated assault on his existence not just by villains but by the public. But with the new Warworld refugees and the rise of the Blue Earth hate group, that’s changed. (…) Johnson and Williamson, meanwhile, are continuing to give us one of the best Luthors ever. (…) The Dan Jurgens backup continues to be great old-school Superman storytelling as well, with Doombreaker hunting the signal he’s getting from the artifact Jon stole. (…) The Power Girl backup has always been the strangest of the three stories, trying to sort out the character’s complex backstory while also dealing with a potential psychic assault from one of the heroes’ enemies. (…) Most of the story is a little slow, but the art is gorgeous and it seems to be setting up a new era for the character—with a surprise villain twist reveal that will follow into the upcoming special concluding this story.

  • 90

    That said, I did generally enjoy this issue. As I’ve mentioned already I like the work done with Bruce and in learning more about the Orghams. I am frustrated by the pacing, and do wish this series would move faster, but I am invested in this narrative and still interested to see where it’s going in the future.

  • 85

    Lyles Movie Files

    The main story of Metallo seeing visions of his sister and tormenting the Superman family in response has been solid. Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson has a larger cast to juggle than ideal, but he’s navigating the characters deftly enough weaving them in and out of the story as needed.

    It’s nice to see book collaboration again as Johnson clearly is synched up with Superman writer Joshua Williamson in terms of the dynamic with Lex Luthor and doesn’t feel disconnected with events playing out in the other title. Beyond the action, Johnson makes sure to address the potential sticking point of Jon contending with some jealousy over his parents’ new adopted children. It was smart to tackle this as it makes Jon a more well-rounded character to have natural feelings about being “replaced.” (…) Action Comics juggles multiple storylines, but the creative teams have proved up to the challenge of crafting enjoyable stories for Superman and his extended family.

  • 80

    Supergirl Comic Box Commentary

    Action Comics #1053 came out last week and was another crackling issue … well mostly crackling, This is an anthology book so there are three individual stories present here. No surprise, I liked some more than others. There is the main story, the Superman Family story with Superman fighting Metallo. This is an excellent story. This Metallo is creepy but also sympathetic. The actions and interactions of the super-family are wonderful. In particular, two moments – one between Kal and Kenan, and one between Jon and Osul – are emotional and powerful. Rafa Sandavol’s art feels a little raw but that adds energy to the proceedings. Nothing wrong here.

    The Dan Jurgens/Lee Weeks flashback story to an untold tale of young Jon is a solid storyline. There are two plots proceeding at pace here. One is Jon befriending an alien Princess in peril. I think this is a ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ moment for Jon. There is the Doombreaker plot with Doombreaker looking for the Doomsday spike which created him in the first place.

    But it is the last story, the Power Girl story, by Leah Williams and Marguerite Sauvage that I find lacking. Sauvage’s art is beautiful in its pastel glory. But the story, a complete demolition of Power Girl, feels wrong. Power Girl has had a solid characterization and a strong foundation for decades. She doesn’t need fixing. Here, Williams decides to torpedo everything we know about Power Girl. I don’t recognize a Power Girl feeling alone, anonymous, rudderless. If anything, it just makes me want to re-read the Palmiotti/Conner run to read Peeg done right. This feels like another creator coming up with an idea and bolting it onto a pre-existing character. I have got behind new interpretations of characters before and I have given this story some time to see if it would work. For me, it just doesn’t.

  • 80


    Action Comics #1053 moves the narrative forward across its three stories. Each creative team has space to play to their respective strengths, showcasing how the extended and immediate Superman families are able to tackle the challenges of the past and present. (…) Overall, Action Comics #1053 addresses a number of my concerns with the central narrative, and provides some backups that are nice, but ultimately inconsequential. Three issues into this new status quo, I remain optimistic about the future of the title, if only to see how the backup stories change and further enhance the main story.

  • 80

    First Comics News

  • 75


    Johnson has written a tense story that balances its thriller elements with strong inter-character dynamics. The Metallo plotline is as strong as any horror story and the mystery of the person pulling his strings is engaging (even though solicits might have ruined that). Even better is the relationships between the different Supers. Conner and Kara are quickly becoming a favorite sibling-like pair, with a believable bond. The issue-closing interaction between Jon and the Twins is even better, deepening and humanizing all three. (…) Superman and his family have their hands full, and in the next few issues, I think we’re going to some exciting events. This is worth picking up.

  • 75

    Weird Science DC Comics

    Well, two out of three ain’t bad. With few exceptions, anthologies are a mixed bag of good shorts and bad shorts. Action Comics #1053 is no different as the shorts showcasing Superman and his family come out of the gate swinging, but the Power Girl short is a disaster. (…) Action Comics #1053 delivers three stories to whet your Kryptonian whistle. The strongest stories center around Superman and his family as they fight against an assortment of threats. The Power Girl short, however, is a mess.

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