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Action Comics #1054

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 15 critic ratings.

As Superman and Natasha Irons race to save Steel from the newly transformed Metallo, the Super-Twins are lost-and alone-against the nightmarish threat of the Necrohive! How will Lois and the House of El find them? Plus, learn the shocking identity of the mysterious “ghost in the machine” behind Metallo’s transformation as he and Superman face each other in an epic rematch for the ages! Plus: A new era for John Henry Irons begins in “Steel Forged” part 1! And Dan Jurgens explores the not-too-distant-past world of “Lois and Clark 2” in a bold new interlude!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
44 pages
Amazon ASIN

15 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    Comic Watch

    Phillip Kennedy Johnson took on the series as its primary writer way back when Action Comics has grown to be a superhero title that would irrevocably define what a superhero story can be in the modern day. This issue explicitly carries the qualities of a perfect superhero story, a tale of significant action and more significant stakes that still manage to keep a bleeding heart of thematic richness. At that heart’s center is a climactic fight between Metallo and Superman, a battle between a god who chose to be a man and a man who decided to be a monster.


    Kennedy’s writing remains unfathomably good. He manages to weave so much into this issue without missing a beat or rushing anything remotely important. His narrative work with Jon is some of the best we’ve had since the character was a twelve-year-old boy. Johnson clearly understands healthy, but still imperfect familial relationships. His voice for the two isn’t Superman and Superboy but father and son. Jon’s struggle with his place as the son of Superman comes to a head in this chapter, and Jon blames himself for the Super twin’s abduction. It’s an emotional setup for growth that will go way down the line, but how Johnson presents these early seeds is engaging, as he frames it all through a well-done dialogue between Jon and Clark.


    Dan Jurgens and Lee Weeks are continuing their story without hiccups or ease. It’s a well-written reflection on an era of Jon Kent that is supposedly forever trapped in the past, but this doesn’t make it a worthless piece of fan-fishing. Jurgens’ writing is clever and insightful. Norm Rapmund’s art is the perfect narrative companion as he steps up to the plate to take Lee Week’s place. If you’ve been enjoying this backup series, you still will. If you haven’t been, it’s just more of the same. DC Comics shouldn’t just stop here with this arc but use it as an opportunity to continuously give fans insightful stories of Jon in the past as the future continues to push forward evermore.

    The second backup is a new one entitled Steelforged, and it is taking over the spot Powergirl has left behind. Writer Dorado Quick and artist Yasmin Flores Montanez have crafted an easy-to-read and well-told gateway for new readers into the world and mind of John Henry Irons. It’s very by the numbers, but it gets the job done it needed to while also being entertaining. Montanez’s art could do with more well-rounded coloring, as the pencils are solid. It is the only knock this backup has, that being the relatively flat coloring.

    Action Comics continues to be a top shelf book, what more could one say? Action, emotional stakes, great art, and even greater characters. Check it out!

  • 100

    But Why Tho?

    Action Comics #1054 is your stop for heroism. This is a triple threat loaded with fabulous art, neat use of powers, familial conflict, moral struggles, and the neverending battle for narrative and character progress. this is the best Superman since before the New 52. Don’t let more powers or an increase in Super characters dissuade you. Do you want great action, great heroes, and bad villains? America’s first superhero comic is your ground zero, my friend.

  • 100

    Fortress of Solitude

  • 100

    Superman Homepage

    STORY 1: Philip Kennedy Johnson continues to add twists, turns and excitement to his run on the title. Bringing Superman back to Earth and adding the family to mix allows him to explore things that have been done while adding something new to the mythos. Johnson is perhaps one of the best new writers in comics. He gets the characters of Superman, Lois, Jon and everyone else in their lives, and the way he handles him gives me faith he’ll do well on his upcoming The Incredible Hulk book for Marvel. I hope he stays with Superman for a long time.

    STORY 2: This chapter does take a slightly predictable route, but that doesn’t stop from being a great read. I’ve been enjoying this series since its return, and I still hope DC comes to their senses and allows to have a bigger format like a monthly book or another mini-series. Dan Jurgens proves yet again why he’s still among the best creators in the business with this feature.

    STORY 3: Steel honestly deserves his own comic. Hopefully, this feature can lead into that. We have a short, but fun back-up that blends superhero action with great character moments. Plus, it’s very reader friendly with pages that fill in new readers on Steel’s up until this story. This and all the other content in this comic book make it the best issue of Action Comics in the “Dawn of DC” line.

  • 95

    Geek Dad

    The Superman line continues to be the best it’s been in many years, and while Josh Williamson’s adjective-less title may be the most-hyped, this Superman family anthology feels like it’s the heart of the line. The last issue ended with a shocking cliffhanger—as young Otho was driven to rage by the Blue Earth anti-alien protests and seemed to kill a bigot live on TV. As John and Osul show up to restrain her, it turns out she’s been bailed out by the fact that the protester was a Metallo drone designed to lure her there—the ultimate good-news, bad-news. Metallo’s latest strike against the Super-family turns out to be the most dangerous yet, as the Super-Twins are taken hostage and Jon is driven to a near-breakdown, but it also leads to some fantastic moments as we see how far Clark will go not just to protect his family, but to save his villains from themselves. The reveal about the true villain of this arc was spoiled in solicits, but it fits perfectly given the villains’ motivation.

    The backups continue to be excellent as well, and it made me especially happy to see Dan Jurgens’ iconic art returning to the backup. As Superman and Lois deal with the attack of the fast-mutating Doombreaker, Jon has returned to Earth with the fugitive princess in tow—and the death squads aimed at executing them both in fast pursuit. This story calls back to the tone of some of the Super-Sons stories, but with some added political context and a surprising last-act twist that casts everything we’ve seen in a much darker tone. It’s worth noting that Jurgens is now into his fourth decade of writing and drawing the Man of Steel!

    The second backup is new, turning the focus on Steel before his solo series in Steelworks. Dorado Quick and Yasmin Flores Montanez pit Steel against a new villain—the rogue arms dealer Amalgam—before the launch of the Steelworks project. The villain doesn’t make much of an impact here, but the story does as the creative team flashes back to Steel’s down-to-earth origin and shows what still motivates him to make the world a better place. He continues to be one of the most relatable and human heroes at DC.

    Overall, this book continues to surpass expectations every month.

  • 85

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    In Action Comics #1054, Metallo and his Necrohive strike again as they ambush Jon and the kids to lure out Superman for a deadly encounter. The action and dialogue in this comic is great, and even with the art change, the comic book’s art is still on point. It also helps that the battle between Superman and Metallo is cool and how Superman resolves things with Corben is well-written and greatly in-character. The comic also reveals who the mastermind pulling Metallo’s strings is, and it’s a face many Superman, let alone DC fans will know, which immediately escalates things for the next issue of Action Comics.

  • 85

    Weird Science DC Comics

    Action Comics #1054 is the best entry in the series since the title moved to an anthology format. There’s a clear first-second-third pecking order in the shorts, but they’re close enough to each other in story quality and art style to make the end result worth the cover price.

  • 84

    You Don't Read Comics

    Action Comics #1054 delivers with all three stories. The main story is the winner this month, but the third is a pretty good replacement for a Power Girl short. The second story has taken a nice twist, even if there are still some problems with it. Action Comics has been amazing for ages now, and this issue keeps that up.

  • 84

    Supergirl Comic Box Commentary

    It’s not a bad story and certainly if this was someone’s first Steel story it’s a winner. But this didn’t have the momentum or energy of that first story. And it was pretty straightforward. As a fan of the old Superman Family book, I am happy this book is on the shelf. But it is clear that the main story is the engine for me. The back-ups are solid stories. What Johnson is doing on the main story is stellar. So I am here for this title. Because I think that these other characters of the super family deserve their own stories. And unlike the Batman Family, they aren’t getting their own titles. So bring on a flashback story of young Jon and a Steel tale.

  • 83

    Graphic Policy

    Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Action Comics #1054 has the Necrohive and Metallo causing terror and the people of Gotham not quite sure as to what to do. Some of the sentiment has turned against Superman and his family, a play off of the b xenophobic as well as general distrust of people doing actual good in our real world.


    The art by Mazy Raynor, with color by Matt Herms, and lettering by Dave Sharpe looks great. There’s something about this series so far that has remained steady delivering a colorful, cheery look, no matter how brutal fights might get or how down moments might be. The look has matched the attitude of the comic. There’s some great visuals and the fight between Superman and Metallo looks solid.

    Dan Jurgens continues to write and draw “Home Again” taking place some time ago in a “lost tale.” Jurgens is joined by Norm Rapmund with color by Elizabeth Breitweiser, and lettering by Rob Leigh. The story involves an alien princess trying to find Superman and instead finding Jon. It’s been entertaining though this chapter feels a bit predictable towards the end.

    A new story also begins in “Steel Forged” which focuses on John Henry Irons. Written by Dorado Quick with art by Yasmín Flores Montañez, color by Brad Anderson, and lettering by Dave Sharpe the comic is a good one introducing John and beginning to set him apart from Superman. It adds a little depth to what I remember of his introduction way back in the “Reign of the Supermen” storyline. Where it goes should be interesting and feels like a nice way to spotlight more of the Super family.

    Overall, there’s something rather nice in Action Comics #1054. The comic doesn’t have the doom and gloom of so much of what has been put out there and instead delivers the uplifting tale you’d hope from Superman. It has the action without the dark cloud hanging over everything. It’s been a while since I’ve really been into Superman and DC is delivering a monthly dose of positivity that’ll keep me coming back for more.

  • 80

    This might be the best issue of Action Comics in recent memory – and that holds true across not just the main story, but one of the secondary stories as well. Action Comics #1054 sees Superman face off with Metallo and marks a turning point for the latter while not only reinforcing everything that makes Superman the hero he is, but setting the stage for the real conflict that this storyline has been promising. Superman, in dealing with Metallo, offers the foe not just grace but his help in finding and rescuing his sister despite the threat Metallo has just made on the Super Twins, but he does it without ignoring the harm Metallo has caused. It’s solid writing that shows a keen understanding of Superman on a fundamental level and while the art falls in a “good enough” category, there are a couple of panels at the end of the story that drive home the threat with the return of a more terrifying foe. As for the secondary stories, “Lois & Clark 2″‘s entry is very predictable, but even at that the obvious twist feels poorly constructed. The real winner of the two secondary stories is “Steel: Engineer of Tomorrow” which somehow puts together nonstop action and a lot of heart while setting the stage for something more exciting. It’s a real delight. Overall, solid issue from cover to cover.

  • 80

    First Comics News

  • 75

    Lyles Movie Files

    Action Comics is a case of diminishing returns once the issue moves past the main Superman and Family vs. Metallo arc. Fortunately, the main story has been very strong. Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson truly and fully gets the heart of Superman and who he is at the core. It’s not rocket science and doesn’t need to be overthought. And as long as Johnson is writing Superman, there’s a confidence that the stories will never slip pass a highly competent level from a writer who cares about the character.

    This issue finds the Super Twins caught in a Metallo trap. It’s up to Superman and Jon to save them although Johnson doesn’t explain where the rest of the Super Family is in this mini-crisis moment.

    Max Raynor’s art is solid though it’s somewhat surprising that regular artist Rafa Sandoval missed this issue. Raynor handles the action with no trouble and lays out clean panels and expressive characters. Matt Herms’ color work remains consistent with the right mix of dark and bright choices as dictated by the story.

    Dan Jurgens wrote and drew this chapter of his young Jon Kent story as Jon tries to keep a princess safe while Superman deals with Doombreaker. Nothing has played out in this series that makes Doombreaker feel like a good idea. It’s been a decent try, but a Doomsday rehash feels completely redundant at this point.

    The third story, from writer Dorado Quick and artist Yores Flores Montanez, features Steel. That’s the best part as the script has some weak dialogue like “It’s lit. So lit” and “Hey Metal Mouth, take a hard reboot.” Quick gives John Henry Irons an overdue spotlight while attempting to modernize Steel’s origin in line with the wild frontier of this continuity-loose era of DC. Montanez’s art is somewhat loose and cartoonish, which would probably fit better for Steel’s niece Natasha.

    Johnson’s main story is the attraction here and so long as he’s leading the charge, Action Comics will remain a solid read. With stronger supporting stories, this would be a can’t miss title.

  • 70

    Comics Nexus by Inside Pulse

    An ecclectic issue, among the three stories, but compelling tales and solid art generally speaking. Intrigued by what’s to come.

  • 60


    All in all, while I won’t not recommend this issue for those who are keen to keep up with the main story, the backup stories may make Action Comics #1054 a tough sell for readers that want to get the most bang for their buck. This won’t be enough for me to drop the title, but I can only hope that Johnson can keep his foot on the gas in order to maintain the interest of the Superman fandom.

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