A good issue that lays the groundwork for what could be one awesome coming together of the multiple characters being juggled.

Look at this cover — no, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Lois Lane is wearing crazy armor and ready to inflict violence on anyone in her way. I guess that’s what happens when you end up in Apokolips for the day! This isn’t just Lois’ story though, so let’s dive in and give this issue a look-see.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

“IMPERIUS LEX” finale! Votes begin to be cast in Kryptonian blood as Apokolips’ hordes of hellish residents choose a new leader to occupy Darkseid’s throne. The Man of Steel finds himself caught in a violent democratic battle with Lex Luthor leading the race for godhood.

Why does this matter?

Action Comics is nearing its 1,000th issue, which makes Superman more pertinent than ever. There’s also Doomsday Clock coming out in only a few weeks so you know DC is not going to take Superman storytelling lightly! This issue also has Jack Herbert and Ed Benes on art who always do a fantastic job with detail and action.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

He’s surrounded!

Apokolips has a Mad Max vibe about it, which Lois quickly learns stranded in a desert-like environment. This is part two of the “Fire and Furies” storyline that has Superman, his son Jon, and Lex all attempting to stay alive in a very dangerous place. Tomasi balances each of their stories quite well — he links Superman to Lex’s manipulation of the people of Apokolips (he’s good at that), Lois gets to be a hero in her own right, and Jon ends the book with the cliffhanger. It’s a classic example of characters having their own adventures, but still having their narratives connect that’ll turn into a satisfying conclusion.

Tomasi uses all their powers quite well, from Lex’s ability to use his brain to convince folks, Jon surprising anyone that comes his way, and Lois being a true hero even if she doesn’t have powers. She’s brave and it’s rather cool to see how Tomasi is making her stand her ground amongst warriors.

The action in this issue is pretty great too, mostly in the Lois scenes. She must take on a giant sand monster and the artists draw a hell of a beast for her to go up against. The layouts work well to slice up the action with diagonal panels and good use of full-page spreads. Always fun to see a usually straight-laced character like Lois Lane ripping a red fleshy meat off a bone too.

They seem like a fun group.

It can’t be perfect can it?

Superman gets little to do in this issue, serving as a message from Lex more than anything else. The seeds are planted for an interesting use of him next issue, but I was expecting more from his side of things — he is the title character, after all.

Is It Good?

A good issue that lays the groundwork for what could be one awesome coming together of the multiple characters being juggled. Superman and his family are showing their gumption in an exciting issue.

Superman #34
Is it good?
A strong issue that sets up each of the characters for what's to come well.
Balances each of the characters' stories well, increasing the anticipation of their eventual coming together
Gleason draws a hell of a sand monster
Superman isn't in this one much