The unbelievable has happened: DC’s Action Comics title has hit issue 1000! How SUPER is that?? It’s certainly a special occasion, and issue 1000 is a landmark issue!

This 80 page Giant is shipping with several variant covers, each showing Superman from one decade; 1930’s is by Steve Rude, 1940’s is by Michael Cho, and so forth. Some of the variant covers, like these two, hit the mark, and look great. Dave Gibbons’ 1950 cover, while it might resemble a cover from that time, doesn’t do Superman justice; he’s awkwardly posed, and not too convincing. Jim Steranko’s 1970s cover is perhaps a tad too poetic (Superman in mid-air, wrapped in the American flag, surrounded by seagulls or doves). I think my favorite cover is the 2000s variant by Lee Bermejo; Superman as overseer of the city, rippling with muscle and tension.

Inside, this is no typical 80 Page Giant; there are short stories galore, and all of them are new. We have a previously unpublished short story illustrated by the late great Curt Swan, and another by Neal Adams! Dan Jurgens contributes story and art, in an appropriately themed tale of the city of Metropolis gathering to thank Superman for his service.

The story follows story in this 1000th issue, and some perform better than others. While some stories play their nostalgic violin with a sad sorrowful melody, others are more like a series of pin-up pages of Superman’s greatest challenges. The theme is obviously: Superman through the years. Enough of the past, Tom King adds his touch to Superman’s legacy by looking at potential futures for Superman; a theme that King has been trying out in Mister Miracle and Batman: what comes later?

All in all, there are some good moments. Perhaps the story that packs the biggest WALLOP is “The Truth” written by Brian Michael Bendis, illustrated by Jim Lee (pencils) and Scott Williams (inks). It is a genuinely hard-hitting story, and, guess what, it’s continued in The Man of Steel!

There is no open acknowledgement of the strength and longevity of Superman’s 80 year run in Action Comics or retrospective of the Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster creative team here, and that’s unfortunate. But sometimes what lies unsaid by today’s dudes is that our own memories of Action Comics through the years are stronger than any 80 paged pause in the continuing evolution of this much loved SuperHero.

DC Comics, Action 1000, $7.99 for 80 pages of content. Not rated.

By Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!