One thousand issues. It’s a staggering number. Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster made his debut in the pages of Action Comics in 1938. Since that date, hundreds of writers, artists, editors, and other creators have contributed to Action Comics and have taken the Superman character in directions that Siegel and Shuster could not have even fathomed. Action Comics #1000 is the culmination of 80 years of the character that created one of America’s most unique art forms. Action Comics #1000 is both a reflection and a celebration of the Superman mythos from an all-star lineup of comic book creators contributing various short stories on Superman. Even if you aren’t a Superman fan, Action Comics #1000 is a must have for any comic book fan.
As stated before, all of the stories are a reflection on Superman and his place in the world. The first story written and drawn by Dan Jurgens is the most prominent example of this. Jurgens was the definitive Superman writer and artist during the 1990s and was responsible for the Death of Superman and Reign of Supermen storylines. Jurgens returned to writing and drawing the character a few years ago and created Superman’s son Jonathan Kent. Jurgens story involves the city of Metropolis celebrating Superman Day, an event that Superman himself is too humble to attend. The main crux of the story involves various members of Metropolis giving speeches at the event about how Superman has impacted their lives. Little do they know that Clark Kent is in the crowd attending the event with his wife Lois Lane and his son Jonathan. Dan Jurgens just wrapped up his second run with Superman and his contribution to Action Comics #1000 seems like his way of saying goodbye to the character.
One of the other great short stories in Action Comics #1000 comes from writer Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. The story is told entirely through splash pages and involves Superman from various alternate universes fighting his way back home to Lois Lane and Jonathan. This story is great because it highlights just how over the top and action packed the world of Superman is.
The story from Action Comics #1000 that people will be talking about the most is the story from writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Jim Lee. This Bendis’s first story for DC Comics after spending nearly 20 years exclusively with Marvel. Bendis’s story ends on a bit of a cliché, but writing for a new character and a new company could very well give Bendis a new lease on life. However, there is still ambivalence from fans on whether Bendis can make a comfortable transition from writing for Marvel characters to writing the most iconic character in the DC Comics’ lexicon.
There’s one more thing I should mention. Action Comics #1000 finally restores sanity to the universe by putting Superman back in his red trunks. I know some people think that the red trunks are silly, but I think they work from a design standpoint because the red trunks separate the blue portions of Superman’s costume. One can only hope that DC make this change permanent. Taking away Superman’s red trunks was just another attempt by DC to try and make Superman look cool, but not realizing what made Superman an icon to begin with.
Action Comics #1000 is one of the most wholesome comics I’ve ever read. It is truly heartwarming to see so many great writers and artists like Geoff Johns, Curt Swann, Richard Donner, Louise Simonson, Tom King, and John Cassaday come together to pay tribute to the character that built the entire comic book industry into the juggernaut that it is today. Action Comics #1000 will be looked upon many years from now as a landmark comic that truly live up to the hype.