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Superman Action Comics Annual 2021 #1

Review by Paul Bowler.

Legacies of the past and the future entwine as one in DC Comics Superman Action Comics Annual 2021 #1, as writer Philip Kennedy Johnson revisits Future State’s House of El as   Superman’s descendants of tomorrow face a threat established during the yesteryear of the present.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Future State for me was Philip Kennedy Johnson’s one-shot that explored the distant future of the House of El, where the legacy of the Man of Steel had merged with numerous other heroes and legacies of DC universe, and the despot villain  Prythos (Kal El’s fallen son) wished to tear down everything that his family’s heroic dynasty stands for. This special Action Comics Annual ties-in broadly with Johnson’s current “Warworld Rising” arc in Action Comics, the issue opens in the near future where a mysterious old man is telling a group of children a tale of heroes from their own future. Events then flash forward to a time of great prosperity and hope for the House of El, where Superwoman, Lady Kara Zor El, is presiding over a wedding in the House of El, but before the nuptials can be completed Prythos gatecrashes the ceremony. It falls to Brandon Kent, the Superman of this era, to protect his family and save the next generation of the House of El from the menace of Prythos – killer of Darksied and the new Highfather of Apokolips!

Philip Kennedy Johnson delivers a welcome return to the empire of the House of El which he established in Future State, and this Annual sets up a wealth of possibilities for the both the future and the present of the DCU. Tales of the House of El takes the wedding backdrop and turns it into a thrilling all-out action adventure, one laced with heartfelt emotion, a perilous voyage through the Phantom Zone, the surprise return of an old Superman villain, and there’s even a hint of redemption in the air as the story races to get to the church on time for its joyous final act.

The artwork by Siya Oum and Scott Godlewski provides us with dynamic realisation of the richly textured narrative. From the gleaming opulence of the Sanctuary to the chilling vistas of the Phantom Zone, the characters are stylishly defined, and the action sequences impressively rendered throughout. Hi-Fi’s colours are, as always, of a high standard, and every scene is awash with vibrant hues that perfectly accentuates the fine detail of Oum and Godlewski’s work.

I throughly enjoyed this exciting sojourn back to the Future State era of the House of El portrayed in Superman Action Comics Annual 2021. Whether the open-ended nature of much of what transpires in this issue will actually impact or influence Philip Kennedy Johnson’s Action Comics run, of course, remains to be seen. I for one sincerely hope these plot threads and characters are revisited again at some point. Superman Action Comics Annual 2021 #1 is a beautifully crafted story, one where a child’s toy becomes a treasured relic and the future personification of the fundamental  legacy of the House of El itself… hope.

Writer Philip Kennedy Johnson

Artist Siya Oum & Scott Godlewski

Colorist Hi-Fi / Letterer Dave Sharpe

Cover Scott Godlewski & Gabe Eltaeb

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook