Golden Times

DC’S year-long Dawn Of DC initiative begins with Action Comics


USHERING IN A “NEW DAWN OF the DC Universe”, Action 1051 heralds the arrival of a new beginning for Kal-el, who has recently returned to Earth. Adopting a 48-page format, it harks back to Superman’s classic titles as the main narrative will be joined by two back-ups, highlighti­ng characters from the wider supporting cast.

“Clark Kent is still very much the focus of Action Comics, and always will be,” says writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson, who is joined by artist Rafa Sandoval. “But in the wake of Superman’s off-world adventures in The Warworld Saga, I saw an opening to pay tribute to the old 80-Page Giants I grew up on, that told stories about all of the Super Family.

“Superfans have been missing Lois, Kara, Steel, Conner and the others while Superman was away, and with Dawn of DC bringing back a brighter DC Universe, it felt like a great time to bring Superman’s family together in a unified mission to save Metropolis and make it a true City of Tomorrow.”

DC recently celebrated the 30th anniversar­y of The Death Of Superman, and Johnson will be channellin­g the collaborat­ive spirit of the period. “What I loved about that era was the singular mission that drove all the Superman books: the fact that the creative teams were aware of what everyone else was doing and worked to keep all the stories working together,” reasons Johnson.

“In this new era of Superman stories, I didn’t necessaril­y want the story to pass directly from one title to the next like it used to. Every title will tell its own story and every writer and artist will be working in their own style, but I want the titles to have a feeling of unity.”

Describing it as “a landmark reset issue that sets a new status quo in Metropolis and sets the stage for all three Superman series,” Action Comics 1050 restored Clark Kent and family’s secret identities. “Action Comics 1051 is the first appearance of the family’s new costumes, the first appearance of a new recurring enemy and of the new Metropolis skyline,” teases Johnson, who will also explore

Superman’s hometown.

“Metropolis will go through its own arc in 2023. I love how instantly recognisab­le Gotham has become over the years, and Metropolis is about to become similarly iconic. It’s going to happen organicall­y in ways that serve the story, and it’ll be driven by Superman, Steelworks and Lex Luthor. Rafa Sandoval has designed an iconic new addition to the Metropolis skyline, which first appears in 1051.”

Johnson will amp up the threat posed by Metallo while riffing off Superman’s status as the Man of Steel. “Over the years, there have been countless images of Clark shielding someone from gunfire,” he says. “Metallo is a violent man, who was exposed to gun violence as a kid, and he slowly became a living gun through black science. One of the missions of this first arc is to define Metallo forever, and readers will get a much clearer picture of why Metallo, like Luthor, is a perfect foil for Superman.” SJ

Action Comics 1051 is out on 24 January.

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You’ll believe a boy can fly. Left: costume designs.
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