Tom King, Clay Mann, and Jordie Bellaire’s contribution to the upcoming Action Comics #1000 is a quiet, meditative and layered short story that adds a new level of depth and sadness to the Man of Steel.
Action Comics #1000
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Clay Mann
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: John Workman
*Editor’s Note: This review was previously published early.
It’s not easy to tell a story, let alone a good one, in a short narrative. But Tom King nails it here. In just five pages, King creates a scenario that not only opens up the extent of Superman’s powers, but also reveals a deeper tragedy, self awareness and loneliness to the character that sometimes gets overlooked. Yet that Clark Kent optimism, a character-defining trait, is still there. This has always been King’s Midas touch, that ability to give you a new side of a character, while still respecting the established persona created. He did it in Batman and he has done it again here.
Plot-wise, it’s best to refrain from spoilers, but this story takes place in a future time and Superman is also the only character we see. Ponder on that!
Clay Mann and Jordie Bellaire are an experienced duo and once again bring some arresting images to the page. This story asks for Superman to be shown as both the superhero (powerful, God-like) and the emotional human (mournful, lonely) and the art team manages to create panels that invoke both; the splash page like images jump out at you. The small panels, where Superman is pictured a barely a tiny figure, pull you in.
The colors are also vibrant yet muted too. Given the setting, the palette really creates true atmosphere without overdoing ‘gloss’ or vibrancy.
If ‘Of Tomorrow’ is any indication of the quality of story we are getting in Action Comics #1000, then it should be an excellent issue. But what is for sure is that King, Mann, and Bellaire have created a classic Superman tale worth reading on it’s own.