Action Comics 1000

Action Comics #1000 (cover dated Early June 2018) is the thousandth issue of the original run of the comic book/magazine series Action Comics. It features several Superman stories from a variety of creators, including previously unpublished artwork by Curt Swan, who drew Superman for decades. It was a commercial and critical success, being the most-ordered comic of the month.

Action Comics #1000
Action Comics 1000
Standard cover to Action Comics #1000 (Early June 2018) with art by Jim Lee (pencils), Scott Williams (inks), and Hi-Fi Design (colors)
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
GenreSuperhero
Publication dateEarly June 2018 (cover date) / April 18, 2018 (on sale date)

Contents

(L to R) IGN's Laura Prudom, Dan Jurgens, Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis at SXSW 2018
IGN's Laura Prudom (far left) hosts a panel at 2018's South by Southwest convention discussing Superman's eightieth anniversary and the release of Action Comics #1000, with (left to right): Dan Jurgens, Jim Lee, Frank Miller, and Brian Michael Bendis. Miller has an unrelated Superman project scheduled for later in the year.

Action Comics #1000 is an anthology, and contains several Superman stories, mostly around five to ten pages, showcasing different eras of Superman's publication history and fictional life:

Publication and promotion

Library of Congress celebration of Action Comics and Superman
The Library of Congress hosting a discussion with Dan Jurgens and Paul Levitz for Superman's 80th anniversary and the issue.

Action Comics #1000 involved several creative teams working independently for multiple stories. This anthology approach was common in comics' early history but is more rare today. The lead story ends a commercially and critically successful run by Jurgens, who has a long history working on Superman, including "The Death of Superman" storyline from 1992 and hands over the book to new regular writer Bendis who is also responsible for writing the mini-series Man of Steel (volume 2), following from his short story in this issue. García-López came out of retirement for this issue.[2] DC initially solicited the title featuring several creators who did not appear in the final version, including Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (who had previously partnered on All-Star Superman), long-time Superman artist Doug Mahnke, and Tim Sale.[3]

The comic was paired with a hardcover retrospective released one week prior, Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman (ISBN 978-1401278878). This book features essays, reprints of previous stories and covers, the print debut of "The Game", and a newly published story made by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster that a young Marv Wolfman was given when he toured DC's headquarters as a child. The two publications' similar names and release dates caused confusion among consumers; this was compounded by the fact that the original title of the hardcover explicitly mentioned Action Comics #1000.[4] Additionally, the book was originally solicited with a poster but that was removed prior to publication and made a separate item for purchase.[5]

DC also had the issue tie in to an episode of The Big Bang Theory where the character of Sheldon Cooper attempts to buy the comic but is interrupted by Neil Gaiman (playing himself) and the issue sells out due to the author mentioning the store he is in on social media, causing a flood of comic fans to visit.[5]

Reception

Critical reception

For The A.V. Club, Oliver Sava called the issue "an emotional, exciting celebration of Superman’s evolution and the core tenets that have stayed constant through these changes" giving it a B+.[6] At Bleeding Cool, Joshua Davison gave the issue a 9.5 out of 10, saying, "In the litany of 'landmark' issues released of late—almost entirely of which came from Marvel and have been largely quite enjoyable—Action Comics #1000 manages to stand apart on a mixture of charm, endless sincerity, and an optimistic tone to brighten up even these dark times." He praised the issue for having several unique takes on Superman mythos.[7] Eric Francisco of Inverse agreed that the comic was a superlative tribute to Superman, writing, "the comic itself will go down as one of the best Superman stories of all time. Very sentimental, maybe to a fault, Action #1000 is less about celebrating Superman, the Intellectual Property and more about examining why people believe in characters like Superman in the first place."[8]

GameStop's Comicbook.com featured a review from Russ Burlingame, giving the issue four out of five, writing, "there is a lot to love in this volume".[9] IGN's Jesse Schedeen gave the release an 8 out of 10, summing up, "there's a lot of heart in these pages, and no shortage of gorgeous artwork. It's impossible not to be moved by the many loving Superman tributes these creative teams have put together."[10] In PopMatters' review by Jack Fisher, the issue got nine out of ten with the finale reading, "Like the Man of Steel himself, Action Comics #1000 does plenty to raise the bar and bring hope to generations past and present. What started Siegel and Shuster nearly a century ago is still going strong today. It seems impossible that any character could endure for so long, but that's exactly what makes him Superman."[11]

Assessing the importance of the comic, Polygon writer Susana Paolo pointed out how momentous it was for Brian Michael Bendis to leave competitor Marvel Comics after several years of writing many of that company's flagship characters and summarized the review, "If you’ve low-key detested every Superman story you’ve read or if you’ve given the character a good shake and still just don’t see his appeal, skip this one. But if, instead, you have an ounce of romance in your soul, pick it up."[12] Similarly, Comic Book Resources caps the review from Jim Johnson by pointing out how, "[f]ans of Bendis have a lot to look forward to, but those enamored with the now-concluded Jurgens/Tomasi/Gleason era might take some time to win over" but praising the issue overall.[13]

The importance of Bendis' transition to DC was noted by Newsarama's David Reposte: "Of course, the question on everyone's mind is likely what will be in the Man of Steel's future, as we get our first taste of Brian Michael Bendis at DC Comics. Teaming up with Jim Lee, Bendis certainly starts his tenure off with a bang... and while the cliffhanger of the story can't help but feel a little cheap, you can only hope that Bendis brings this tighter, more focused writing to his new company". He concludes the review, "[i]n a lot of ways, Action Comics #1000 feels like a bulletproof comic book, one whose strengths outweigh its flaws, and one whose structure seems impervious to diminished momentum" and gave the book eight out of 10.[14]

The issue was notable not only for the quality of the stories and one of comics' most famous creators joining a new company but also for Superman's costume reverting to its classic style with red trunks and yellow belt.[15] As part of The New 52 line-wide revision, DC substantially changed the history and appearance of many of their heroes, including Superman. After the DC Rebirth event merged elements of the old and new continuities, his appearance stayed mostly the same but this issue reintroduced the classic look the character has had basically for the entirety of his print history. NPR's Glen Weldon praised the move from an aesthetic perspective, saying that it "satisfies" and breaks up the blue and red color nicely. For io9, Rob Bricken summed up the controversy over the costume writing, "Superman is an icon, and so is his outfit", urging DC to revert to the classic costume years prior;[16] the publication touted the return of the traditional suit in the run-up to the release.[17] Prior to the issue's release, DC promoted the comic by handing out red trunks at SXSW.[18]

Commercial reception

Despite retailing for $7.99, this issue was the best-selling comic of April 2018. Its variant covers were also very popular, which was shown a few weeks before the issue's release in a breakdown from Diamond Comic Distributors of additional orders of comics which had 10 of Action Comics' covers in the top 15 of re-orders for that week. The standard cover was first, with the 1960s homage by Mike Allred being third, a blank white cover was fourth, a 2000s cover by Lee Bermejo was fifth, the 1930s cover by Steve Rude was sixth, the 1990s cover from Dan Jurgens was eighth, Jim Steranko's 1970s cover was ninth, the 1940s variant by Michael Cho was tenth, Joshua Middleton's 1980s cover was eleventh, and the 1950s variant by Dave Gibbons was twelfth.[19] Two weeks before it was released, DC Comics' co-publisher Dan DiDio announced retailers had purchased more than half a million copies.[20] The issue ended up being both the comic that sold the most issues as well as the one that made the most money in the North American market in April 2018, according to Diamond Comic Distributors;[21] the final tally for April was 449,787 units.[22][23] In contrast, The Amazing Spider-Man #800—another heavily promoted milestone issue released in the following month of May—sold 411,480 copies to retailers. Action Comics #1000 also charted in May, as the 23rd most-ordered comic with another 52,129 units sold.[24][25]

References

  1. ^ Burlingame, Russ (March 27, 2018). "Dan Jurgens's Action Comics #1000 Story Evokes "The Death of Superman", Lois & Clark". GameStop. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  2. ^ Johnston, Rich (April 7, 2018). "More Action Comics #1000 and Man of Steel Artwork Shown at C2E2". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  3. ^ Johnston, Rich (April 20, 2018). "What Happened to Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, and Doug Mahnke on Action Comics #1000?". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  4. ^ Johnston, Rich (April 17, 2018). "Some People Just Realised the Action Comics #1000 Deluxe Hardcover Doesn't Have Action Comics #1000". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Johnston, Rich (April 20, 2018). "How Neil Gaiman Stopped Sheldon Buying Action Comics #1000 on The Big Bang Theory". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  6. ^ Sava, Oliver (April 25, 2018). "Action Comics #1000 Is a Powerful Tribute to Superman's Enduring Legacy". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  7. ^ Davison, Joshua (April 19, 2018). "Action Comics #1000 Review: Happy Birthday, Superman". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  8. ^ Francisco, Eric (April 18, 2018). "Action Comics #1000 Is a Historic Superman Comic That Will Make You Cry". Inverse. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  9. ^ Burlingame, Russ (April 18, 2018). "Review: Action Comics #1000 Is an Impressive Collection Worthy of the Man of Steel". GameStop. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  10. ^ Scedeen, Jesse (April 18, 2018). "DC Throws Superman an Epic Celebration (Action Comics #1000 Review)". IGN. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  11. ^ Fisher, Jack (April 19, 2018). "Truth, Justice, and Unprecedented Achievements: Action Comics #1000". PopMatters. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  12. ^ Paolo, Susana (April 18, 2018). "Action Comics #1000, Explained". Polygon. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  13. ^ Johnson, Jim (April 18, 2018). "Action Comics Shows Superman Still Looks Good at 80 Years Old". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  14. ^ Pepose, David (April 18, 2018). "Best Shots Review: Action Comics #1000 'Feel-Good Jam-Band' Collection (8/10)". Newsarama. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  15. ^ Weldon, Glen (April 18, 2018). "Man of Steel, Belted: Action Comics #1000 and the Return of a Super-Accessory". NPR. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  16. ^ Bricken, Rob (December 7, 2012). "The War on Superman's Underpants". io9. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  17. ^ Whitbrook, James (March 24, 2018). "Superman's Underwear May Be Back (On the Outside) in Action Comics #1000, But It Might Not Be Staying". io9. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  18. ^ Johnston, Rich (March 10, 2018). "DC Comics Gives Away Superman Red Boxer Shorts and Trunks at #SXSW #TheTrunksAreBack". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  19. ^ Johnston, Rich (March 22, 2018). "Action Comics #1000 Dumps on All Other Advance Reorders This Week". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  20. ^ Johnston, Rich (April 5, 2018). "Retailers Have Bought Half a Million Copies of Action Comics #1000 from DC". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  21. ^ Johnston, Rich (May 4, 2018). "Action Comics #1000 Tops Charts but Marvel Revival Claims April 2018 Marketshare". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  22. ^ Mayo, John (May 8, 2018). "Despite Action Comics #1000, April's Sales Were Relatively Flat Overall". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  23. ^ Johnston, Rich (June 17, 2018). "Top 100 Most-Ordered Comics and Graphic Novels in May 2018 – Action Comics #1000 Came 23rd". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  24. ^ Terror, Jude (April 5, 2018). "Amazing Spider-Man #800 Has Sold 200,000 Fewer Copies Than Action Comics #1000". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  25. ^ Miller, John Jackson. "May 2018 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops". Comichron. Retrieved July 17, 2018.

External links

Action Comics

Action Comics is an American comic book/magazine series that introduced Superman, one of the first major superhero characters. The publisher was originally known as National Allied Publications, and later as National Comics Publications and as National Periodical Publications, before taking on its current name of DC Comics. Its original incarnation ran from 1938 to 2011 and stands as one of the longest-running comic books with consecutively numbered issues. A second volume of Action Comics beginning with issue #1 ran from 2011 to 2016. Action Comics returned to its original numbering beginning with issue #957 (Aug. 2016).

Brad Meltzer

Brad Meltzer (born April 1, 1970) is an American political thriller novelist, non-fiction writer, TV show creator and comic book author.

Brian Michael Bendis

Brian Michael Bendis (; born August 18, 1967) is an American comic book writer and artist. He has won five Eisner Awards for both his creator-owned work and his work on various Marvel Comics books.Starting with crime and noir comics, Bendis eventually moved to mainstream superhero work. With Bill Jemas and Mark Millar, Bendis was the primary architect of the Ultimate Marvel Universe, launching Ultimate Spider-Man in 2000. He relaunched the Avengers franchise with New Avengers in 2004, and has also written the Marvel "event" storylines "Secret War" (2004–2005), "House of M" (2005), "Secret Invasion" (2008), "Siege" (2010) and "Age of Ultron" (2013).

Though Bendis has cited comic book writers such as Frank Miller and Alan Moore, his own writing influences are less rooted in comics, drawing on the work of David Mamet, Richard Price, and Aaron Sorkin, whose dialogue Bendis feels are "the best in any medium."In addition to writing comics he has worked in television, video games and film, and began teaching writing at University of Oregon in fall 2013. He has also occasionally taught at Portland State University. In 2014, Bendis wrote Words for Pictures, a book about comics published by Random House.

Clay Mann

Clay Mann is an American comic book artist who has worked for Valiant, Marvel, and DC Comics.

He has a twin brother named Seth Mann who works primarily as his inker.

Dan Jurgens

Dan Jurgens (; born June 27, 1959) is an American comic book writer and artist. He is known for his work on the DC comic book storyline "The Death of Superman" and for creating characters such as Doomsday, Hank Henshaw and Booster Gold. Jurgens had a lengthy run on the Superman comic books including The Adventures of Superman, Superman vol. 2 and Action Comics. At Marvel, Jurgens worked on series such as Captain America, The Sensational Spider-Man and was the writer on Thor for six years.

Jerry Ordway

Jeremiah Ordway (born November 28, 1957) is an American writer, penciller, inker and painter of comic books.

He is known for his inking work on a wide variety of DC Comics titles, including the continuity-redefining Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985–1986), his long run working on the Superman titles from 1986–1993, and for writing and painting the Captain Marvel original graphic novel The Power of Shazam! (1994), and writing the ongoing monthly series from 1995–1999. He has provided inks for artists such as Curt Swan, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, John Buscema, Steve Ditko, John Byrne, George Perez and others.

Joshua Middleton

Joshua Middleton (sometimes credited as Josh Middleton) is an artist and designer working in the animation, film, comics, and book industries. In 2004 he was nominated for an Eisner Award as "Best Cover Artist" for his work on Marvel's NYX, X-Men Unlimited, and New Mutants.

José Luis García-López

José Luis García-López (born March 26, 1948) is a Spanish comics artist who works in the United States of America, particularly in a long-running relationship with DC Comics. His art from the DC Comics Style Guide, unreleased to the public and created for licensees only, is still being used today on DC Comics licensed products.

Kevin Nowlan

Kevin Nowlan (born 1958) is an American comics artist who works as a penciler, inker, colorist, and letterer. He has been called "one of the few artists who can be called 'artists's artist'", a master of the various disciplines of comic production, from "design to draftsmanship to dramatics".

Lee Bermejo

Lee Bermejo is an American comics artist whose published work includes interior illustrations and cover art. He is best known for his collaborations with writer Brian Azzarello including Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, the Joker graphic novel, and Before Watchmen: Rorschach.

Louise Simonson

Louise Simonson (born Mary Louise Alexander; born September 26, 1946) is an American comic book writer and editor. She is best known for her work on comic book titles such as Power Pack, X-Factor, New Mutants, Superman: The Man of Steel, and Steel. She is often referred to by the nickname "Weezie". Among the comic characters she co-created are Cable, Steel, Power Pack, Rictor and the X-Men villain Apocalypse.

In recognition of her contributions to comics, Comics Alliance listed Simonson as one of twelve women cartoonists deserving of lifetime achievement recognition.

Michael Cho (illustrator)

Michael Cho is a Canadian illustrator and cartoonist. He has been nominated for a number of awards and had his work positively reviewed.

Mike Allred

Michael Dalton Allred is an American comic book artist and writer most famous for his independent comics creation, Madman. His style is often compared to pop art, as well as commercial and comic art of the 1950s and 1960s.

Olivier Coipel

Olivier Coipel (French: [kwapɛl]) is a French comic book artist, known for his work on books such as House of M, Legion of Super-Heroes and Thor.

Paul Dini

Paul Dini (; born August 7, 1957) is an American writer and producer who works in the television and comic book industries. He is best known as a producer and writer for several Warner Bros. Animation/DC Comics animated series, including Tiny Toon Adventures, Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman/Superman Adventures, Batman Beyond, and Duck Dodgers. He developed and scripted Krypto the Superdog and contributed scripts to Transformers, Animaniacs, Freakazoid and Static Shock. After leaving Warner Bros. Animation in early 2004, Dini went on to write and story edit the popular ABC adventure series Lost. He has written a number of comic books for DC Comics, including Harley Quinn and Superman: Peace on Earth. October 2010 saw the debut of Tower Prep, a new live action/drama series Dini created for Cartoon Network. It was announced that after two decades of doing DC-related animated projects, Paul Dini had gone over to Marvel to serve as a writer and producer for Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H..

Peter Tomasi

Peter J. Tomasi is an American comic book editor and writer, best known for his work for DC Comics. As an editor, he oversaw numerous comic books featuring the Justice League, including series starring various members of that team such as Batman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, and the Flash. As a writer, he has written titles featuring Batman-related characters, such as Batman and Robin and The Outsiders, and Green Lantern-related series such as "Blackest Night", Brightest Day and Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors. He also wrote the screenplay for the animated feature film The Death of Superman.

Steve Rude

Steve Rude (born December 31, 1956) is an American comics artist. He is best known as the co-creator of Nexus.

Supergirl (comic book)

Supergirl is the name of seven comic book series published by DC Comics, featuring various characters of the same name. The majority of the titles feature Superman's cousin Kara Zor-El.

Superman (comic book)

Superman is an ongoing American comic book series featuring the DC Comics superhero Superman as its main protagonist. Superman began as one of several anthology features in the National Periodical Publications comic book Action Comics #1 in June 1938. The strip proved so popular that National launched Superman into his own self-titled comic book, the first for any superhero, premiering with the cover date Summer 1939. Between 1986 and 2006 it was retitled The Adventures of Superman while a new series used the title Superman. In May 2006, it was returned to its original title and numbering. The title was canceled with issue #714 in 2011, and was relaunched with issue #1 the following month which ended its run in 2016. A fourth series was released with issue #1 in June 2016 and ended in April 2018. A fifth series with new issue #1 was launched in July 2018.

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