Review: ‘Action Comics’ Annual 2021 Goes Back To The Future

by Tony Thornley

Earliest this year, we were introduced to one of the newest alternate realities of the DC Universe. This far future of the Superman family was a unique and hopeful vision of a time when the House of El protects the whole universe. This week’s Action Comics Annual 2021 takes us back there, showing us there’s a lot more to this new world than we may have originally thought.

Cover by Scott Godlewski & Gabe Eltaeb

This is an exciting glimpse into the Superman family’s future, but there’s some intriguing hints about what’s happening in the present as well… It was created by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Siya Oum, Scott Godlewski, Hi-Fi, and Dave Sharpe.

It’s a momentous day, as the Phaelosians of Warworld join their house with the House of El. But when the wedding is interrupted by the House of El’s outcast son, Phyrros, the greatest Supermen of the universe are cast into the Phantom Zone. Their only help to return home is one of Kal-El’s greatest enemies. Can they possibly escape?

This issue is just chock full of … stuff. I mean that in the best way, too! There’s foreshadowing, world building, exciting new characters, and additional depth added to several existing characters we barely spent time with a few months ago. This is the perfect follow-up to the House of El special from Future State, and it gives a lot of depth to both that story and to the Action Comics run Johnson is currently writing. I hope this becomes a tradition as long as Johnson is around on the title.

The art is solid throughout and in many places it’s great. There are a few spots where Oum’s pencils are a little rough, but overall it’s a great looking issue. Oum and Godlewski’s styles are very complimentary so the shift between them is subtle enough that it doesn’t interrupt the flow of the story. Hi-Fi puts in some great work too, especially in the wedding scenes which they fill with light. Sharpe’s work is consistently good throughout, and especially stands out in the framing sequence — which is wordy, but he prevents it from becoming overwhelming.

I really enjoyed this issue and can’t wait for our next visit to this future. It’s a shining beacon of hope for the DCU and that’s thrilling as hell.

Action Comics Annual 2021 is available now from DC Comics.


This jam packed annual is just full of great set-up, hints and world building for Superman’s future (and maybe his past). On top of that though, it’s a great story with very good art, start to finish!