Rating: 3.5/5 – The Last Man on Earth Under a Red Sun!
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
With a 300th issue you’d expect some mention of an anniversary, or even a congratulations for reaching a historic milestone. In today’s comic market we’ll celebrate a series getting to twenty-five issues let alone three-hundred. The 300th issues of Detective Comics and Adventure Comics also didn’t get any celebratory honor. It wasn’t until their 400th issue that Action, Adventure and Detective Comics got some type of honorable mention for their achievements. Although Action Comics three-hundred didn’t celebrate it’s Anniversary, what it did get was an absolutely fantastic cover by Curt Swan, which of course ties into the main story of this issue titled “Superman Under the Red Sun”.
Writer Edmond Hamilton tells the tale of just what happens when our Earth’s sun moves from yellow to red, one-million years in the future. When Superman chases after the Superman Revenge Squad who have just entered Earth’s atmosphere in their UFO like spaceship. After drawing his attention in order to have their revenge on him for stopping their crimes years ago when he was Superboy, they race their spaceship so fast they travel into the future, knowing Superman will chase them. It’s a future where Superman is powerless under the Red Sun so he has to come up with a plan to travel back to the present without any of his powers. While he does so, he encounters crazy evolved creatures like a multi-colored tiger, and a race of androids of all of Superman’s supporting characters that we’re to be used in yearly parades commemorating his life. The story definitely has its silver age feel to it that culminates in Superman of course getting back home, but it’s how he does so that makes this issue so fun, and just the right amount of goofy.
I did learn a couple new things from this issue. The first being that under Earth’s yellow sun, Superman’s hair and nails don’t grow. Explain that 90s version of Superman with a mullet! (I’m sure it’s only pre-Crisis Superman that has this issue). Also, in the back-up story that stars Supergirl and Comet the Super-Horse, I learned the origin of Comet which I never knew. Although it’s not a true origin story since it’s briefly mentioned over the course of just a few panels, I was glad that it was included. The story wasn’t as entertaining as the first, but the inclusion of Comet’s origin was worth the read, and the knowledge.
Although I didn’t enjoy the second story of this issue that’s just as long as the first, it was still an enjoyable book with a cover that I’ll never forget. There’s a lot of joy to be had by reading these older Action Comics and this is an issue that because of it not having any Anniversary mentions or major appearances can be found pretty cheap. Even if the story doesn’t appeal to you, where else will you find such a striking image of Superman? Especially one with Superman sporting some longer hair and a beard!
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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