Superman: Action Comics Vol 2: The Arena by Phillip K. Johnson picks up with the newly formed team led by Superman on the way to Warworld to overthrow Mongrul and free the slaves of Warworld. Of course, things do not go as planned. In the backups, separate story lines, Jimmy Olsen and the Guardian team up as well as in the other one, the Martian Manhunter is trying to find his place in the world and must face his past.
This is an action packed tale with great art and a writer who really gets Superman. This writer is doing a lot to flesh out Warworld and add to the mythos and he deserves all the praise he is getting. Most of the team get in the spotlight in this volume except for a couple of characters. One twist would have been more impactful if we knew the characters involved better. Besides Superman, Midnight and Manchester Black are two personal favorites in this volume. They provided a nice contrast to how Superman sees the world and they act more ruthless than Superman. The new minions introduced for Mongrul seem interesting if underdeveloped at this point.
A gripe I have is Superman displays a lack of planning in this volume which is atypical for him, but the writer does a good job of justifying it. Another gripe I have is that the backups do not seem to tie into the main plot of the Superman books, but maybe they will somehow be relevant down the line.
I highly recommend this read for Superman fans and I am eagerly looking forward to reading the third volume when it comes out. That volume is currently untitled and scheduled to be released in late February of next year.
My reading copy came by way of the Hoopla app through the Dallas Public Library System.
Scott A. Tipple ©2022
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