Review – Superman: Action Comics #1007: Spy War

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Action Comics #1007 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Superman: Action Comics #1007 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Steve Epting, Artist; Brad Anderson, Colorist


Ray – 8/10

Corrina: A Jimmy Olsen Spotlight

Ray: A few days before Action Comics #1007 was released, it was announced that Brian Michael Bendis would be doing the next big DC event, titled Leviathan with his longtime collaborator Alex Maleev. That’s probably an all-time turnaround from joining a company to handling a big event, and it all kicks off here with a story that focuses on an unlikely action hero – Jimmy Olsen. With Steve Epting joining the art team, the issue takes a distinctly more noir tone as Jimmy and his new girlfriend Ella attend a Kobra meeting. Turns out the girl he’s been dating is actually a hardcore cultist. Bendis seems to be recasting Kobra as somewhat of a cross between Scientology and Jonestown, rather than the cartoonish murder-snake cult they usually come off as. Jimmy manages to get pictures and escape, but a mysterious explosion soon takes out the Kobra base and seemingly wipes them off the face off the planet. It’s just the first of many weird things that happens here.

Bendis seems to be building to an elaborate spy-war, as mysterious agencies both good and bad are being targeted by this strange force. Towards the end of the issue, Superman makes his only appearance of the issue as he grabs Amanda Waller out of a freefall only to see her building be sucked up into oblivion and Waller mysteriously disappear. It’s clear that whatever’s targeting the spy agencies, it’s big and powerful. This would be one of Bendis’ best issues if it wasn’t for one segment that fell completely flat. Lois trying to reconcile with her father was an interesting idea, especially given Sam Lane’s connections. But her decision to abruptly reveal that Clark was Superman – or at least, that she was involved with Superman and Jon is his son – seems rather out of character and reckless for her. Sam’s response didn’t make me think he’s gotten much more open-minded since he blew up New Krypton back in 2010. I’m hoping she has some sort of long-game plan here that will make this make more sense.

Action 1007
Jimmy undercover. Via DC Comics.

Corrina: Oh, look, an entire issue dedicated to a reporter going undercover to expose a cult. Looks like Lois finally gets a story–

Oh, sorry, no. It’s Jimmy Olsen, he of the “Talia keeps calling me” notes, who gets the spotlight, in which he starts dating a girl in order to infiltrate what she might be involved in, which turns out to be Kobra. As Jimmy stories go, it’s a decent one, in sort of a classic 1970s Jimmy vibe. Leading to Leviathan, which I gather is related to Grant Morrison’s Talia storyline, which included Leviathan.

But I remain baffled as to Bendis’ story choices. Lois gets relegated to the wife/mother and, now, daughter story, and Jimmy gets the reporter stuff. :: Deep Sigh::

An even deeper sigh because while exploring the relationship between Sam and Lois Lane might be interesting, it’s all blown to heck by Lois’ seemingly unilateral decision to tell her father that her husband is Superman. Is Bendis’ involved in a bet to see how many bad choices he can write for Lois? First, the whole “sure, I’ll go into space with my kid,” to “eh, kid is fine in space with homicidal grandpa without me,” to “I’ll come back but not tell the man I love for a few weeks about it,” and now to telling a top official in the government about her husband (probably without telling Clark) and exposing her son’s secret to, well, who knows, right?

This is after Sam Lane has exposed his hatred for Superman.

It’s gotta be a bet, right? My fear is that Bendis is about to double-down on it. Or that another writer is also in on the bet and we’ll continue to see Lois make spectacularly bad choices in other books. Like, say, Heroes in Crisis.

I think I need to go read Tom Taylor’s Injustice 2 Annual again as proof that, yes, it’s possible to write Lois well.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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