Superman: Action Comics #1010 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Steve Epting, Artist; Brad Anderson, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: It’s…Not Terrible
Ray: I keep coming back to the same theme with my reviews of the Bendis Superman books – while Superman isn’t a very good book, Action Comics is – but I’m still not sure it’s a great Superman book. Bendis has taken advantage of Lois and Clark’s background as investigative reporters to do a deep dive into the underworld of Metropolis and the DC Universe overall, and it’s an entertaining thrill ride – but Superman still plays a surprisingly small role in it. It starts with Director Bones being debriefed after the attack on the DEO last issue, as Kate Spencer introduces herself as his attorney. As he goes through the recent horrific events, he realizes that this isn’t Kate at all, but rather an assassin sent there to take him out – one who looks enough like Talia, but I’m not sure if she’s the one behind all this. It’s a dark start to the issue, but the story gets a lot lighter once Superman and Lois enter the picture, undercover as SPYRAL agents with different faces.
I feel like I’ve missed a little bit with Spyral ever since Grayson wrapped because the page showing the secret leadership of Spyral looks a lot like Checkmate and has Batwoman as the leader – it used to be the original Kathy Kane, not the modern Kate in charge. Maybe this is a Bendis continuity hiccup, or maybe it’s a new development we’ll learn about. Lois and Clark undercover as secret agents is a lot of fun, and the return of Agent Tiger from Dick Grayson’s old title was a pleasant surprise. As one of the first Arab Muslim heroes in DC’s stable, it’s good to see him make his return from limbo. The issue is ultimately a bit of a patchwork, combining many different subplots into a narrative. Kelex is keeping an eye on Amanda Waller and Jimmy Olsen, assassins are targeting other leaders of secret agencies, and the giant spiked alien monster is still on the prowl and coming for our heroes. The title’s been largely consumed by the lead-up to Event Leviathan, but the dynamic between Clark and Lois keeps it fresh.
Corrina: This is a patchwork of various parts of the DCU, stitched together, sometimes contradicting what went before, I believe. I don’t think we missed much on the history of Spyral or Checkmate, I think Bendis is pulling in elements that he likes. Since DC seems to have decided that Kate Kane/Batwoman is their military hero and that she doesn’t mind killing, I suppose it makes sense to give her Checkmate. (But it certainly doesn’t make me happy because that’s not my view of Kate.)
And, yes, it reads more like a Batman or a spy story than a Superman story.
I should also be happy Lois is doing something related to her job. And I am. But this is Bendis dialogue and I’m just not that fond of his dialogue.
::deep sigh:: This is only basically unobjectionable. Which I guess is an improvement. ::deep sigh::
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.