Superman: Action Comics #1017 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; John Romita Jr., Penciller; Klaus Janson, Inker; Brad Anderson, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: John Romita Jr. jumps on board in Superman: Action Comics #1017 for a chaotic Superman-centric issue that breaches the gap between many of Superman’s ongoing storylines.
When we pick up, we’re mid-story as Superman, Wonder Woman, and a heavily-armored Batman are in a pitched battle against the Legion of Doom. Luthor, Brainiac, Grodd, Cheetah, and Sinestro are pushing the heroes to their limit, and Luthor insists on Superman surrendering before him to spare his city.
Then the story flashes back a day to Metropolis, where Clark is interviewing Ms. Leone about her fast-rising role as one of the city’s power brokers. Unlike Robinson Goode, who went from wild card to ultra-violent supervillain in 6.6 seconds, Bendis seems to be keeping Leone nicely in the range of complex antihero. Most of Metropolis’ villains in the past have been pretty unambiguously good or evil, so this is a nice change of pace.
Then things get rather crazy, as a mysterious meteor streaks around Metropolis and Superman gives chase. It hits him – and a surge of energy teleports him to Gorilla City, where an army of angry gorillas are waiting for him. It all turns out to be a carefully-orchestrated plan to distract Superman just long enough for a massive coordinated attack on several of Leone’s top rivals.
That segues into the framing segment, with a lot of unanswered questions still floating around the story. Bendis is weaving a pretty complex long-run storyline here, and it’s still not clear how many of the players fit into the larger story. I do know that Bendis’ Metropolis feels more alive than the city has in years – which makes it all the more puzzling that he’s blowing up Superman’s secret identity soon and likely making the Daily Planet segments more infrequent. Like I said, compelling, but puzzling, but the ambition is enough to win me over. .
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.