Review – Superman: Action Comics #1019: Villain Recruitment

Comic Books DC This Week
Action Comics #1019
Action Comics #1019 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Superman: Action Comics #1019 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; John Romita Jr., Penciller; Klaus Janson, Inker; Brad Anderson, Colorist


Ray – 8/10

Ray: It feels like the two Superman books under Brian Michael Bendis have switched position in the last few months. While Superman is taking on the challenging identity storyline, Action Comics is still stuck in the past era dealing with various subplots. That’s not to say Action Comics #1019 is not well-written, but it’s definitely lost some of its momentum.

When we last left off, Metropolis had come under attack by a joint assault from the Legion of Doom and the relentless Leviathan. Action Comics #1019 flashes back to show how this alliance was formed, as Mark Shaw responds to a summons from Luthor and takes the Legion on a tour of his secret fortress. While Luthor views Leviathan as a potential ally, the other members of the Legion are much more suspicious and there’s an extended back and forth between the villains as they try to take advantage of the others. Ultimately, Shaw is still mostly a blank slate as a villain but his philosophical discussions with Lex are surprisingly compelling.

Leviathan rising. Via DC Comics.

Less so is the continued presence of Robinson Goode, who is both one of the most dangerous villains Superman has faced in a while and mostly a blank slate as a rogue. Why does she hate Superman so much? She’s just an unfortunate woman who was betrayed by some shady scientists and gained her powers. Still, Luthor seems to respect her and even cuts a deal with her to ambush Superman as part of the assault on Metropolis.

One area where Bendis gets things very right is with Superman’s connection to the people of Metropolis and how this kindness is one of his greatest weaknesses. The villains know there are places he won’t cut loose with his power and that makes him vulnerable. John Romita Jr’s art is strong in places, although his Grodd looks more like a were-bear than an ape at times. Ultimately, it’s a good story but one that feels like it’s keeping time until Leviathan makes his next big move.

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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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