ACTION COMICS under the stewardship of Brian Michael Bendis has enjoyed one of the best runs it’s had in years. ACTION COMICS #1007 continues that good run with a new arc, but continuing the threat of the Invisible Mafia. This new story threatens a lot of the status quo of Clark Kent and Superman’s existence and introduces us to the wonderful Steve Epting drawing Superman and co.
Jimmy Falls in Love, Lois Tells the Truth
ACTION COMICS #1007 begins with intrepid photographer James Olsen on a mysterious date. As it turns out, his date is a part of a Kobra Cult hidden in Seattle’s Triangle Pub. Jimmy gets chased out of the building. The building then suddenly explodes in a burst of blue light. He survives but finds himself in front of a crater where the building once stood.
Olsen ends up back at The Daily Planet, where he sleeps on Perry’s couch. Jimmy doesn’t give Perry his story, and Perry throws him out in a huff. He then runs into Clark Kent, who is keeping his eye on Robinson Goode (who is the villain Red Cloud). Jimmy tries to have a conversation, but Clark follows the departing Goode.
ACTION COMICS #1007 Ends With a Bang
ACTION COMICS #1007 then shifts to Lois Lane. Lois talks with her father about their damaged relationship and everything that they’ve been through. She admits she’s been lying to him for years. Sam doesn’t get at what she’s hinting until she declares her love for Superman, and that he is the father of Sam’s grandson. Sam Lane, a man who has been hostile towards Superman since his first appearance, walks away, no words spoken.
ACTION COMICS #1007 ends with Superman flying through Atlanta, Georgia. As he chats with the citizens of Atlanta, a scream rings out. Superman rushes to the rescue and finds himself saving Amanda Waller, leader of Task Force X (The Suicide Squad). As Superman flies up to investigate, the building explodes. The explosion has a similar appearance as the one in Seattle that Jimmy witnessed. As Superman helps rescue civilians, Waller disappears into the wind.
Bendis Delivers Again
Brian Michael Bendis has found his niche in Superman: tell stories revolving around the supporting cast, and have the villains be a few steps ahead of Superman. The formula has worked very well so far, and ACTION COMICS #1007 is no exception. Bendis really hit his groove with the characterizations this issue. His Superman is friendly and kind but will get down to business when he has to. Lois as the conciliatory daughter to her hard-nosed father was a good touch. I also quite enjoyed the reinterpretation of Jimmy Olsen, getting himself in over his head, and managing a way to get out of it somehow.
The title of the arc, “Leviathan Rises,” implies that the international terror group Leviathan is involved. Also, with the Invisible Mafia still looming, and Superman’s suspicions of Robinson Goode, there’s a chance those three forces may come together, and if so, Superman will have a lot on his plate. The fast-moving plot helps to cover for the perceived weakness of Superman, that he’s “too powerful.” Even Superman can’t react to and outthink multiple opponents.
Epting is Great on ACTION COMICS #1007
Artist Steve Epting has long been a mainstay at Marvel. His run on CAPTAIN AMERICA with writer Ed Brubaker was legendary. Having such an immense talent on ACTION COMICS #1007 really elevated the book. Epting’s faces are always a highlight, and the darker mood of the story fits his heavier style. There’s a lot of darkness and shadows, especially in the opening with Jimmy in Seattle. Brian Michael Bendis is really utilizing his artist Rolodex, and there is no way you can complain about that. Exemplary work from Epting in this issue.
Who’s Bombing Everything?
Two bombings, in two separate US cities. The leader of the Invisible Mafia has purchased the Daily Planet. Superman is on the tail of the Red Cloud, but can he figure everything out in time to foil the Mafia’s plans? Bendis and Epting have produced an excellent issue of ACTION COMICS, although that should hardly be a surprise.
ACTION COMICS #1007 is an excellent book, one that sets up not only the mystery of the bomber but the added wrinkle of Superman-hater Sam Lane knowing his identity! Bendis is blowing up the status quo in small ways, but they are turning out to be deeply satisfying and compelling changes.