Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Patrick Gleason
Colors by: Alejandro Sanchez
Letters by: Josh Reed
Superman continues to investigate the fires that keep popping up in Metropolis, while some of Clark’s colleagues grill him on the disappearance of Lois.
On one hand, I’m happy that the arson storyline will be getting a lot more shine in Action Comics now. On the other hand, the added mystery and intrigue of it added something to Man of Steel that I feel will be noticeably missing from the Superman series. But so far I’m really loving both. This first issue of Action Comics was great and kept that classic vibe to it. The ending really had me scratching my head for a bit, but unfortunately solicitations for future issues take the surprise out of things. Still, you can just tell Bendis loves messing with people’s expectations and is having a lot of fun keeping the readers guessing.
I’m loving the little moments of humor being thrown in, like Superman interrupting a conversation every so often to rescue someone, or just standing still and catching bullets from a robber. It doesn’t come off cocky, just confident which is great. We also got more time with the new supporting cast, and I admit I’m warming up to them. Mostly because I think they’re more involved with the story than originally let on. It almost feels like some sort of conspiracy, which would be great to see in this series. We are seeing Clark getting badgered every issue by someone including the gossip writer Trish. I’m hoping this leads to Clark having to deal with these situations, instead of his superpowered alter ego.
I really love Patrick Gleason’s artwork, and became a big fan during his Batman and Robin run. I hate tie-ins but if you get a chance to read the Death of the Family tie-in for B&R then please treat yourself to it. Gleason’s Joker is out of this world, really freaky stuff and in my opinion the only artist that was clever enough to make use of Joker having no face attached to his head. He’s drawn Superman plenty but this issue of Action Comics really highlighted how powerful Gleason draws the man of steel. In contrast, Clark looks almost timid and sloppy despite being a big guy. Just fantastic work on art, and says a lot without actually needing to say it.
We now know who was behind the fires, and it is somewhat underwhelming that is appears to be some random group of gangsters. I liked the mystery Bendis was working toward, and Supes doing some detective work is always fun. But that unknown is replaced with another which is revealed on that final page(and solicitations), but I won’t spoil it here yet. It’s surprising, but I feel like Bendis knows how to make Superman fans go crazy and he’s doing just that.
Going under the assumption that Brian Michael Bendis doesn’t want to destroy everything we know and love about Superman, I don’t think DC could have picked a better writer for the job. Every issue by Bendis has a weight to it that was simply missing from previous runs. Everything feels more important and problems seem larger. Between his classic take and Patrick Gleason’s fantastic artwork, I could not be anymore happy with how Action Comics is being handled. It’s nice feeling excited to read Superman comics again.