Action Comics #1012
Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 26, 2019
Cover date: August 2019
“By Any Other Name…”
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Syzmon Kudranski
Inker: Syzmon Kudranski
Cover: Jamal Campbell
Variant Covers: Ben Oliver
Reviewed by: Mario Bennese
With Superman distracted by the Leviathan situation and about to embark on an off-world mission, the Invisible Mafia meet to discuss their next move. Just before Clark leaves, he and Lois share an intimate moment at the Fortress of Solitude. At the Daily Planet, Perry sends Robinson to get the local angle on the Leviathan story. Gossip columnist Trish enters and shows Robinson a video of Superman and Lois kissing. Ms. Goode makes a call to a woman named Rose and the two plan to meet for an interview.
In a little flower shop, the two meet. Rose tells Robinson of her twisted alter ego, Thorn. Rose has no control over Thorn, when she comes out, or what she does. During the interview, Thorn comes out. She mentions how law enforcement seems to ignore her violent vigilantism and her suspicions about an invisible mafia in Metropolis. Rose returns and tells Robinson there’s another reason why she asked to meet.
Later in Leone’s townhouse, Robinson and her boss meet to discuss their plan to expose systematic pro-vigilante justice in Metropolis. Goode then tells her boss what Rose meant to tell her. While Thorn was out enacting vigilante justice, she was approached by Leviathan.
Story – 3: I don’t know why, but part of me was hoping DC would have paused Action Comics for the duration of the Leviathan event. In any case, what we get here is a decent issue setting up plans and alliances that will undoubtedly come in to play later. We get some hints at interesting developments, but for the most part, this issue is a tad dry. The potential Superman/Lois scandal and the Invisible Mafia’s plan to expose the law enforcement system are interesting ideas, but with Bendis writing, it’ll be a while for those things to pay off. The best part of the issue is easily the scene in the Fortress. It’s intimate, playful, and a tender moment between DC’s oldest couple. It’s brief, but it really shows the love between those two characters.
Art – 4: For the most part, the art in this issue is great. It’s got an earthy, pulpy feel in the scenes involving villainy. The rest of the issue’s art is fairly standard, but that extra splash of texture is much appreciated. My only real complaint is Kudranski’s Superman. His eyes are way too small and he doesn’t look very much like Superman. He’s not in the issue much, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Cover Art – 5: I adore this cover. It isn’t something I’d want as a poster, but the colors and layout pop. The cover perfectly depicts the hidden danger preparing to strike. The pastel colors are complemented nicely by the striking reds of Superman’s cape and the Red Cloud.
Variant Cover Art – 2: The piece itself is fine, but I’ve seen dozens of artists draw this exact same image with better results. There’s nothing that sets this one apart in terms of composition or style.
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