Action Comics #1016
Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 23, 2019
Cover date: December 2019
“Coming of Age”
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Szymon Kudranski
Inker: Szymon Kudranski
Cover: Jamal Campbell
Variant Covers: Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair
Reviewed by: Mario Bennese
On the streets of Metropolis, Daily Planet gossip columnist Trish Q. interviews witnesses about the battle that just took place. Superman was facing off with Red Cloud before a powerful being came out of nowhere to assist The Man of Steel. A flashback shows Naomi leaving the Hall of Justice after seeing the battle in Metropolis. Red Cloud vanishes after Naomi and Superman team up. Batman and Superman take Naomi to her mother.
Elsewhere, Leone decides it’s time Metropolis knew about the invisible mafia.
Story – 1: Look how short my synopsis is. I’m not skipping over any major details or revelations. This is how bare-bones the issue is. There is nothing interesting about this book. The framing device is weak and much like Event Leviathan, the book largely consists of people standing around telling other people what happened between issues. When done right, that framing device can be intriguing. But Bendis relies too heavily on it and he’s not even good at it. The dialogue is massively over-written, stilted, and weak. There’s a bit near the end where Batman is talking about how powers are a crutch that makes the user lazy, clearly alluding to Superman. That came out of left field and didn’t sit well with me.
In the end, this just felt like Bendis telling a story with his original characters that also happened to have Superman in it. Maybe I would be more interested if Bendis had any sense of pacing, but I currently don’t care. I don’t care about Red Cloud, Naomi, or the invisible mafia. With Bendis’ future plans, I can’t say how much longer I’ll even care about Superman.
Art – 3: There are some decent panels, but for the most part, the art is uninspired.
Cover Art – 4: This cover is the best thing about this issue. I think it’s something to do with the use of a Dutch angle.
Variant Cover Art – 3: I’ve never particularly been a fan of Bryan Hitch. There’s something about his art style that doesn’t work for me. It’s like his drawings are both incomplete and overly-detailed at the same time. This cover feels a bit crowded. I understand that Hitch was going for a claustrophobic vibe, but there’s just too much happening here. There’s a cool idea here, but the execution needed a bit of polishing.
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