Action Comics #1002
We open on a familiar sight in the Metropolis skies, Look, Up in the Sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a corpse falling from a few hundred feet up! We cut to the Daily Planet shortly after, Perry White holds a paper saying it was Superman who dropped him, after a bit of Bendis esque dialogue (it shouldn't take 6 panels to say one phrase) Perry tells Goode that she needs to check her facts. After she walks away he asks Clark Kent to follow up as well, in order to be thorough.
We cut to a nearby parking garage, where boss Moxie (one of the bosses from the secret cabal revealed last issue) is making a phone call about the dropped thug when he is accosted by one of Metropolis' lesser heroes, the Guardian!! In a truly fantastic couple splash pages the hero appears before being incapacitated by the Red Cloud!
There's more Bendis dialogue to be had, you'll have to find out for yourself, pick up a copy of Action Comics #1002 today!
I’m a bit lukewarm on this arc so far, the central plot feels very average and low risk, I liked the callback to the fires and a concrete reasoning being attached to them, but I also didn’t feel that it needed it. I did enjoy Perry reaming Goode for not properly fleshing out her story, that part felt right to me, an I love the way Clark slumps in order to hide his identity, which is a thing that is often missed with Superman.
I did find Superman’s little tantrum in space a bit silly, wouldn’t he just be bombarding the Earth with meteorites? Not that Superman has never thrown a tantrum before but it was really out of character, as was Clark Kent hanging out in a bar. As much as people say Brian Bendis has Superman’s voice down I’m not seeing it nearly as much as some, Superman ranges wildly from a rampaging child to a condescending jerk from issue to issue. I’m also really beginning to despise the Bendis speak displayed at least twice in this issue alone. It shouldn’t take 2 pages to say one thing, the book isn’t so long you need to pad it out 4 pages.
Additionally, it seems really weak to kick this issue off by framing Superman, again, for the second time in 2 issues. Thankfully the folks framing him keep winding up dead by Red Cloud, so in a Darwin Awards kind of way, the problem should resolve itself soon enough.
The title page had some funny little easter eggs in the form of Clark’s desk having a bunch of post-it notes, entertaining but a little silly since a couple of them pretty clearly out Clark as Superman.
Patrick Gleason continues to distinguish himself as a phenomenal Superman artist and impressively seems to have improved on some of his character models, which could get a little cartoony at times. I am seriously astounded by that big Guardian vs Red Cloud splash page, dang near poster worthy! Likewise, a panel of Superman in front of the sun with lens flare (which I used for the cover image of this article) is really amazing and employs some phenomenal perspective.
I will say for some reason in a couple panels the characters faces seem to melt in unrecognizable ways, especially the bar scene, although maybe that’s an attempt to convey drunkenness? Can Superman even get drunk?
All 3 covers of this issue were great, I absolutely adore the main cover, but I can’t resist those Mack watercolors myself!
Decent second entry in Bendis' Action Comics run, but I'm still not 100% sold on handing him the keys to the kingdom just yet. Time will tell how history views this run.
Action Comics #1002: Queen Crimson
Writing - 6/106/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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