Thursday, January 7, 2021

Action Comics #1028

    Your pal Chuck is back from the holidays and ready to get back to work - so we'll start... with an ending.

   Writer Brian Michael Bendis has, sadly, just wrapped his run on the Superman comic - and this marks his final issue of Action Comics

   I know, he can be controversial, some of you don't like his work - but I'm a fan.

   His writing is always interesting, his characters well crafted and fun to read, and he manages to be innovative on a regular basis. Considering how long he's been in the business, it's an impressive run.

   And he's been an excellent fit for the Superman titles, which were long overdue for a dose of enthusiasm.

   In this final issue, with powerful art by John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson, he wraps up several dangling storylines and sets the stage for the next creative team.

   So we learn the fate of the Daily Planet (which faced termination after a scandal with the previous owner - and a hat tip to Matt Fraction for providing the solution in his recent - and excellent - Jimmy Olsen maxi-series), some answers about the (clone) Superboy's future, and the fate of the Invisible Mafia (the criminal group that tried to run Metropolis in secret).

   It all feels a bit rushed, but it's a satisfying ending to a terrific run on the book - one that presented great challenges to the title character (not an easy feat), managed to incorporate the vast Superman Family, made Lois Lane into a more interesting character, and made this series a "must buy" for the first time in a long time.

   (OK, I didn't like the part where they revealed that he's actually Clark Kent - a terrible idea that trashes a beloved tradition. No one's perfect.)

   Best wishes to the next team, whoever picks up after the upcoming "Future State" series that I'll be passing on. (I'll talk about why in my next post.)

   I look forward to whatever title Bendis works on next - there are plenty out there that need his inspiration!

Grade: A-



Billy Hogan said...

I was surprised that I enjoyed the way that Superman revealed his secret identity and his reasons for doing so, even though I prefer him having a secret identity. For me, Bendis' villains like Rogol Zar and Synmar are unremarkable, but my favorite villains he created was the Invisible Mafia. I thought he excelled in the character relationships of the Superman Family, and I was happy he brought back the Legion Of Super-Heroes. It made the accelerated aging of Jonathan Kent more palatable, although the way it was accomplished was a bit horrifying.

Chuck said...

Billy, I mostly agree. While Synmar needs more development - a good try at creating a truly alien opponent - I thought Rogol Zar was an interesting addition. But I find it hard to believe that the United Planets would keep him alive, considering his penchant for blowing up worlds. But I agree, the Invisible Mafia was the best innovation.