Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artist: Steve Epting / DC Comics
Leviathan now has the full attention of the Superman in Action Comics #1009. After witnessing a bright blue explosion or two himself, hearing a similar experience from Jimmy Olsen, and being confronted by a desperate Amanda Waller, our hero has an idea of the scope of the threat. We’ve learned that Amanda Waller knows Superman’s identity as Clark Kent (the greatest glasses-guarded secret in the DC Universe). Working through the outrage they feel (Lane more than Kent), the group exchanges information and attempts to get closer to the mystery of Leviathan. Superman flies to the locations of interest and meets an array of characters linked to their investigation. Back at the base, conversation leads to an inquiry regarding one of the few secret organizations that seems to not have been hit by any attacks. This leads to a strange end of the book with Lois saying “Chaz” over and over.
There’s nothing like a veteran taking a character with decades of history to remind you that there are a lot of comics you haven’t read, especially compared to the unnatural amounts of Marvel I’ve been exposed to – my DC knowledge is lacking. Many characters like Director Bones and Adam Strange I only have a glancing idea about mostly from Vs System (anybody remember that game?). For my reading experience, it was striking how tense the characters are around each other because of their prominent histories. I just assume Amanda Waller is like Batman with all sorts of secrets, and everybody gets mad when they find out she’s hiding something. I did not assume she would get utterly spazzed on by Lois Lane. In the same vein, Director Bones was so polite and cheerful when Adam Strange came to the D.E.O. Apparently, he used to speak in rhyme. It was fun watching him trying to catch himself, “No, no rhyming. You don’t do that anymore.” Well, it’d be more fun if he wasn’t digging and calling for the bodies of his colleagues. I REALLY wasn’t ready for him to explode at Superman when he shows up to try and team up. When he hurls “Alien” at him like a slur AND threatens Supergirl I’m like “Damn, MAGA Bones!”
All of this is to say that despite not knowing all the history of these characters, Bendis puts this comic together in expert fashion not to leave readers like me behind. One way that Bendis and Superman really work well together is how being super-fast allows Superman to have several conversations with characters thousands of miles apart in short periods of time. I imagine it must be fun for a talented artist like Epting to draw a variety of environments. My favorite of this book was the hospital room in Columbus, Ohio where Supe checks up on Lois’ father and unexpectedly meets one of the DC Universe’s greatest detectives (Not that one). The panels are dark, wispy and just downright enchanting. Here’s to more of this.
8.5 “Chaz’s” out of 10
Reading Action Comics? Find BNP’s other reviews here.