Action Comics #1010 is the fourth part in the “Leviathan Rises” storyline infiltrates Action Comics and newsstands this week. Brian Michael Bendis continues as writer, with Steve Epting crafting the art, Brad Anderson’s colors this issue, and Josh Reed’s letters.
Leviathan, the global crime syndicate no one has ever heard of, has risen its ugly head, pillaging, taking other forms, and creating worldwide havoc. Secret agencies such as Spyral and others have fallen, agents are being murdered, and now, governments may topple. This definitely looks like a job for…Clark Kent and Lois Lane undercover? Yes.
The husband and wife reporting team have dug out the secret ID’s they once used as ‘agents of Spyral’. This little bit of new knowledge took me by surprise for a few reasons. While it isn’t a shock that Bendis has taken Superman’s escapades into a more ‘real world’ espionage/crime syndicate vibe, it is both cool and weird seeing Clark Kent, mild mannered reporter as a bearded spook. Lois Lane fits the bill for subterfuge, and I’m ever so glad she has a role in this issue not just with Clark, but under a literal wig that would make for a cool thriller comic. This is something that I hope that the future Lois Lane series will have this edge.
The heroic couple is on the trail in London, hunting for a contact who might be able to clue them in on what Leviathan is about and how to thwart it. In the rest of the DC Universe, Leviathan is cutting down members of the elite intelligence agencies with impunity. Nothing seems to stand in its way. The angle is great, for it poses a global threat that can pull in other heroes, and is something Superman can’t merely punch or toss into the Phantom Zone. Leviathan is huge, all-encompassing, and by no means a quick villain to dispose of.
So, I have to say, after years of not being a Bendis fan, I’m liking his Superman arcs. From Rogol Zaar to Leviathan, Bendis has given the Man of Steel a run worth the money, added to the Superman world-building, and really does a bang up job of writing Lois and Clark’s interactions, both big and small. I love their dialogue in this issue. A great married couple that’s long-lasting in comics is hard to come by, so keeping it witty and fresh is a must. Bendis definitely succeeds here, and the brief fight we get with says a lot in a few panels.
Speaking of a different feel for Action Comics, I’m a fan of Steve Epting, but at first I thought the art was too shady and too gritty for a Superman book. But with the current story arc? It’s a perfect fit. From the heavy use of inks to the general feel of the book, Epting’s style fits the political thriller mood this arc is shooting for. Even at the end with the more standard far Superman in combat piece, Epting offers a powerful but controlled Supes.
Anderson has muted the coloring enough to showcase the thriller aspect of shadows and realism, which makes Superman’s costume stand out when it comes on the scene. And hats off to Josh Reed for layering a book with loads of words skillfully, no word balloons clumped up or bunched together.
I had my doubts about the Bendis takeover. But the Leviathan arc is impressing me, and I’m really wanting more Lois and Clark as reporter-heroes. I have a feeling we’ll get it. Also, I’m stoked to see the final showdown between Superman and Leviathan, or Clark and Leviathan. Time will tell.
Action Comics #1010
Bendis has given a Superman run worth the money, added to the Superman world-building, and really does a bang up job of writing Lois and Clark’s interactions, both big and small.
William J. Jackson is a small town laddie who self publishes books of punk genres, Victorian Age superheroes, rocket ships, and human turmoil. He loves him some comic books, Nature, Star Trek, and the fine art of the introvert.