REVIEW: ‘Action Comics,’ Issue #1013

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Action Comics #1013 is published by DC Comics and written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Szymon Kudranski, colors by Brad Anderson, and letters by Dave Sharpe. Previously, the story of the Daily Planet staff tries to uncover the motives and identity of Leviathan. This issue, we still see DC’s ‘Year of the Villain’ arc continue to crossover as Lex Luthor has been crisscrossing the DC Universe, offering gifts to supervillains in order to up their respective games.

Additionally, Robin Goode, the Daily Planet’s newest reporter, is suffering from occasional bouts of literal flaming hands. She also needs to explain to Perry White she gained an interview with Rose Tyler. Rose is a woman with secrets, the biggest being that she sometimes regresses into the identity of the vigilante called Thorn. Thorn is a rogue element in Metropolis, but she has something the Planet wants in her personal encounter with Leviathan and her lackeys. Robin Goode is a great addition to the supporting cast, along with last issue’s reveal she is connected to Miss Leone, the other criminal queen in Metropolis.

Lex Luthor visits Leone and offers her one of his gifts. Leone is a sassy, grounded supervillain who has not come to power in Superman’s city without being very resourceful. She distrusts him as much as Superman. Their interaction makes for a good contrast between the two as criminals. Luthor ends this issue on a revealing cliffhanger, making his goal an excellent parallel to the hunt for Leviathan, and her goals.

Lex makes supervillains better at evil, but Leviathan has her own goals. She tries to tempt Thorn into joining her side, making superheroes more effective. Thorn doesn’t take to the offer, and this leads to a vicious circle involving her and Leviathan’s men. Enter Superman. In previous issues, Action Comics gave ample dialogue and story progression, but not much in the way of living up to its title. But that depends on how each reader defines action. Action Comics #1013 delivers on just enough of the action in each story to move things along and make Metropolis a stranger, more diverse fictional city. Superman is the focal point, and he takes center stage here.

Superman encounters a Leviathan goon during the latest rampage by Thorn. He handles the situation with great care, being more concerned for the thug and Thorn than himself. The outcome of the encounter is unexpected, spot on Superman in behavior and showcases the vast difference in crimefighting between the Man of Steel and Thorn.

Thorn makes this issue intense. Action Comics #1013 is based around strong interactions, but Thorn’s excessive roughhousing took center stage here. It emphasizes action in a brutal way not common in a Superman book. She is the antithesis to the Man of Steel in every way. Brian Michael Bendis is a perfect writer for this series. Bendis contrasts one character off of another seamlessly this issue. He gives space for Clark, Superman and an enjoyable supporting cast to move many plot pieces forward. He develops those characters along the way. Older characters shine just as much as new ones. Parallel tales and comparisons/contrasts add layers to the issue.

He offers a cliffhanger ending, reminiscent of the comics of old, and makes the Daily Planet scenes worthwhile and shows how every character presented differs from the one they are engaging. I enjoy his handling of Superman and Clark.

Szymon Kudranski impresses in this issue. He builds upon the up close camera shots of characters by further detailing expression, age lines and moods. Leviathan’s lackeys sport pulp era headgear straight out of movie serials of old, adding a nostalgic touch. Superman and Thorn are fantastic to behold. He pencils an incredible fight scene between Thorn and Leviathan’s men. Brad Anderson enlightens those pencils with an equal measure of depth and variety on skin tones and great lighting effects around Leviathan and Superman’s vision powers. He blends colors smooth and brings those detailed faces to life. Dave Sharpe delivers crunching letter special effects in the Thorn battle sequence. His lettering draws attention to each painful strike.

Action Comics #1013 is a rock-solid issue. Bendis is a boon to this book. Kudranski, Anderson and Sharpe Bring every panel to vibrant life. Every aspect of the book is great reading with wonderful visuals. This issue is not a jumping on point for new readers by far. However, it is part of a stellar series fans should add to their comic inbox.

Action Comics #1013 is available wherever comic books are sold.

Action Comics #1013
5

TL;DR

Action Comics #1013 is a rock-solid issue. Kudranski, Anderson and Sharpe bring every panel to vibrant life.