REVIEW: ‘Action Comics’, Issue #1016

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Action Comics #1016, published by DC Comics, is written by Brian Michael Bendis, with pencils by Szymon Kudranski, colors by Brad Anderson, and letters by Dave Sharpe. Issue #1015 ended with Superman getting trashed by a local Metropolis metahuman gangster, the Red Cloud. Action Comics #1016 picks up where the previous left off, and things have not improved for the Man of Steel. The gangs of Metropolis, once secretive, are exploding into public view.

The Red Cloud is another recipient of a power boost courtesy of Lex Luthor, and hers is a devastating power. There seems to be little Superman can do aside from being used as a punching bag across Metropolis. Speaking of the Man of Steel’s home city, this issue begins with Daily Planet reporter Trish Q getting the scoop from the city’s residents about the battle.

This is another fine example of how Action Comics makes ample use of the journalistic angle that has been a part of Superman lore from the beginning. The fight, this time around, is expressed through a series of interviews with locals after it concludes. The locales offer varied and sometimes humorous recollections on the villain, how the fight ended, and their hometown hero.

Action Comics #1016

Action sequences that fill in the panels between the interviews really shine. Red Cloud levels architecture and makes an impressive display of power and destruction. Fight scenes feel different in this book with the abrupt way they flow and interact with dialogue.

The last issue offered readers a visit from guest star Naomi, a new superheroine who still plays a part in this issue. So, not only is that thread not ignored, it adds to the overall story arc and offers more interactions between her and members of the Justice League. There are a plethora of characters in this book who each get enough time to stand out.

Bendis strikes the proper balance between dialogue and action month after month. He does more than equal out these two critical components of comic book storytelling in order to make this series shine. Fights begin with swiftness and rarely take up an entire issue. Each panel pairs well with any dialogue that precedes it. This issue, like those before, contains a multitude of plotlines. Action Comics #1016 possesses an even amount of action, plot, humor, and set up for the next issue.

Action Comics #1016

Additionally, the artwork is sensational and makes Action Comics one of the most visually pleasing books in comic shops. Kudranski is superb at creating realistic human expressions and placing just the right amount of detail in figures. But he is really turning out to be exceptional in the action sequences. The level of detail in the rubble, buildings, the furious fumes coming from the Red Cloud are phenomenal.

Red Cloud and everyone else in this book are practically glowing thanks to the attentive colors from Anderson. The artwork and colors can be studied panel for panel as a class in how to do good, eye-popping illustration. Panel for panel is a fine convergence of realism with superhero exaggeration. The mixture of inks and shading with colors adds some beautiful layers and textures to Action Comics.

This issue packed in a lot, and the entire series does a lot with the Superman mythos that’s well worth investing in. Plots are converging, and so this is a great time to jump into the happenings in Metropolis.

Action Comics #1016 is available wherever comic books are sold.

Action Comics #1016


Action Comics packed in a lot, and the entire series does a lot with the Superman mythos that’s well worth investing in. Plots are converging, and so this is a great time to jump into the happenings in Metropolis