Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Ryan Sook
Inks: Wad Von Grawbadger
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: John Reed
Action Comics #1004 not only continues the Bendis era of Superman but is also full of even more house cleaning as Bendis continues to do away with the domestic baggage that Superman’s life has become over the last few years. During the Man of Steel mini-series, that kicked off the Bendis era, Lois and Jon Kent were sent out into the universe on a tour with Superman’s ‘returned’ father Jor-El, leaving Superman without his family on Earth. Without the need to put his families lives before his mission Superman can now flourish like he hasn’t in some time. Action Comics #1004 takes this dynamic a step further with Lois back on Earth, but not back with Clark.
Bendis is hitting his stride with Superman and just as he has in the past his dual books are playing well off each other. While Superman is the larger than life book, with big action and world shattering threats Action Comics is the story of Metropolis and the Daily Planet, with street level investigation stories looking into the criminal underbelly of DC’s shining city and currently a whole lot of gossip aimed at the private life of the Planet’s own Clark Kent his ‘estranged’ wife Lois Lane and her late night liaison with Lex Luthor. I’ve really been enjoying Action Comics and #1004 is another outstanding issue. While the majority of the book is pillow talk between Lois and Clark it has some excellent Superman moments, that are beautifully rendered by the great Ryan Sook as well as some great commentary from Perry White on what is real news and why tabloid journalism is the worst part of our society. I love this kind of story and even though I loved the Superman Family stories from the early days of Rebirth I like the new status quo being established here by Bendis and really enjoy that none of the toys are being broken, simply rearranged for a later date.
It took me a bit of time but I’m starting to enjoy Brian Michael Bendis’ time at DC. While I thought Batman was the logical place for him I think his time on Superman was a genius move and it feels like Bendis is enjoying playing with Big Blue and his extended cast of characters. Action Comics #1004 is a perfect example of Brian Michael Bendis’ great use of dialogue, detailed story telling, with a touch of humor and an under current of social commentary. It’s also great to see Ryan Sook doing interiors again. While his covers have been gorgeous for years his interiors have been few and far between. His pencils are so smooth and dynamic especially with the stunning inks of Wade Von Grawbadger who has been a top inker for years and continues to impress. With the great rotation of artists joining him on Action Comics Bendis has the potential to redefine Superman and Metropolis for years to come.
Verdict: Action Comics #1004 is yet another great Bendis street level Superman story that delves into the darker side of Metropolis. Full of great social commentary and beautiful artwork Action Comics #1004 is a definite Buy in my humble opinion.