Friday, September 27, 2019

Review: Action Comics #1015

Action Comics #1015 came out this week and was a very entertaining issue which focused on Naomi, the latest young hero in the DCU. But it also added some important details to both the Invisible Mafia storyline and some Event Leviathan information.

For someone like me, who collects Naomi, this issue was a great recap of that title and its hero. I love that book and so seeing Naomi now entering the bigger DCU was a treat. It also hammered home the fact that her origin is a little bit Superman and a little bit Batman, one of the wrinkles I like.

On top of that, her interaction with Superman cements that writer Brian Michael Bendis has Superman's voice down pat. Between his helping Naomi here and his inspirational turn in Superman #15, this has been one heck of a month for the Man of Steel.

But this is more than a primer on Naomi. The Red Cloud side plot continues to plod along. And a huge juicy clue about the identity of Leviathan was dropped here. Remember though, this is my review post. The clues will be reviewed next week. But I am starting to have some resurgent confidence about my Leviathan Theory. Maybe this time I'm right.

This is my favorite issue so far from artist Szymon Kudranski. This issue has him drawing pages from Naomi's point of view. It has quiet moments and battle moments. And it has his usual elan about page layout and panel borders. Strong stuff here. On to the book itself!

As I said, we start with Naomi flying to Metropolis to find Superman. These opening pages are done from Naomi's perspective. We see how a novice flyer would be tripping, falling, bashing into stuff rather than being regal like someone experienced like Superman.

Seeing birds fleeing, the street coming up fast, stuff being crushed and demolished in her path all worked.

And the whole time we see how unsure she is of everything.

In small doses, seeing things from the hero's perspective works. Here you see just how unsteady she is.

After crashing into the street, Superman arrives.

Remember, Naomi is something of a Superman fan. So here she is meeting her hero.

But I love Superman's response to her when she asks for help. He says 'well then, let's get you some help.'


This is the Superman I want to read. The guy who wants to help immediately.

Moreover, he knows the people of Metropolis. He fixes the street card Naomi destroyed. He has fixed Reuben's cart before.

I love how Lois owes Reuben $42 dollars.

But Superman cuts to the chase. Naomi is new to her powers. It is time for a check-up.

No surprise, Bendis has Naomi's voice down too. She is reeling from everything and she let's the audience knows it. She has had powers for 90 minutes. Who knows what they are doing to her.

So it's off for a super-hero checkup.

We started out looking at the world from Naomi's view.

Here we see the reverse, looking at her flying behind Superman. He is all iconic. She is all squirmy and falling and adjusting.

That second panel where she nearly drops out of sight shows just how great the medium of comics is.

So it's off to the Hall of Justice for a recap of Naomi's origin and a power scan by Ray Palmer.

When she discusses the destruction of her Earth and the villain she thwarted, Ray decides to see if he can figure out which Earth she is from.

Just like that the Multiversity map, made famous by Grant Morrison, is brought up to peruse.

Hmmm ...

And then these two interactions.

Superman points out that she was sent to Earth from her doomed planet by her parents. She was adopted and calls this Earth home.

That is basically Superman's origin.

And then we add the wrinkle that her origin has a Batman feel.

Her parents were killed before she was rocketed off. She still feels the pain.


Really like that.

But suddenly Superman is called away.

He says it is Leviathan. But it isn't.

It is Red Cloud about to kill Rose.

The new Red Cloud is scary. It is great that Superman sees the Mayor there. Suddenly the slimy mayor is a bit slimier. And I love how he tells Rose to get behind him.

And then this amped up Red Cloud basically starts to beat the snot out of Superman. Like really beat the snot out of Superman.

She even wonders if Lex would like it if she killed Superman so quickly.


And then, interestingly, we end the issue with the Daily Planet Cherp board.

No trending #LeviathanTheory yet.

But there is that Multiversity Map again. And the idea that some people think Batman is Leviathan is interesting.

I do wonder what non-Naomi readers thought of this issue. There is a lot of Naomi here. But I loved it. And all the other stuff around her was fantastic.

The new Blaze-ing Red Cloud is terrifying.

And yes, there are some Leviathan clues here.

Overall grade: A-


Anonymous said...

I love the moment where Naomi asks Batman "Does it ever go away?" He says "No," Batman and Superman watch carefully for her response, she says "Good", and Batman smiles slightly. They are on a similar page.

Superman then smiles very faintly when she asks "What do we do?"

I noticed here, and maybe somewhere else, Bendis refers to super-powered people as "Powers." Doesn't he have a book of that title? Here, Red Cloud says "Hey, if that new Power you mentioned is looking for work, we are hiring."

Has "Power" traditionally be used that way at DC, or is this purely his idea? The Wikipedia article on Bendis's "Powers" says police officers in a Chicago Homicide Department. are devoted to cases that involve "powers" (people with superpowers).


Martin Gray said...

Great review, Anj, especially your commentary on the page with Naomi struggling to find her flying feet and take off after Superman.

This is such a great series. I want an annual!

And great spot, TN. I’ve never come across this term for superheroes in the DCU.