Monday, December 28, 2020

Review: Action Comics #1028

 Action Comics #1028 came out last week, a much needed Christmas gift for me. 

This issue marks the end of the Brian Michael Bendis run on the Superman books. And while I haven't loved everything, it has been a very successful and entertaining run for me. I am sad to see it come to an end. 

Bendis knew when this was the end of his tenure and so we get a wonderful walk through Superman's life. It is the sort of warm, loving goodbye I think this run needed. It is what I needed. 

Throughout this run, Bendis has done three things consistently.

Bendis has shown Superman to be the inspiration we need him to be. Superman has always done what was right. He has always wanted to help people. And even when attacked, even when he wanted to lash out, he has always taken the high road. This was Superman.

Bendis has always treated Supergirl right. While others have shown her to be angry, angsty, or evil, Bendis has always shown Kara to be smart, caring, and bright. She has been fierce in her fights against injustice and has often been the one to save the day. And she has been shown to be almost a role model for the Young Justice gang.

And Bendis has, especially in Action, made the Daily Planet and the Superman supporting cast important. We have seen scenes in the Planet Pit almost every month here. Jimmy, Lois, Perry, Steve Lombard, and Trish Q have been key members of the book. Melody Moore was a new and important addition. We had a complete book.

So nothing but praise here.

One thing I like is when creative teams know when their time is ending so they can have time for an epilogue. So settle in as Brian Michael Bendis leads us on a stroll through the Superman world one last time.

As I have said before in Action reviews, the Daily Planet scenes are personal favorites. I love them. Here it is pretty cool to see the entire Super-family hanging around the paper.

So this scene where Perry White is dealing with the new reality of Jimmy Olsen being the owner of the paper is priceless. 

There has been something great about Jimmy in this run, especially when you add the special sauce of Matt Fraction/Steve Lieber's mini-series into the mix. He is Mr. Action, insane Silver Age weirdness magnet, and charming youth. So seeing him ask for his own cubicle even though he owns the place is perfect. 

But then you see that he is also a genius. He gives Perry complete creative control. And he still says he will call Perry Chief. Perfect.

Over at The Hall of Justice, Mr. Terrific and The Atom have discovered, again,  that Conner Kent is a clone of Superman and Lex Luthor.

It is the small things about this scene I love. Hearing how Mr. Terrific loves looking at these 'once in a lifetime' cases. I love Kara asking if she missed a 'multiversal quagmire'. 

But I don't like that the dreaded wrinkle of 'depowering' has been put in Conner. It could be weeks or years but at some point he will lose his powers.

And this was funny. 

When asked how he remembers Conner, Mr. Terrific talks of the Multiversal Reboot Conundrum. 

He says it so matter-of-factly! I want to live in a world where I can say stuff like that. 

But basically, Superman has seen so many things and so many dimensions and so many timelines, he retains some memories.

I think I suffer from the Multiversal Reboot Conundrum. 

The simple decision is to have the Kents (again) raise Conner as their son. Superman likes the added layer of defense for his family.

As I said, Bendis' handling of Supergirl has been exemplary. So long time Kara fans have to love her asking Jon about Brainiac 5.

Krypto shows up and dives into Conner's arms so that gang is all here.

Kara then leaves.

Anyone who wants to write Supergirl .. heck any Superman character ... should read this page.

She says she loves him.
She thanks her for saving their lives.
She tells Superboy that he'll be okay. 
He calls her ma'am, a sign of respect.

Just a great last moment for Supergirl by Bendis. 

With Kara gone and Conner on the farm, it's just father and son. 

And Jon has the great idea that the two should just fly around the city helping people. From handing out meals, to hanging with Batman, to saving a hot air balloon, they just do simple good deeds.

It is their talk that is great. They talk about things fathers and sons should talk about. Life and love.

And I love how Jon acknowledges how much time they lost.

And we get a mother son moment too as Lois tells Jon how proud she is of him.

Back at the Planet, we get a inspirational speech by Perry to the troops.

In this day and age of 'fake news', he wants people to trust the Planet again. 

I'll miss this handling of the Planet. I have liked seeing this again in the Superman books.

So we get to the ending page where Bendis says goodbye and hints to the future. I was delighted bu opening pages with post it notes or tweets. So let's end that way. 

And he thanks fans with super-websites. Hooray!

I said much of what I needed to say about the Brian Michael Bendis run in the introduction. But to put it succinctly, I looked forward to the Superman books again. I enjoyed the Superman books again. And recommended the Superman books again. 

That's what it's all about!

Overall grade: A+


Anonymous said...

Agreed - I really liked the whole Bendis run, even with some hiccups here and there.

He has often added the hashtag #supermishpachah when posting about Superman on Instagram - "super family" in Yiddish. I don't know if Bendis was always such a "family man" or if he went through changes when hospitalized and seriously ill just before starting work for DC, but "family" is what comes through in much of his writing. Superman family; all the love and joy felt and expressed in the Young Justice team family; Naomi and her adopted family. (We didn't get to see enough of that, but she'll be part of the upcoming Justice League.)

Bendis has hinted in the text, twice, that something is up with Supergirl and the Legion/Brainy. No reason to plant those two moments if it's not going to pay off anytime soon. And now everyone is silent about whether Legion is cancelled or not. Seems like they are holding out for a surprise announcement. Companies like to time their publicity for what they hope will be maximum effect.

My current theory is the surprise is going to be a book called "Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes," perhaps debuting with #13 in April. Wouldn't be the first time LSH got renamed mid-run like that.

We shall see!


Martin Gray said...

Lovely review, this was the perfect goodbye from Brian Bendis, full of warmth and good vibes. My dream is that he’ll be back with a series of Supergirl stories soon.

William Ashley Vaughan said...

A great exit for Bendis. I agree he has something up his sleeve where Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes are concerned. I love the Daily Planet part of Superman too. Fortunately, with a Jimmy Olsen backup series coming, we are bound to see more of it come this spring.