Comic Reviews: Action Comics and DC Bad Guys Summer Special!
Action Comics #1001
Now that the dust has settled in Man of Steel, Brian Michael Bendis has started his runs on Superman and Action Comics. While Superman will focus on the Man of Steel’s personal life, Bendis’ Action Comics, which begins with issue 1001 (no renumbering here), focuses on the heroic adventures of Superman. Teamed up with artist Patrick Gleason, the first issue of Bendis’ run isn’t as action-packed as described, but still seems to be setting up some pretty intriguing things.
Picking up on a subplot from Man of Steel, Superman is still trying to figure out who is behind the sudden rash of fires being set in Metropolis. Even though it’s a relatively small potatoes concern for Superman, he still feels a need to help his city, but he’s at a loss for who could be behind it. Of course, we know that it involves the new villain Red Cloud, who’s abilities, while still unknown fully, seem pretty considerable.
We’ve already seen Bendis’ ability to spin new takes on Superman with Man of Steel, but I’m still impressed by how well his style works for the character. Everything from the dialogue to the mystery is well done and engaging, and Bendis’ voice for the Man of Steel is everything you’d want from Superman. He’s both heroic and empathetic, and when he explains to the fire chief why he cares so much about the fires being set, you totally believe it.
Patrick Gleason is no stranger to drawing Superman after a stellar run on the character with Peter J Tomasi on Superman. I knew exactly what I was getting when I opened up this issue, and I totally loved every page and panel I saw. Gleason’s style is so well suited for the character that it’s hard to imagine a better artist suited for his world. He’s that good, and putting him with Bendis all but guarantees a fantastic story lays ahead of us.
If you’ve been waiting to jump into the world of the Man of Steel, this is a pretty good place to start, though you’d definitely need to pick up the Man of Steel miniseries to fully grasp the plot. However, this opening start for Action Comics is really engaging, and Bendis is definitely bringing his A-game to the character. It’s nice to see Superman standing tall with a new exciting adventure ahead of him.
DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special #1 (DC Comics)
It’s no secret that one of DC’s strengths as a publisher is their diverse stable of bad guys, so the fact that they’re giving them a special one-shot isn’t a big surprise. What is a surprise though, is the fact that this is a special “Summer themed” one-shot. There’s a lot of things you would associate the DC villains with, but Summer is definitely not one of them. But aside from that, the DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special is still an entertaining, if weird, reading experience.
There’s a lot of creative teams involved with this book, and they all do a pretty great job of giving fun scenarios for the characters they are portraying. But the stand outs are Jeff Loveness and David Williams’ “Help”, in which Lex Luthor finds himself stranded on the side of road, and Paul Dini and John Paul Leone’s “Close Shave”, which has Mr. Freeze building a gigantic mech suit and toppling an ice cream man who is using his likeness to sell frozen treats. Both of these stories use the template of this special to great effect, and the Dini story is honestly worth the price of admission alone. It’s both charmingly goofy and also seems like something Freeze would do.
Is it weird for this book to exist? Absolutely. But it’s also a great example of what makes DC so interesting currently. Sure, they’re churning out rock solid “serious” superhero tales in books like Batman, Superman, and Justice League, but they’re also taking time to do fun one-off specials like this and the weird Looney Toons crossovers. Even though the serious stuff is great, it’s also nice to see the publisher take the time to have a little fun every once in a while.
Posted on July 25, 2018, in Comic book reviews, Comic reviews and tagged Action COmics, Brian Michael Bendis, David Williams, DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special, DC Comics, Jeff Loveness, John Paul Leone, Patrick Gleason, Paul Dini. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.