Action Comics #1007 review

Jimmy Olsen’s on a date. He’s in Seattle with new squeeze Ella, but he starts to wonder what kind of squeeze she’s out to put on him when she introduces him to her religion.

The Daily Planet’s red-headed photographer manages to get some snaps and get the heck out, just before things go ‘boom’.

We next see him waking on Perry White’s office couch in Metropolis, only hours later, given the ash on his freckled face – begging the question of whether he still has access to the Newsboy Legion’s Whiz Wagon. Being a vintage newsman, Perry has questions.

Jim escapes alive to share his concerns with colleague Clark Kent.

Outside Chicago, Lois Lane is having a long-overdue conversation with her father.

And back in the big city, Superman races to rescue a falling woman…

Jimmy, of late, has also been falling – falling asleep in the Planet newsroom. He’s knackered again here, but at least we can now infer that Mr Action has been running around after the rather fast Ella (Young Mr Olsen has always been rubbish at picking girlfriends, from the toxic Lucy Lane to lady gorillas and space monsters). It’s likely fair to say she is no more, killed in the explosion at the cult HQ. Has Kobra gone full-on death cult, or is this the Leviathan organisation taking out rivals, as teased in solicitations? Whatever the case, it’s great to see Jimmy, with really rather swish hair, getting some panel time to show not only his facility as a photographer, but also his knack for getting into, and out of, a sticky situation.

If Lois discussed her decision to reveal Clark’s secret identity with him before telling all to her father, great. Brian Bendis writes an excellent scene, the emotions feel real – I just hope it’s not something that’s going to cause trouble, given Sam Lane’s loose cannon habits. Then again, just imagine a meeting between Sam and his Kryptonian counterpart… I really appreciate Lois expressing her love for Clark so forcefully, I hope this is her back in Action full time after her sojourn away.

Given the falling woman of Metropolis turns out to be Amanda Waller – at first, I assumed she was doing a Golden Age Lois Lane, trying to get Superman’s attention with the power of stupidity – I’d have let her drop. The Wall of today is a worse person than some of the villains she controls in the Suicide Squad. But that’s a matter for another comic; this one, I enjoyed hugely. Bendis’ plotting intrigues – it’s quite nice to have a month off from the admittedly fun gangster stuff – and his character work is fabulous… this is a Perry White I can believe in, for example, deeply frustrated by, and annoyed at, a kid he cares for. I’m intrigued by the beginning of the Leviathan story, though as I expect it to loop back to the Invisible Mafia business, it’s probably fair to say it began months ago.

There’s not a lot of Clark or Superman here, but I’m good with that – I’ve long wanted a Daily Planet book, and here it is.

The artwork by illustrator Steve Epting and colourist Brad Anderson is beyond stunning – I liked Epting way back when, when he was drawing Dan Jurgens’ underrated Aquaman run, and he’s gotten better and better in the couple of decades since then. His compositions, his character acting, the action sequences, his finishing…. it’s comic art for the ages. That five-page Lois and Sam sequence should be up on the wall of the Joe Kubert School as a masterclass in how to make a conversation compelling. The flight page is terrific, as Superman approaches what begins as a tiny ant of a figure. The first page, with Jimmy’s camera bag replacing the workstations we’ve begun with since Bendis arrived, has a very nice, telling detail in that apple. Jimmy himself looks cool, his Sixties outfit now stylish again. And every page is thoughtfully coloured by Anderson with real craft.

The lettering, too, is first rate, as Josh Reed adds drama to the dialogue, and throws in some terrific title lettering.

As for the covers, that movie poster-style Lois and Clark image by Epting is just stunning. Patrick Gleason’s Stars and Stripes variant is also a winner, clever and gorgeous.

All this, and a brilliant sight gag for anyone who’s been following the Batman series.

8 thoughts on “Action Comics #1007 review

  1. Not sure how the Lois and Sam scene is going to play out but it made sense to me. She just lost seven years of her son’s life and opening up to her estranged father just makes emotional sense to me. Jimmy Olsen, the preferred shag of evil women, feels weird to me in contrast. Don’t they know he has no soul?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My first comment on this got gobbled up somehow, so here we go again.

    I really liked this issue — Epting’s art is amazing, and he excels at spy stuff in particular (did you ever read Velvet? Hoo boy, is it good.)

    I love the Jimmy sequence, and wonder if all of Kobra is upset because people keep calling them a lizard cult, when they’re obviously a SNAKE cult. It’s basic taxonomy, guys.

    The Lois/Sam sequence was great, too. And it makes perfect sense: You can make the argument that as family — especially as a grandfather — Sam *does* have a right to know, and by withholding the secret, Lois was only making the rift between them worse. And I like that her motivation for doing it was in seeing the stressed relationship Clark is having with Mr. Oz, and deciding that their family deserved a better, more honest relationship.

    Loved the Waller sequence, too. I’m wondering what town that was in. Superman starts that scene in Atlanta, but who knows how fast he flew, and whether it’s even in the same city?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the Velvet recommendation, Rob, I’ve not tried that… Bendis spy book, yes?

      Oh, good point about lizards v snakes. I’ve never enjoyed Kobra as villains, though the original series sounds intriguing.

      I think we’re still in Atlanta at the end… stupid of me not to notice the name tag.

      Like

  3. Velvet is actually by Ed Brubaker and Epting. Basically, it’s Monneypenny going rogue when she finds out something’s rotten at the Agency. Really good stuff, and methodical in the way that all my favorite spy fiction is.

    And I think Waller being in Metropolis is still a reasonable assumption. If I were falling/jumping out of a building and wanted Superman to save me, that’s the town where I’d best expect success!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As usual, the character pieces … especially Jimmy … sizzle,
    I like the idea of Leviathan, picking off these other organizations. But those blue Manhattan bombs make me wonder if ere is a Doomsday Clock connection.

    But Lois’ decision to our Superman seems way off base for me. ‘I just made a dumb decision about Mr. Oz, a father figure. Let me double down and make a potentially devastating decision to see if I can even things out.’ Things like these need careful thought. What is the risk? What is the benefit? She must have known there could be a bad side.

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