DC Comics
Review: Action Comics #1004
By Philip Schweier
Oct 24, 2018 - 9:03

DC Comics
Writer(s): Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller(s): Ryan Sook
Inker(s): Wade Von Grawbadger
Colourist(s): Brad Anderson
Letterer(s): Josh Reed
Cover Artist(s): Steve Rude; Francis Manapul

This issue’s primary cover features a beautiful painting by Steve Rude, of Superman encountering a flock of (possibly Canadian) geese in the sky. I mention the (possible) Canadian connection because my wife and I enjoy a long-running TV series set in Toronto, c. 1900. The main protagonist is a scrupulously honest police detective, much like a certain reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper we all know. So as I read Clark/Superman’s dialogue in this issue, I couldn’t help but hear said Toronto detective’s voice in my head.

I also mention the Steve Rude cover because artists Ryan Sook and Wade Von Grawbadger seem to be channeling their inner Dude (not the one who abides, the other one). Often, artists use an excess of crosshatching to add texture, but it in turn dilutes the defining effect of colors.

Sook and Grawbadger’s contours are crisp, clean and well defined, adding clarity to each panel. This permits an excess of detail in the form of desk clutter, streetscape elements and home furnishings. This also allows Brad Anderson’s color work to shine. He uses a very bright color palette (appropriate for Superman), which is effective even in scenes with minimal lighting. There is no inappropriate moody atmosphere here; simply well-lit scenes, and less so.

Bendis seems intent on elevating the supporting cast. Perry White displays a dimension of character I haven’t seen in years, if ever. He’s not simply Clark’s boss, he’s a man with a job, and an individual with his own agenda. However, Superman’s son is only mentioned off-hand, which I don’t particularly mind. I still struggle with Lois and Clark being married, let alone having a kid. But at least Bendis gave us the reunion we’ve been needing.

Rating: 8/10

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