DC Comics
Review: Action Comics #1006
By Philip Schweier
Jan 2, 2019 - 8:07

DC Comics
Writer(s): Brian Michael Bendis
Artist(s): Ryan Sook
Colourist(s): Brad Anderson
Letterer(s): Josh Reed
Cover Artist(s): Ryan Sook; Francis Manapul

Last time, I praised Ryan Sook’s work on Action Comics, and this issue only gets better. I often gripe about how comics were better in my day, but Mr. Sook performs tricks that an earlier generation of artists could only dream of. Angles, details, implied storytelling that says so much with so little. It’s the very essence of words + pictures distilled into a concentrated, digestable form.

And then there are the Easter eggs. This issue is full of tributes to the DCU’s rich history, from the very first issue of Action Comics, to the war comics, to Christopher Reeve, to the Wonder Twins. But as nay comics pro will tell you, drawing men in tights is the easy part. The challenge is the everyday bits and pieces: pencils, shoes, traffic, clothing, food on a plate, etc. Convey that effectively and the rest comes easy.

As for the story, more is revealed. Not just the identity of Red Cloud, but also the person behind Red Cloud, and the whys and hows of their conflict with the Man of Steel. It’s refreshing to meet a bad guy who isn’t the product of a lab accident or alien invasion, yet is still capable of avoiding direct involvement in the Never-Ending Battle.

I must admit, I was skeptical of Bendis’ transition to DC Comics’ flagship title. Back in the early 1970s, DC lured Jack Kirby to the character, but hamstrung him by A.) putting him on secondary titles in the franchise; and B.) having someone else render the face. In the ‘80s, John Byrne came over from Marvel to completely revamp the property but he stuck around only long enough for the re-launch. If DC will give Bendis a free hand to maintain this level of quality, and he sticks around long enough, he’ll be remembered as one of those long-standing custodians for generations to come.

Hopefully, Sook will stick with him.

Rating: 10/10

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