Summary

The Superman family is on the hunt for the Invisible Mafia, but hopefully, they all make it out alive!

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Writing
Art
Colors
Letters

Review: ACTION COMICS #1025 – The Last Stand of Conner Kent?

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On September 22, DC Comics released Actions Comics #1025. Writer Brian Michael Bendis, penciler John Romita Jr., inker Klaus Janson, color artist Brad Anderson, and letter Dave Sharpe continue their “House of Kent” story. Hopefully, all of its members will make it out alive!

Writing

One can’t help but feel some joy at seeing the entire Super-Family together again. It’s certainly been fun to see Conner Kent reconnect with all of the people who had forgotten him. But one also can’t help but feel like this arc, and Conner’s return, in general, might’ve been better served in the hands of Jurgens or Tomasi. Bendis’s “House of Kent” arc is hampered by an Invisible Mafia story that’s running out of gas (no pun intended, given the villain of the arc).

It does feel like it’s time for a change of writer on this title (in Mark Waid we trust?). Hopefully, after waiting so long for his return during the Rebirth era, Conner Kent will still be alive and recognizable in a post-Bends Superman run.

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Art and Colors

Fans of Romita Jr. should like this issue because when he draws characters close up, they can be quite compelling. Sometimes, though, from far away, his drawings can be a bit angular and sloppy. For instance:

It’s hard to get past Jon Kent’s Bart Simpson hair, as well as whatever doodle for beginners hellscape Brainiac 5 crawled out of. Maybe Romita fans will disagree with me, but as epic as Conner’s return to the Superman titles SHOULD be, I wish this was a prettier book.

Anderson, of course, provides some excellent colorwork. While some of his colors can be a little too “solid” in scenes where he colors the Super-Family, in other panels, like those involving Red Mist, his color work is shaded and nuanced, provide an excellent complement to Romita.

Letters

As with any Bendis book, there can be a tendency for an over-abundance of word balloons to cramp the comics panels. This issue largely avoids that (except in a Daily Planet scene), with Sharpe providing some great lettering, both in character dialogue and in some of the exposition boxes. This issue feels very kinetic, with the lettering only being minimally distracting at times.

Conclusion

As happy as fans are to see Conner, many of them are waiting for a changing of the guard on the Superman titles. We know Bendis’s time on the book is coming to an end. Who knows? Maybe his finale will surprise and please fans. Hopefully, every member of the Superman family will make it out alive for whatever comes next.

What did you think of Action Comics #1025? Tell us in the comments below!

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Matthew Brakehttps://www.popularcultureandtheology.com
Matthew Brake is the series editor for the book series Theology and Pop Culture from Lexington Books. He is also the co-editor of the forthcoming Religion and Comics series from Claremont Press. He holds degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies and Philosophy from George Mason University. He also writes for Sequart and the Blackwell Popular Culture and Philosophy blog.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Honestly, there was something sobering and dignified about Superman loving his humanity so much that he would choose to live as a human being, without the need to reveal himself and literally be Superman 24/7. I liked the idea of the restraint and discipline he lived with every day, as a reminder to be grounded. He can’t do that as a celebrity. Revealing himself just appears garrish and uncharacteristically self-indulgent, no matter how much Bendis papers over the actual consequences with wokka wokka humour.

    The ID reveal also looks like a sad reminder and this dopey need on social media to constantly offer, share , gut-spill and over-exhibit yourself publicly. I’m reminded of examples of stoicism and dignity like Chadwick Boseman. He could have made it all about his personal cancer struggle, but it wasn’t necessary. We didn’t need to know and he knew that. He let the public know about him just what he saw we needed to know- and that’s it.

    Just like narratively Clark would have never needed to tell the world everything intimate about himself and grab the spotlight and honestly, no matter what Bendis tries to say the world never needed to know either ( that’s not an affront to ‘truth’ in truth and justice).

    I sincerely hope DC just undoes this stunt as soon as Bendis leaves. Don’t care how. Hell, get Mephisto to cross over and one-more day things.

  2. Yeah, Bendis really did not do a good job with Superman. He’s likely alienated a lot of fans with his preening, jawing, all hype but no payoff villains ( also refusal to properly work with established villains). The secret ID reveal was also an empty stunt that literally made no sense. Bendis merely employed a garbled trendy coming-out narrative as though somehow Clark wasn’t happy or comfortable living as a human. Previous stories made it abundantly clear why he guarded his double life. Family or not Clark cannot be Superman 24/7. THAT made sense. Even now, Bendis can barely explain it, despite his media shmoozing ( how was Clark being Clark somehow narratively restricting or making the stories predictable?). How is it Clark has no problem getting preferential treatment ( as if anyone would read or judge his work fairly) It seemed more like a selfish attention grabbing act Homelander would pull off,

    There are no actual consequences despite that being an obvious result. And how is it Smallville or Daily Planet isn’t a smoldering hole in the ground? How come Lex hasn’t done ANYTHING yet? Remember he did that Daily Planet thing BEFORE the reveal. Superman has more problems with the stupid FBI.

    The reveal didn’t make things better. He killed a successful status quo to put his stamp on things. But what we got back was not worth it at all. New writer please.

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