Action Comics #1007 // Review
There's a whole lot of set up in Action Comics #1007, by writer Brian Michael Bendis, artist Steve Spring, colorist Brad Anderson, and letter Josh Reed. Unfortunately, this being Bendis’ Action Comics, none of it is very interesting.
Jimmy Olsen is taken to meeting of the Kobra cult by a girl he has met. He's able to get some pictures and escape before the meeting is destroyed by a giant blue fireball. At the Daily Planet the next day, he keeps the pictures from Perry White, not because he can't trust Perry but because he doesn't know if he can trust the new owner of the paper. Lois meets with her father and drops a bombshell on him. In Atlanta, Superman rescues Amanda Waller and a bunch of her associates from another giant blue explosion.
So, this issue is part one of the Leviathan Rising story arc. DC and Bendis have been playing the whole upcoming event that this book hints at rather hard lately, but here's the problem- nothing in this book is very interesting. Bendis wrote a lot of events at Marvel to varying degrees of quality but he was usually able to set them up well. Avengers Disassembled planted the seeds for House Of M. New Avengers: Breakout was the beginning of Secret Invasion. Siege was set up by Dark Avengers. Even though this is only the first chapter of the set up, there's nothing to really grab readers and make them pay attention. There's a lot of talking and some explosions. Superman saves people. That's pretty much this issue in a nutshell.
Action Comics has a lot of problems in general and one of them is the rather abrupt way this story takes over for the Invisible Mafia story line. That story apparently ended last issue, but there was little to no pay off, the Mafia boss's reveal was weak, and a bad guy owning the Daily Planet is nothing new. For a reader who has been following this book long term, the abrupt switch in stories with no resolution to the last is disquieting at best and annoying at worst. One of the few saving graces of this issue is the characterization of Lois and Jimmy, but it's not enough to save this lame duck.
Another high point of the issue is Steve Epting's art, but much look Ryan Soon before him, Bendis really doesn't give him very much to draw. That's okay, though, because Epting is still a master of character acting and he deploys that skill to give subtly, whether it be Clark looking sidelong at Robinson Goode in the newsroom, the exchange between Lois and her father, or Jimmy and Perry sniping at each other. His Superman is a tad bit disappointing, but for a first outing with the character it's a fine start.
Action Comics #1007 is a complete and utter disappointment. This issue is supposed to be the kick off for Bendis’ big DC event, setting the table for what's to come, but there's nothing here. That said, there's always the chance that this story will get better as time goes on, but this is a very inauspicious beginning and it doesn't really bode well for what's to come. There are a few bright spots in this one, but not enough to elevate it to level that could be called good. As usual for Action Comics, the art is top notch and Bendis does have a grasp on Lois and Jimmy's characters in this issue, but other than that there's nothing to hook readers here.