Action Comics #1009 // Review
Amanda Waller asks for help in Action Comics #1009, by writer Brian Michael Bendis, artist Steve Epting, colorist Brad Anderson, and letterer Rob Leigh. This one is another big info dump that explains a few things about what's going on with Leviathan and does a much better job than previous issues of getting readers invested in this story.
Amanda Waller awakens at the Fortress of Solitude. Her and Lois get into a tiff over Waller blurting out Superman's secret identity at the Kent apartment before Waller starts revealing what has happened to her and Lois’ father. Superman flies off to check on Waller's statements, finding the Question standing watch over General Lane and then searching the different places Leviathan has attacked. He returns to the Fortress, and he and Lois figure out a plan, based on old undercover identities of theirs, to get more info.
Action Comics has been remarkably mediocre for most of Bendis’ run, and this particular story up to this issue has followed that trend. This issue, however, is a vast improvement. It's still a classic, wordy, near actionless Bendis book, but it does a much better job laying out the stakes of what's going on. Leviathan is still a rather nebulous threat, but with the moves they've been making, they are definitely a threat, and this issue makes that much more evident. It's strange in a way, really. Leviathan does nothing in this issue, but this one does a lot better job than any of the other segments to make readers realize that Leviathan is no joke.
The argument between Lois and Waller is excellent. A lot of people say Bendis writes Lois as a Jessica Jones light character, but this issue shows that he has a better grasp on her than people realize. She's feisty and intelligent, putting things together and figuring out a plan to get more information. He gets Waller right as well, capturing the bravado and bluster even though she's ostensibly beaten. His Jimmy Olsen is a bit uneven, though. He writes Olsen like he's an idiot who is also inexplicably talented and smart and it doesn't really ring true. It's like Bendis wants to write old school Olsen, but also needs to have him be the newer version as well.
Steve Epting's art improves in this issue. His character acting is spot on, and it really helps to sell what's going on. In previous issues, his faces sometimes were drawn strangely, but there's none of that in the chapter. This is his strongest issue so far. The only shame about is Bendis really hasn't given him anything interesting to draw. Hopefully, that'll happen soon.
Action Comics #1009 is the best the book has been in months. It actually serves to get readers interested in Bendis’ forthcoming Leviathan event, adding some intrigue to the whole thing. There's some good characterization in the book, the only exception being Jimmy Olsen. The ending is quite interesting, and it could be fun to see how it all works out. Epting's art is much better than it has been. All in all, this is a good book; it's not great, and it definitely doesn't make up for the mediocrity of Bendis’ Action Comics so far, but it entertainingly does its job.