Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Action Comics #1022 Review

Meetings and Mobsters

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: John Romita, Dani Miki, Brad Anderson, and Dave Sharpe
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 3, 2020

I have not been a fan of the Super books by Brian Michael Bendis, but this House of Kent story has me optimistic.  I love the idea of Conner Kent hanging with the rest of the Super-Family and hope we will get some solid answers to what is going on with him.  You know, answers that fans of Young Justice have been waiting over a year to arrive!  So, do we get something that makes me start looking forward to reading a Super book again?  Let's find out...

We start with Conner and Superman trying to figure out the where what and when of our cloned Superboy and I was worried right off the bat.  We get the standard "Bendis-Speak" that drives me nuts and bounces around in my head like a ping-pong ball.  Hey, nothing against ping-pong and a shoutout to the ping-pong GOAT, Forrest Gump, but the back-and-forth dialogue drives me up a wall!  It fills the page with small talk, and I hate small talk in my regular bump and grind (I have an odd life), so I certainly don't need it in my comics!  Luckily, we do get some actual information about Conner, just later on in the issue.

While this is going down, we have visitors from the 31st Century...yep, Jon is in the house (Fortress, actually) and he brought Brainiac-5 with him.  If you weren't aware that they are both in the Legion of Super-Heroes, Bendis has you covered, in such a forced way.  It reminded me of the scene in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story with the Beatles, and everyone keeps repeating their names over and over.  It was hilarious in the movie, at least.

I thought the scene was going to be huge, but it comes off a bit more on the uncomfortable tip.  Brainiac-5 did want to see a 21st-century toilet, and I can relate to that!  

We then head over to the Daily Planet and see how Perry White and his staff are taking the news of being owned by a gangster.  I would have loved the whole thing done Newsies-style with a little song and dance going on, but at least we got a guest appearance by Liev Schreiber as Steve Lombard.  Yea, I'm not too fond of John Romita Jr's art much in this issue, or any since he came to DC Comics for that matter.  While this scene goes on a bit too long, in my opinion, I do like seeing Lois, Jimmy, and the Daily Planet featured in the book.

The storytelling variety show continues with Leone and Robinson Goode, Red Cloud, day drinking, and having some girl talk about killing Lois Lane, loving Lois Lane, being invisible, not being invisible, and making like The Doobie Brothers and takin' it to the streets.  The last part seems to be to take back Red Cloud's recent hero turn with the Justice League and also try to explain why she hasn't killed Superman after getting so many chances.

Up until this point, the issue was a slog to get through.  I must have checked the page count at least four times, which is not a good sign.  However, the story picks up when Superman takes Conner, Jon, and Brainiac-5 to the Hall of Justice where some of the biggest brains in the DCU try to figure stuff out. I love the characters involved, and the discussion gets very heavy.  I want more!  I hope this isn't just the usual Bendis lip-service name dropping because when you have characters talk about the universe rebooting, especially when we are all waiting for some big changes shortly, you have my attention!

Bendis ends the issue with two big moments.  He gives some feels in Kansas where we get a Ma and Pa Kent meeting Conner for the first time...again.  If you were reading the Titans book at the beginning of Rebirth, this had a Wally West making people remember vibe to it, except with a twist.  The twist involves Superman, and I have my ideas where it might be going, and I hope I am wrong.  The other big moment has me worried for Lois and Jimmy, but that's what this type of cliffhanger is supposed to do!

Once we get to the Hall of Justice, I started to enjoy this issue a whole lot.  It felt big, had some feels, and ended with me on the edge of my seat a bit.  Getting to that point was a chore, however, and the art is not my favorite.  Overall, I hope that the second half of the book is an indicator that things are going to pick up from here because I need a good Superman comic book that I enjoy reading.

Bits and Pieces:

After a rough start, I ended up enjoying this issue.  It felt big and important and even mixed in some feel-good moments to boot.  I am still not a fan of John Romita Jr's recent art, this included, but this is one of the better Bendis issues I have read in quite some time.



  1. So I guess Superboy doesn't remember that Pa was dead before the reboot? I assume that will never come up either.

    1. i think they hint that he does at one point

    2. It seems like he is about to tell Ma about it and then she stops him and him and Clark look sad.

    3. Ya know in one issue of Justice League like over a year ago there was a flashback scene where Clark and Jon are launching a rocket to commemorate the anniversary of Pa's death but Jon is still a kid in that flashback. Wonder if that is at all relevant to this.

    4. there is also an issue last summer (I think Action) where Superman mentions Ma in the present as if she was alive. I think a lot of this has been bugs turned into a feature!

    5. Actually it was in Superman and if you go back and read the comments for that review you'll notice I was the first to notice that. 😁

    6. LOL!!! I do remember that you did!!! I actually read the comment to Eric at work during our break!

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