Action Comics #1014, published by DC Comics, is written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Szymon Kudranski, colors by Brad Anderson and letters by Rob Leigh. The series has spent the last year placing Earth, and particularly, Metropolis in ever-increasing chaos due to the villain Leviathan. Not only is Leviathan enigmatic, but she has destroyed the world’s intelligence agencies. Now, Action Comics #1014 continues the Leviathan push, as in it did in the previous issue, while also moving every subplot ahead.
The big reveal of this issue is that Marisol Leone is Metropolis’ secret criminal queenpin. She reveals herself to Daily Planet chief Perry White. However, the meat of Action Comics #1014 is the interaction between her and Perry as well as Perry and his staff. Leone is out to use the Daily Planet to unmask Leviathan. She plays off very much like Lex Luthor. They both have underhanded motives lurking behind the scenes. Her offer sets the stage here for another layer in the mysteries of Metropolis.
Throughout the series, Metropolis has grown in richness as we continue to see classic set pieces from Superman’s lore. S.T.A.R Labs gets a turn this time around after the Man of Steel encounters a new threat there. The battle sequence is short but sweet, and after many issues with Superman being passive, it’s nice to see him irritated.
All of these events are coming together to form a perfect storm. Metropolis ganglords are being exposed and battling for territory. Meanwhile, the Daily Planet is trying to get the truth while remaining relevant. Superman’s attempts to stay one step ahead falter. Ultimately though, Leone’s plot to use her newspaper to strike back at Leviathan and the way White and others handle her gift is the star here. It plays well off the ‘Year of the Villain’ arc that is now a few months old.
Bendis creates a steady burn in Action Comics #1014. He has pulled out decades-old characters and made them and Metropolis interesting. Additionally, Perry White especially shines this issue. He has never been written better as his dialogue carries this issue. Overall, the pacing of the issue is well executed.
Outside of the narrative, Kudranski’s art is amazing. He brings panels of dialogue to vivid life, especially on close-ups and eye shots. This issue places Superman at the center of the biggest battle scene and it is very well drawn, capturing the chaos while highlighting Superman’s calm demeanor and physicality. Kudranski illustrates and inks a wide variety of people, places, and creatures this issue. Meanwhile, Anderson does remarkable things with colors, especially hues. No color is basic or too bold, but it’s the blend of coloration that makes characters and scenes pop. Leigh is a wonderful letterer and offers a fair amount of special effects word balloons and sound effects.
This is the best issue thus far of the run and I am loving this series more and more every month. Action Comics #1014 has some of the best pacing, storytelling, and dialogue in a Superman comic as well as a phenomenal supporting cast of characters, both good and bad.
Action Comics #1014 is available now wherever comic books are sold.
Action Comics #1014
Action Comics #1014 has some of the best pacing, storytelling, and dialogue in a Superman comic
William J. Jackson is a small town laddie who self publishes books of punk genres, Victorian Age superheroes, rocket ships and human turmoil. He loves him some comic books, Nature, Star Trek and the fine art of the introvert.