• Action Comics 1015 Cover Featured Reviews 

    “Action Comics” #1015

    By | September 27th, 2019
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    Naomi, from her titular Wonder Comics series, makes her landing right in the middle of Metropolis and several other plots in “Action Comics” right now. Brian Michael Bendis, Szymon Kudrankski, Brand Anderson, and David Sharpe usher this burgeoning new hero in one of the more noir driven books in the Superman line. While this may not have been the most ideal time or title to reintroduce this character. Bendis’s script manages to keep characters consistent and reign in genre whiplash to the best of his abilities.

    cover by David Marquez and Alejandro Sánchez

    Written by Brian Michael Bendis
    Illustrated by Szymnon Kudranski
    Colored by Brad Anderson
    Lettered by Dave Sharpe

    Breakout Wonder Comics hero Naomi makes her Metropolis debut as the teen hero looks to Superman to help her navigate her unexpected new role as a hero in the DC Universe. Hoping to answer the remain questions about her origin, lineage and greater purpose on Earth, Naomi not only gets the attention of the Man of Steel but also Gotham City’s Dark Knight Detective, as Batman takes an interest in her quick rise to prominence.

    “Action Comics” #1015 picks up where the previous issue left off with Naomi, the protagonist of “Naomi” (a book I have been told to read by many people), crashing into the center of Metropolis. Without having read her series, Naomi comes off as likable enough but she suffers from an issue of a lot of original Bendis creations of having her Bendisy dialogue act as the stand-in for a distinct personality. Naomi’s story, within this issue, is summarized quite well and is compelling enough but Bendis does not go as far to tell the readers why should care. This may be an issue of Bendis’s recent long-form storytelling just being one long arc rather than stories that come to an end, but Naomi truly drops into the middle of the Red Cloud and Leviathan storylines that feel like they have been going on for as long as we can remember. Naomi would be an exciting new story for “Action Comics” to take on if I could trust Bendis to bring any of these other stories to a close. Even in the issue, I could not tell if I was missing a page given how abruptly it ends.

    Bendis’s dialogue as often stated has a reputation and while there are a lot of Bendisisms in “Action Comics” #1015, the dialogue does the book a great service. Superman’s dialogue around picking up Reuben’s hot dog stand is very personable and makes Metropolis feel like a real place with history and connections which is one of the better aspects of his “Action Comics” run so far. Bendis also builds an emotional connection between Naomi, Superman, and Batman by emphasizing the similarities in their origins. While Naomi comes out of nowhere in regards to this particular story, she is given a sense of importance in connecting to the biggest characters in the DC Universe.

    Naomi is an interesting enough character and for representation’s sake, I hope that she gets more to do in the DC Universe and gets further fleshed out by someone other than Bendis. Naomi appearing in “Action Comics” #1015 is indicative of a larger phenomenon of Bendis and marginalized characters. He is a great proponent for bringing these characters into these universes, but he has a tendency to sit on them for so long without marginalized creators getting the chance to give an authentic voice to the characters. Representation is only worth so much when it’s just on the page. Naomi’s original series was a break from this with David Walker as a writer and co-creator but with her coming to Action with Bendis as sole writer, it does not feel wrong to worry about whether Bendis will be her sole scribe indefinitely.

    Artistically…I don’t think Szymon Kudranksy signed up for the more superheroic aspects of this book. In the final third of the book, he and Brand Anderson’s work looks great. Kudransky works really well with shadows and sharp contrasts and with Superman fighting Red Cloud there are ample opportunities for that. Brad Anderson follows up those deep blacks with the pinkish reds that make so many of these panels pop. All of that is good. The rest of the issue’s artwork is just off. The most egregious page is the copy and pasted Superman flying as Naomi learns her abilities. Kudransky stamps Superman onto four panels completely static, with an anatomically confusing extended arm. Much of the art looks like blocky action figures with semi-realistic faces stuck on them. This would be a funny gag if the art was not so distracting. I would be really curious to see what the linework looks like because Anderson seems to be trying to make up for the lack of strong line work in many places but it comes off looking like a strange filter. When Ray Palmer appears in this issue I had to reread to confirm that it wasn’t Elongated Man. I do not say all of this to be dismissive, however, Kudransky’s artwork has a very specific quality and tone that does not necessarily flow into the different genre styles in “Action Comics” #1015.

    Continued below

    Naomi is an interesting enough character and for representation’s sake, I hope that she gets more to do in the DC Universe and gets further fleshed out by someone other than Bendis. Naomi appearing in “Action Comics” #1015 is indicative of a larger phenomenon of Bendis and marginalized characters. He is a great proponent for bringing these characters into these universes, but he has a tendency to sit on them for so long without marginalized creators getting the chance to give an authentic voice to the characters. Representation is only worth so much when it’s just on the page. Naomi’s original series was a break from this with David Walker as a writer and co-creator but with her coming to Action with Bendis as sole writer, it does not feel wrong to worry about whether Bendis will be her sole scribe indefinitely.

    “Action Comics” #1015 is an odd issue. The storylines of “Action Comics” have been going and going with no end in sight and with Naomi’s entrance it’s worrying as to whether the book will collapse with all of the weight. Bendis continues to write incredibly charming characters and writes a really lived in DC Universe. Naomi promises to be an interesting character and important in the future of the DC Universe but it would be nice if Bendis did not sit on another Black character for nine years. Brad Anderson tries his best to save Kudransky’s line work during the more traditionally superheroic moments but they get their stride when the more noir elements get going in the issue.

    Final Verdict: 6.5 – “Action Comics” #1015 is weighed down by uncanny artwork but manages to handle the mainline debut of Naomi well, if you disregard how many plotlines this book already has.


    Kenneth Laster

    Kenneth is Multiversity's resident Hot Boy from Hotlanta. When not forcing strangers to listen to his strong opinions on the state of the comic book industry and talking about how young he is, he goes to college and listens to Megan Thee Stallion. Hit him up on twitter @kennykozmic to see dumb jokes and fan art.

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