This issue of Action Comics is a true emotional tour de force. Both the writing and artwork contribute to the reader feeling a range of emotions and isn’t that what this is all about? Before we dive into Action Comics #1004, lets take a look at the covers.
For the regular cover, Steve Rude delivers an incredibly elegant cover of Superman effortlessly gliding over a flock of Geese in a very calming scene that features a real Art Deco sensibility. This cover is beautifully enhanced by being presented in Foil Format.
The variant cover for this issue is by Francis Manapul and captures Lois and Clark in an iconic pose floating high above Metropolis in a warm embrace. This captures perfectly the tone of what’s to come.
This issue is very dialogue heavy and really flushes out the relationship between Lois and Clark. Especially now that Lois is back on earth, after her brief stay in space alongside her son Jonthan and Father in-law Jor-El, who continue their adventures among the stars in her absence. Currently I’m finding it a little hard to warm to some of Lois’ actions and dialogue in this run. Arriving home on earth without contacting Clark I felt was very cold hearted and stood Lois in very poor light in my opinion. After-all this is the father of her child. This, of course is taking into account Lois’ character and personality, I can appreciate that she must feel restless and at times suffocated by the trappings of ‘normal’ life, but as the saying goes ‘change is constant’. We must all make concession’s and changes especially when part of something bigger, a family no less and simply running from that commitment is just something I find hard to get behind. Seeing the look on Clark’s face when he found out Lois was already back on earth, and in the presence of none other than Lex Luthor was heartbreaking. Though it was great that Bendis’ writing referenced Luthor’s past as President, a nice little throw back to the early 2000s.
Lois and Clark’s eventual reunion was written perfectly, full of heart, passion and at times highly infuriating. All very familiar and I’m sure very relatable to many of us. My heart was consistently breaking for Clark while frustration was building toward Lois and her nonchalant responses to Clark’s fears. It just felt as though the couple had no history behind them, Like they were merely casual acquaintances – one more invested than the other.
One aspect of this book I absolutely loved was Perry’s interaction with Clark and gossip columnist Trish Q. This right here was quintessential Perry White. Old school, at times irate, but exuding that real newspaperman sensibility.
For all the grounded and realistic dialogue in this story crafted masterfully once again by Brian Michael Bendis, the art of Ryan Sook and colours by Brad Anderson really stole the show for me. This is honestly one of the best looking books of the year. I can’t get over how gorgeous each page of this thing looks. Lois and Clark’s touching and emotional scenes are captured beautifully by Sook. The emotions of our beloved characters radiate off the page, and this is made all the more detailed and prominent thanks to Brad Anderson’s colours.
This book has it all, touching moments and even an action packed splash page that highlight’s the strength, speed and dedication to the cause Superman possesses even when faced with uncertainty at home. I for one can’t wait for the next installment of Action Comics. Clark, Jonathan and now Lois are all walking separate paths. Let’s wait and see just where they lead.