Action Comics #1026 is here and the Superman family continues the fight against The Invisible Mafia and their secret enforcer, now pictured on our main cover this month: “Uber-Parasite!”
Before we dive deeper in the story, let’s talk more about that main cover. It’s by interior artist John Romita Jr, and features a great illustration of Uber-Parasite hungrily holding up all our unconscious heroes. As I said in last issue’s review, Uber-Parasite is a truly Romita-Villain, sporting lots of long parallel lines in his character design.. A very unique twist on the Parasite’s look, but I think it’s great, and considering he’s from an alternate earth (you should know that from last issue!), it doesn’t step on any continuity.
For our variant cover, it’s another great painting by Lucio Parrillo. This time featuring the entire current cast of the super-powered Super Family in stunning realism. Kara and Conner look particularly good here, but I have to say, Jon Kent’s face looks way too young for his body, and we may be getting some uncanny valley.
Inside the book, we’re treated to a fun Easter-egg for those of us reading current issues of Legion, where Brainiac 5 kicks off the issue in the standard Legion fashion, by addressing the audience (both real and fictional) via vlog! He gives us a brief recap and then we’re off to the races for the rest of the issue in an epic battle between the Super-family and Uber-Parasite. We get to see some of this new Parasite’s powers which set him apart from his main-universe counterpart, and we learn more about his origins.
Superman then breaks away to do battle with recurring main villain for Bendis’ run on Action, The Red Cloud. Here we get some good emotionally charged exchanges from our characters. Kara, Conner, Jon, and Brainy all get their own little moments to shine during these fights too, which is really great to see.
Meanwhile, back at The Daily Planet, the staff are attempting to evacuate due to the ensuing meta-battle outside, only to be hampered by Invisible Mafia boss, Leone. I tell ya, you know there’s some good drama happening when you’re really getting mad a character as you’re reading. Which is just what Leone does here, and her actions have some potentially damaging implications for the future of some very integral characters, well one in particular! Bendis does a great job writing this one, at least with the dialogue and plotting. All the dialogue feels natural, and he does a great job of balancing the epic battle with some good emotional beats for our characters.
The art is on par with what we’ve been getting in previous issues. Again, Romita is doing a great job with the villains, and our colorist Brad Anderson knocks it out of the park. I’m still having a hard time personally connecting with the looseness of Romita’s style here though, I have to admit. To me, it doesn’t mesh well with our heroes in uniform. I’m not sure what he would need to change to make it more palatable for me, I always thought his style was fantastic for Spider-man though, so I don’t know if he’s changed his style a little since then, or if Spidey is just a better fit.
Sadly I have one more art complaint for this issue, but there are several times during this issue where you have to turn the book sideways to read it. And once where you literally have to turn it UPSIDE-DOWN. I am just not a fan of that. I just want to sit and read my comics without doing extra work. Some of these twisted pages, which more often than not in comics are reserved for huge epic moments, or incredibly detailed and complex art pages, and I didn’t feel this issue warranted such treatment.
With that said, Action Comics #1026 is a very enjoyable issue, which perfectly balances action and emotion. I can’t wait to find out what happens next, especially at The Daily Planet!
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