Another issue of Action Comics is finally upon us brought to us by the superstar creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Steve Epting. Leviathan are really starting to reign the destruction down upon the DC Universe. But just who will they target next? Before we find out lets checkout the covers for this issue.
Steve Epting perhaps best known for his work on Captain America, which received critical acclaim took real inspiration from the international thriller and espionage genre. This genre and the artwork normally associated with this type of storytelling goes hand in hand with Steve Epting’s style specifically his covers, none more so than for this very issue. Jimmy being surrounded at gun point by various individuals representing their chosen organisation, whilst standing on Superman’s crest really reminds me of a James Bond title sequence. I love this approach considering so far this story arc is all about secrets, mystery and shadowy agencies, all common tropes in the spy genre.
The variant cover for this issue takes us out of the spy genre and straight into the modern-day comic book cinematic blockbuster, as Superman takes flight in space. The likeness of this Superman depicted on the cover is definitely inspired by Henry Cavill. Arguably one of the most popular and beloved actors to take on the Man of Steel. This fantastic cover is created by Jeff Dekal. I’m a huge fan of Henry Cavill and a huge advocate of the actor to perform the role once again. If this kind of representation is all we get for now, then I need to see MORE!
Action Comics #1008 starts up with a very intriguing opening page. The page is completely taken up by a small segment of what appears to be a pin board filled with photos, documentation and post it notes filled with ‘DC Comics Easter Eggs’. From the Checkmate and Kobra Cult insignia, to lists of names indelibly etched into the annals of DC Comics lore. To me this clearly belongs to the group known as Leviathan and is part of their research and investigation into their chosen targets. This group appears to be highly organised and very well prepared. The information that really caught my eye on this page was the list that appears to be chronicling DC Comics biggest and most well-known and destructive events. This is very intriguing as this indicates that Leviathan must have a working knowledge of what came before Flashpoint, or indeed memory of the continuity prior to The New 52 era. ‘The Infinite Crisis’, ‘The Convergence’ and ‘The Flashpoint Crisis’ are just some of what features on this list. This of course is all speculation but is very exciting stuff none-the-less. I’m already very intrigued and invested in this shadowy group.
Like the last issue, the pace of this issue is lightning quick. We find ourselves at The D.E.O (Department of Extranormal Operations) headquarters where Director Bones is meeting Adam Strange about potential employment, however they are abruptly halted by the appearance of a shadowy figure with silhouette very similar to that of Doomsday. What soon follows can only be best described as complete and utter devastation, like that seen in the last issue when Kobra’s headquarters was destroyed to be coined a coincidence. The destruction depicted within these pages is vast and panoramic. I adore the use of ‘Kirby Krackle’ when depicting the ensuing explosion. The blue hue enveloping the explosion gives it a real alien feel that only adds to the mystery behind these attacks. ‘Kirby Krackle’ is an artistic method created by Jack Kirby to interpret energy in its many forms. ‘Kirby Krackle’ is an integral part of Jack Kirby’ Fourth World. Could it be the New Gods of New Genesis or Apocalypse be behind Leviathan?
The story moves swiftly on to a clandestine encounter between Amanda Waller currently MIA and General Sam Lane. After briefly discussing the events currently occurring in regard to the obliteration of Kobra, the D.E.O and the attempt on her own life, Amanda Waller admits to the sobering realisation that this is indeed a coordinated strike. However the pair soon discover that they have been set up. This sequence of events ends on a real cliffhanger. I absolutely adored this exchange between these two characters who have both seen way too much and have given up everything in the service of their country. Both characters really are cut from the same cloth and both have had to one way or another sever ties with those they hold dearest. Amanda Waller stays on brand throughout this encounter but its Sam Lane who I believe has made the biggest breakthrough regarding his feelings, which tie into his last encounter with Lois. The man’s honesty and ability to admit he may be wrong regarding certain ways of thinking in his life is truly palpable.
As we are left wondering about the fates of Sam Lane and Amanda Waller, we are transported back to Metropolis as Superman escorts Lois back to the Daily planet for her triumphant return. This whole sequence of events is played out in very muted fashion considering the shroud of mystery she left in. However, I’m sure Lois will have questions to answer certainly from Perry White in future issues. I did really enjoy Lois’s words of encouragement towards Robinson Goode. Very on brand for the character and I’m very excited to see where this dynamic leads them. Of course, the real reason behind Lois return to the planet is Jimmy Olsen. Jimmy is clearly shook up and suffering from shock after his ordeal and narrow escape from the now destroyed Kobra cult headquarters. His chipper disposition in the face of such harrowing odds is quintessential Jimmy Olsen. The dialogue between himself and Lois and later toward Clark is totally heartwarming. You can feel there is a real friendship here, a real love and trust between these characters. I loved the fact that Jimmy was hiding under Lois desk, and that Lois and Clark both joined him on the floor no questions asked. This was such an understated yet tender moment that encapsulates what kind of people Lois and Clark are. As the conversation continues Clark begins to create a link between what he experienced when rescuing Amanda Waller, and what Jimmy encountered at Kobra HQ – all thanks to Jimmy’ recollections.
As the issue comes to a close the reader finally discovers the fate of Sam Lane and Amanda Waller while Clark starts to truly understand the severity of what he and his allies face. As I said before, Action Comics #1008 is fast paced and a very quick read. Like the previous issue Superman is hardly featured, and for me it actually works, as Bendis really is laying a strong foundation for Leviathan and their impact on the DC Universe. Steve Epting’s artwork in this issue is superb especially when it comes to destruction. However the quiet tender scenes depicting Jimmy, Lois and Clark were simply gorgeous. Lois’s body positioning alongside Jimmy while under her desk gave off a very maternal feel. I felt that Bendis really got to the emotional core of our characters in this issue and delivered some quintessential moments specifically from Lois. Sam Lane had some really nice moments in this issue too and maybe, just maybe has really changed for the better in regard to Lois and her family. Without a doubt, Leviathan are a very dangerous organisation. I feel Bendis really has allowed this group to breath and cause some serious damage. Raising the stakes really is the way to go for me, and I have to say I’m totally invested.
This issue is another very strong build. Leviathan are a highly dangerous motivated group and I can’t wait to see what they do next.