Action Comics #1015 is here and if you are a reader of the Naomi ongoing series then you are an incredibly shrewd shopper indeed. If by chance this is your first encounter with the character, then you are most certainly in for a treat.
Being an already established fan of Naomi who just so happens to be a complete look-alike of our very own Tasmin, I was beyond ecstatic to see her take centre stage on this cover. Straight off the bat, I love this cover so much. For me there looks to be a real Anime influence surrounding Naomi, specifically her facial expression and pose. This cover really conveys a true sense of joy as Batman and Superman look on in awe at the newcomer. The design of Naomi’s ‘energy’ also feels very Anime influenced too and really enhances her entrance. David Marquez and Alejandro Sanchez have really captured her personality in this cover, and it is perfect.
The variant cover created by Lucio Parrillo is absolutely spectacular and goes down a much more realistic version of the regular cover. Superman looks totally imperious as he hovers just above the city streets. This is a herculean looking Man Of Steel posing in a rather intimidating manner. This is certainly the way to make Superman look like a bad-ass. Naomi somewhat lacks the grandeur that was captured on the regular cover, however she looks totally realistic and more confident than ever. This is a beautiful pin-up piece I would be proud to have hanging on my living room wall.
When DC Comics acquired writer Brian Michael Bendis, the publisher not only hired one of the most talented writers in the industry who for over a decade had been a key architect over at Marvel. But they also gained the services of a creator who is mightily prolific at co-creating brand new characters, with the majority going onto garner massive success for themselves not only within the pages of the comics but within the mainstream too.
This includes characters such as Jessica Jones, Riri Williams and of course Spider-Man himself Miles Morales – whose popularity is soaring right now. Knowing all of this, it was only a matter of time before Bendis would once again worked his magic to create another irresistible original character, this time for DC Comics. Now if you haven’t been reading the Naomi ongoing series which I highly recommend, Action Comics #1015 is the perfect place to get caught up.
Action Comics #1015 opens up with Naomi making her way to Metropolis. She is in search of Superman believing that an evil from an alternate earth is on its way to ‘our’ earth with the intention of conquering it. Superman escorts Naomi to the Hall of Justice where she relays her message to other members of The League. This sequence is beautifully crafted as Naomi’s journey to Metropolis is captured completely in the first person.
Its wonderful to see Naomi’s inaugural flight this way as her unique energies crackle and fill up the page with light. Her crash landing only endears her to the audience and I absolutely loved it. These scenes are totally gorgeous and full of hope and optimism as Superman greets the newcomer. I love how Superman’s dialogue is just so comforting and reaffirming towards her. Naomi has been through such a lot as seen in her own ongoing series, and must be totally overwhelmed by current events. Superman very much lives up to his reputation of being a beacon of hope and beautifully takes the young girl under his wing. This is truly Superman’s greatest power.
Like I said earlier, For some readers this maybe their first exposure to Naomi. For others, Naomi has become an instant fan favourite with a number of solo issues under her belt. Bendis does a wonderful job of taking the characters recent history and condensing it down for this issue so that unfamiliar readers can get caught up with only the turn of a page.
Batman’s interaction with Naomi is equally entertaining. I do believe Batman may have found a kindred spirit in the young girl. I’m so intrigued to see where this unlikely relationship will go. This exchange very much signals the end of this section of the issue, and I have to say I was very pleased with the amount of time the creative team gave to this important meeting between Naomi and Superman and later Batman. Everything about these exchanges felt very organic and evolved naturally.
The second half of this issue sees Superman leaving Naomi in the capable hands of Batman as he sets off to confront the newly powered up Red Cloud. This confrontation takes up the majority of the second half of the issue and is just an out and out fight between the pair. The fight choreography between these to combatants is extraordinary considering the immense power set of The Red Cloud. Artist Szymon Kudranski does an incredible job of exhibiting the full force of The Red Cloud’s arsenal. The combination of Kudranski’s art and Brad Anderson’s colours are superb throughout this whole issue, however they are on a whole other level during this fight. The red hues that engulf every page of this confrontation truly feels all encompassing and suffocating. I love how Robinson Goode and specifically her alter ego has evolved throughout this run. This character has truly been afforded the time to grow and evolve naturally.
This issue of Action Comics is truly a tale of two halves as the first half is full of hope, optimism and courage, while the second half plays out like a horror movie thanks to The Red Cloud’s upgrade at the hands of Lex Luthor. The art featured in this issue is so creative. Szymon Kudranski is a master at depicting energy dispersal and powers. The powers featured in this issue feel tangible and really add to the desired tone and atmosphere of the issue.
Bendis has once again delivered another awesome issue of Action Comics that really gives the reader everything they could possibly want. I love how Superman is very much a role model in this issue concerning his inaugural meeting with Naomi. This relationship between the pair flourished from the get go, with Superman naturally becoming a mentor of sorts instinctively knowing exactly what to say and behave. Potentially to Superman’s dismay, I loved how Batman and Naomi interacted in this issue. Something definitely clicked between the pair. Both The Dark Knight and Naomi share a common bond and Bendis approached it just right. Just the right amount of subtle and determination for me.
This issue was an absolute joy to behold and I cannot wait to see Naomi interact with more characters in the DC Universe. Could Naomi be a potential Teen Titan in the making ? Only time will tell.