While SUPERMAN is the more traditional superhero action book, ACTION COMICS has had more of a local Metropolis/Daily Planet focus. ACTION COMICS #1003 expands that world by bringing in Batman, teasing what Brian Michael Bendis on BATMAN looks like.

We also get further developments with the Daily Planet’s intrepid new reporter Robinson Goode, as she plots against Superman. Bendis also includes a tease about what’s going on with Lois Lane. After last issue’s bombshell conclusion, we are greeted with another one as Lois is discovered by one of the last people she wants to be found by.

ACTION COMICS Delivers The World’s Finest

Brian Michael Bendis has been one of the biggest names in comics for years. The most exciting part of his move to DC is seeing him tackle certain characters. Batman may be at the top of that list of characters. While the interaction is small, it’s a cool look at how Bendis handles a high-profile character in the DCU. He plays the relationship like a long-standing friendship, with friendly quips and jives, familiar to anyone who remembers the pre-New 52 universes. ACTION COMICS #1003 teases a lot of possibilities, not just for the future of the series, but for further Bendis forays into the DCU.

Bad Guys Don’t Need To Be Super

Action Comics #1003
ACTION COMICS #1003 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

As for the rest of the plot, Bendis does a great job with the mystery of the Invisible Mafia. The Invisible Mafia are believable as a criminal empire and a threat to Metropolis. They have been written well since their first appearance in ACTION COMICS #1001. Bendis has done a great job of demonstrating how you don’t need every villain to be Doomsday to confound the Man of Steel. It will be interesting to see how Superman will crack this syndicate. It’ll also be interesting to see where Robinson Goode fits in all of this. Is she working with the Mafia? Or is she trying to take them down? What is her issue with Superman? Will she figure out Clark’s secret? A lot of intriguing questions left for us to answer, and Bendis is doing a good job of hooking us to the story.

What’s Up With The Mrs.?

The Lois Lane subplot that has wound itself through the Bendis issues has also been intriguing. It looks like Lois is back on Earth, and has decided to write a tell-all… and that’s all we know. Where’s Jon? Why write the tell-all? Readers are getting just enough to remember the plot each issue and to be enticed by each development. The teasing, methodical pace is perfect for a serial format like comics. There’s a lot to come, and readers will be excited about it.

Paquette Pencils Prettily And Grittily For ACTION COMICS #1003

Action Comics #1003
ACTION COMICS #1003 page 3. Imagec ourtesy of DC Entertainment.

Yanick Paquette delivers excellent pencils and inks for Action Comics, injecting the underworld scenes with plenty of shadows and grit and giving Superman and the Daily Planet bright, crisp, clean art. The colorist, Nathan Fairbairn should also receive credit. ACTION COMICS #1003 is a beautiful book when it needs to be, and a gritty one when it needs to be. The contrasting art between scenes is perfectly executed. Paquette is one of the best pros working, and his work here shows why.

Credit also goes to Brian Michael Bendis; his writing on this series has been amazing. After years of working at Marvel, BMB has established a writing style and a comfort level with the material. The audience may have had expectations of their own. ACTION COMICS has been very good so far. It’s only three issues, but it’s a very good start to a character type Bendis hasn’t written a lot before.

The writing is reminiscent of the best work Byrne did in his Post-Crisis reboot of Superman, with an emphasis on Clark Kent’s life at the Planet. Bendis is developing a robust supporting cast of old classics like Perry White and Jimmy Olson, and newbies like Melody Moore and Robinson Goode.

ACTION COMICS #1003 Final Thoughts

Another solid entry into the lore of the Man of Steel, ACTION COMICS #1003 delivers suspense, surprise twists, and an excellent cameo appearance. Bendis and Paquette are hitting it out of the park with this series. Hopefully, the revelations in the Lois subplot continue to be exciting and life-changing for Superman in ACTION COMICS. There’s also the Clark Kent/Robinson Goode rivalry to keep readers on their toes, as well as the Superman/Invisible Mafia conflict. ACTION COMICS is in good hands with its creative team; it’s certainly one of the higher quality offerings DC has right now.

ACTION COMICS #1003 by Brian Michael Bendis, Yanick Paquette, Nathan Fairbairn, and Josh Reed
Bendis and Paquette bring another exciting edition of ACTION COMICS, as we get a tease of what Bendis's Batman is like, as well as the developing mystery of the Invisible Mafia and what Lois is doing. Bendis does a great job of weaving these story threads and Paquette's art is pretty and ugly as it needs to be.
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World's Finest!


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