Action Comics #1016
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Szymon Kudranski
Colors by Brad Anderson
Letters by Dave Sharpe
The Rundown: A new hero in Metropolis will take on Red Cloud and the hidden empire won’t be hidden much longer.
The gossip reporter for the Daily Planet has a new beat and that beat will take her to the aftermath of Superman’s latest fight with Red Cloud. Per the witness statements, the Man of Steel gave it everything he had to take down the villain and protect the people of the city.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough.
Metropolis’ guardian needed some help in this particular fight because all the effort he put into the battle was coming to nothing with the Red Cloud’s Luthor provided upgrades. In the Hall of Justice, Batman is scanning young Naomi when they see the battle on screen and in typical hero fashion, Naomi leaps into the fray without thinking, but also with no training and no idea how her powers work and what their limits are.
At the same time, Red Cloud’s upgrades get the attention of Leone who makes a decision that will change the face of Metropolis.
The Story: Blending elements of action adventure and thriller, Bendis strikes an interesting and fun balance between Superman’s battle with the Red Cloud and Naomi’s emergence as a hero. Putting her into the battle was a risky move thematically, but it pays off as a means of fleshing out her story while also setting up elements from other plot threads Bendis is writing, including STAR Labs. The issue was paced well and I enjoyed the Batman moments. They straddled the line of being too comedic, but fit the tone of the story.
The Art: Szymon Kudranski has some great art in this issue. The use of shadow gives great dramatic feel to the characters and action.