Since 2011, the DC Universe has seen a snarl of continuity. However, about two years ago, Brian Michael Bendis joined the team at DC Comics and clearly saw that as a challenge. That’s made for some interesting storytelling since.
Here in the latest issue of Action Comics that takes the form of Conner Kent. The beloved Superboy is easily among the top five characters that readers missed coming out of the infamous Flashpoint reboot. Even though there was a Superboy coming out of the reboot (and two others followed- an alternate reality doppleganger and the son of Superman) they were drastically different from the Man of Steel’s clone. Here, Bendis, John Romita Jr., Danny Miki, Brad Anderson, and Dave Sharpe dive deep into the original Conner’s return and what that means for the DCU.
Conner Kent is an anomaly. He appears to be exactly who he says he is, yet no one outside of Young Justice has any memory of him. It’s a mystery that Superman is determined to solve, yet other events may pull him away from that…
After an arc that I felt was probably Bendis’ weakest on Action Comics, we get probably the best issue of the run to date. Conner is presented as an actual mystery, both following up on a plot point from the Rebirth Superman titles and his own Young Justice, and a window to the multiverse. It makes for an interesting plot, but that’s not what makes the issue so strong.
Bendis is able to quickly get to the emotional core of this story. Conner is a person who longs for something he lost, and Clark is struggling to reconnect with this young man who he cannot remember. Jon arrives back in the present, and he shows the most emotional maturity of the family, embracing this new family member while supporting his father. But best of all is the long awaited return of the Kents, whose presence and sudden connection to Conner gives the story the punch it needs.
Romita and Miki make for a great team. I’m actually kind of disappointed we haven’t seen them pair up before this. Miki softens Romita’s famously blocky lines, allowing for the character acting to shine through. Their pairing is another reason the story works so well, as they are quickly able to get the readers into the same headspace as the characters, putting us in the middle of what’s happening instead of removing us from it.
This series is back to form, and after this issue, I’m excited to see where it goes next.
Action Comics #1022 is available now from DC Comics.