Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Artist: Szymon Kudranski, Colorist: Brad Anderson, Letterer: Dave Sharpe, Cover: David Marquez & Alejandro Sanchez
A very Silver Age-style cover "Action Comics #1015" to introduce Naomi to the DC Universe. Art by David Marquez & Alejandro Sanchez.
Historically, the tactic among comic book publishers when creating a new superhero was to introduce them in the pages of an existing hero’s book to gauge the public’s interest before being awarded their own title. Nowadays, heroes like Naomi get a six-issue miniseries before they have even met another hero. Perhaps this was an exception, since Brian Michael Bendis is the creator and DC was willing to take the risk with his new young alien hero Naomi.
The final issue of Naomi appeared in mid-July, after a delay from the previous issue, and Naomi finally joins the rest of the DC Universe in the opening pages of Action Comics #1015. In POV video game-style, she is learning to fly —and land— for the first time as she homes in on Metropolis, looking for her favorite hero, Superman.
After literally landing/crashing into the bullpen of the Daily Planet, she gets her wish: Superman is there to greet her with a too-polite “Can I help you?” However, I am sure hovering in mid-air with his arms crossed while saying it gives it much more gravitas than politeness.
What follows is a gracious training session for a young hero who obviously needs it, while she tells Superman her origin story. They find they have a lot in common: sent by their parents to another world before they were killed, and adopted on our Earth.
There is a very interesting visual manifestation when Naomi is using her powers, sparkling light effects that fit her young teenage personality perfectly; looking like a glowing Gold Lantern who swallowed a ton of sparklers and glitter and it’s all oozing out of her pores.
Being the lifelong Superman fan that I am, it’s a sad commentary that I prefer guest artist Szymon Kundranski's depiction of Naomi more than Superman. His Superman’s anatomy is overly-rippled at times, and nebulous/blobby at others, and his cape seems impossibly large in some panels. At least his face is rendered as a handsome one, rather than the rugged, blocky pugilist we have seen from other recent artists.
To be fair, his figures do tighten up and look better later in the issue, especially when the Red Cloud and Superman have a very well-choreographed —and very monochromatic— fight sequence. Red Cloud handled Superman pretty well in their last tussle, even before Luthor gave her a power boost, so let’s just say this battle sets up the rather obvious opportunity for noob Naomi to improbably come to his rescue next issue, as the teaser on the last page proclaims.
Don’t miss Naomi in Action Comics #1015, on sale September 25, 2019.