[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Steve Epting
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Josh Reed
The issue comes opens with the head of Leviathan, presumably Talia al Ghul as attempts to eliminate director Bones of the DEO. In London, Lois and Clark are undercover as Chaz and Andi, Agents of Spyral, seeking out a safe house and hopefully a clue to Leviathan. They find Agent of Spyral, TIger there and are soon under attack from whatever attacked the DEO and the ARGUS offices in the previous issues. Meanwhile, back at the Fortress of Solitude, Jimmy has his own ideas about who is the head of Leviathan as he chats with Amanda Waller.
Steve Epting continues to do a standout job on the art. His work on Captain America and Velvet make him an obvious choice for an espionage tale, but Epting clearly has done his homework and delivers some exemplary classic Superman scenes. He manages to channel a little Curt Swan and Wayne Boring while clearly being himself.
Bendis continues to deliver interesting concepts, but after a deeper look at the issue there are some obvious flaws. Storywise, the idea of Lois and Clark as undercover agents is very intriguing, and Jimmy Olsen’s suggestion of Waller’s potential guilt is thought provoking.
The pace slows down quite a bit this issue with not as many character moments as the past few issues. While Lois and Clark as undercover spies make an interesting concept, the idea doesn’t go very far. It could be a fun diversion, but it feels very underused. Also, Lois doesn’t seem as serious as she should be about the whole thing.
The flashback page with Nemesis is a bit odd in that it seems to be referring to a particular time in the past. However, the inclusion of Kate Kane as the leader of Spyral is an obvious mistake, as it was the original Batwoman, Kathy Kane who was head of Spyral. This calls into serious question whether or not editorial is paying attention to what is going on in the comics. It’s an obvious mistake if all the writer is doing is Googling “Spyral.”
Taking a step back with this issue, it becomes clear that the big ideas are good and interesting, but there’s amiss and missed opportunities with the details. Either continuity errors or lack of attention to detail are detracting what could be great and simply leave the issue as good. It almost feels like Bendis lost track of what he was trying to do and is hurrying the story along to get to the next beat instead of telling the best story possible.
This issue is uneven at best. While it has great art and exciting concepts, it doesn’t move the plot along very far and the details are given short shrift. Perhaps, the most interesting ideas are left on the floor while the plot inches forward. The razzle dazzle distract for a bit, but at least it looks nice.