ACTION COMICS has been laying out a few mysteries since Brian Michael Bendis took over in issue #1001. So far, we’ve had the disappearance of Lois Lane, the identity of the Red Cloud, and leader of a new criminal organization. ACTION COMICS #1006 continues the expansion of readers’ knowledge, as we learn the identity of the woman in charge of the Syndicate. So what does Bendis have in store for Kal-El? Can Superman fight people he can’t beat up?

Mr. Kent Goes to City Hall in ACTION COMICS #1006

ACTION COMICS #1006 opens with Clark Kent. As Superman, he convinced Melody Moore to tell Kent about the Mayor’s attempt to end her arson investigation. During a public event, Clark tries to intercept the Mayor and question him about his insinuation that Moore should stop investigating the arsons. The Mayor responds by attacking Clark, using the rumors that Lois has been seeing Lex against him. However, Clark presses on, trying to get a statement from the Mayor (and subtly manhandling his bodyguard). Again, the Mayor deflects, this time saying heroes ruin crime scenes, and that Superman should stick to fighting the big alien threats.

Clark uses his super-hearing to listen to the Mayor arguing with his aide as they pull away. The Mayor is upset and Moore is his target. He believes Moore is Kent’s source. The aide chides him for coercing her like that at a public event. She warns the Mayor not to send his friends (the Syndicate) after Moore, as it would be very obvious now that Kent is looking into the matter. Clark returns to the Daily Planet, where he begins tracking a suspicious Robinson Goode.

Superman vs. Red Cloud: Round 2

ACTION COMICS #1006 moves on to Melody Moore, who is seen leaving work. Melody is ambushed by Red Cloud, who attempts to murder the firefighter. Superman intervenes but fails to capture Red Cloud. Melody wants him to suck her into space, but Superman refuses to kill her. Kal-El tries to appeal to Red Cloud, reminding her that many have stood where she has, and none of them have ever defeated the Kryptonian. The second encounter ends with Red Cloud leaving, and Superman consoling a distraught Melody.

ACTION COMICS #1006
ACTION COMICS #1006 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Robinson Goode, jubilant after surviving two encounters with Superman, requests to meet the head boss of the Syndicate. This leader actually agrees, and they have a face-to-face. The two compare notes and talk about the future, including a huge revelation, which you can find out by picking up ACTION COMICS #1006!

Bendis Playing the Long Game

We’re half a year into Bendis’ run on ACTION, and it’s clear that he’s setting up the Invisible Mafia and the Red Cloud as careful, methodical schemers. These villains aren’t flash in the pan, and they have been a big part of ACTION COMICS’ success. Similarly, Bendis’ slow-rolling the reveals of Lois and her book, as well as Lex meeting Lois, are also very successful. That slow reveal finally bore fruit, as rumors are swirling that Lois is cheating on Clark with Lex.

Also, the gradual crises in Metropolis and Clark’s life make for one of the most interesting Superman tales of the modern era. ACTION COMICS #1006 is an example of Bendis’ patient storytelling; giving us a little excitement, but much more plot development.

Sook is Doing Gorgeous Work in ACTION COMICS #1006

ACTION COMICS #1006
ACTION COMICS #1006 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Artist Ryan Sook continues his excellent work on this series in ACTION COMICS #1006. Sook’s faces are terrific, full of character and emotion. There’s a particularly cute scene where a boy reading comics in an alleyway catches Superman mid-change. It’s a nice moment, and the whimsy of the character shines through, even if this is a difficult time for Clark. The second fight with Red Cloud was another major highlight. Sook captures the wispy movements of Red Cloud very well, especially as she’s blasted away by Superman’s powerful breath. Sook is doing some great work, and he can draw Superman any time he wants as far as I’m concerned.

Can Superman Win This Fight?

Bendis has really stacked the deck against Superman: foes that know how to avoid him, a supervillain he can’t punch out, and a distraction in all the Lois Lane gossip. Will Superman remove the menace of the Syndicate from his city? Can the people of Metropolis elect a decent Mayor? Can Superman stop Red Cloud? The mystery goes on, and that’s not a bad thing!

ACTION COMICS #1006 by Brian Michael Bendis, Ryan Sook, and Brad Anderson
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook bring us another incredible chapter in this street-level crime story. Bendis has set a lot of pieces in motion on his board, and Sook has gorgeously illustrated them. ACTION COMICS has been one of the better DC Rebirth books; Superman is in good hands!
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One Comment

  1. Michael Spear

    Michael Spear

    January 5, 2019 at 12:52 am

    What were the symbols in the X-ray vision scene ?

    Reply

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