Action Comics #1001
Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 25, 2018
Cover date: September 2018
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Patrick Gleason
Inker: Patrick Gleason
Cover: Patrick Gleason and Brad Anderson
Variant Covers: David Mack and Francis Manapul
Reviewed by: Mario Bennese
While taking down some heavily armed criminals, Superman inquires about who is responsible for the fires popping up around Metropolis. The Man of Steel comes away from the scene with no new information. At the Daily Planet, Clark turns in his story about the recent bust his alter ego took part in. After a bit of discussion, new hire Robinson Goode informs Perry that she’s heard that Superman was responsible for the fires (see The Man of Steel #6).
This misinformation doesn’t sit well with Clark who goes to the Metropolis fire department. There, he meets Deputy Chief Melody Moore who corroborates Goode’s story of a boy coming to the station and pinning the fires on Superman. After a little research, Superman shows up at a school in Metropolis where he finds Darryl Conners, the boy who claimed Superman to be the arsonist.
Moore and Superman discover that a bald man paid Conners $300 to frame the Man of Steel. Conners is sentenced to a week of community service at a food bank in lieu of a more serious punishment. Unfortunately, as Superman is a suspect, he is unable to actively participate in the investigation because he could possibly have a vested interest in protecting himself. Back at the Daily Planet, Clark looks through every bald criminal he knows who would have it out for him. There he is bombarded by Trish, the gossip columnist who interrogates him about the whereabouts of his wife. She mentions the gossip tidbit that Lois left Clark for Superman, but Clark brushes her off and sets out as Superman to further investigate the fires.
In an unknown facility, a man is monitoring the Man of Steel as he flies around the city. The man relays his findings to a group of criminals in a lead cylinder where a secret meeting is being held. There, a new villain makes herself known as both the leader of the gang and the one behind the fires. Her name is The Red Cloud and the fires are only one part of her plan. Elsewhere in the city, Lois Lane types furiously about her secrets, including the details about her marriage to Superman.
Story – 5: Wow! What a way to kick off a run on Action Comics! I was a little skeptical at first when the news broke that Bendis would make Action Comics the book that focused on Clark’s reporter life and Superman the book where all the action took place. It seemed a bit counterintuitive to me, but after reading this issue, I am totally sold. Not only is it refreshing, but it’s also a great time. With all of the big, life-altering stuff that’s been happening to Superman, it’s nice to spend a little time with Perry, Jimmy, and the rest of the staff at The Planet. Unfortunately, with a character as fantastic as Superman, the Clark side of the character often gets overlooked. Everyone wants to tell their big, action-packed blockbuster, leaving the investigative journalist stories to be few and far between. As much as I enjoy a good blockbuster story, I’ve been itching for a story where
Clark’s investigative skills took center stage. I know there are a number of people who are not too keen on Bendis’ run so far, but as for me, it’s hitting the spot.
Art – 4: Patrick Gleason is a natural fit with Bendis’ writing. Every now and then, a face looks a little weird, but dynamic poses and great staging certainly make up for any shortcomings. The Red Cloud looks interesting and menacing, which is often a problem when new villains are introduced.
Cover Art – 4: I like the main cover. It isn’t perfect, though. Clark’s face is a little too… I guess “menacing” would be the word. Perhaps it’s the fact that we can’t see his eyes. The pose is dynamic and the eye is immediately drawn to Clark’s body. Either way, this is a solid cover to kick off the next one thousand issues.
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