Action Comics #1002
Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 22, 2018
Cover date: October 2018
“Invisible Mafia” – Part 2
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Patrick Gleason
Inker: Patrick Gleason
Cover: Patrick Gleason and Alejandro Sanchez
Variant Covers: David Mack and Francis Manapul
Reviewed by: Mario Bennese
In the middle of Metropolis, a man falls to his death in broad daylight. A Daily Planet article written by new hire Robinson Goode claims that Superman dropped the man. Perry has a hard time believing that Superman would blatantly murder a criminal, especially since he was in Seattle with the Justice League at the time of the incident. Clark is sent out to fact check Goode’s story and learn more about Yogurt, the street name of the dead gangster.
In a shady parking garage, a mob boss named Moxie keeps tabs on Superman’s location when he is confronted and killed by a blood lusted Guardian before Red Cloud appears. At Metropolis General Hospital, Maggie Sawyer and two MSCU officers come looking for a now hospitalized Guardian. Struggling to speak, he gives the MSCU the name of the new villain.
Meanwhile, Clark enters a seedy bar where he comes across some thugs who knew Yogurt. Clark buys a round of drinks and in their drunkenness, they reveal that Yogurt was behind the fires. The whole plan was to distract Superman with the fires while they engaged in more heinous crimes. Clark brings this information to Perry. Clark excuses himself and flies out into space to takes out his frustration on an asteroid field. After returning to the office, Clark is greeted by Cat Grant who lets it slip that Lois’ new book has been released.
Elsewhere, Robinson Goode meets with her real employer and declares that she wants a piece of Kryptonite. Her boss says he’ll see what he can do after speaking privately to a mysterious woman on the phone. Meanwhile at a carnival, Superman finds and confronts a disguised Lois Lane.
Story – 4: Well, I wasn’t expecting that. Superman got played. Not just once, but multiple times. That’s got to be humiliating. Honestly, I enjoyed that. Not that I love seeing Superman being taken for a fool, but because it’s a plot point that requires the investigative side of Clark to show up. For too long, it’s been the same formula of a villain publicly announcing themselves and their master plan. The only exception I can think of is Intergang, and they have been absent from the comics lately. A new underground, covert criminal operation is greatly welcomed in my book. The only thing I don’t fully understand is why they would blame the fires on Superman. Perhaps it’s to get the public to distrust him or perhaps to send the Man of Steel on a wild goose chase with a series of lies. Either way, Clark has some serious investigating to do.
Robinson Goode is a frustrating character. Obviously, she’s supposed to be that way, but Bendis does a great job of really making me dislike her naturally. A good antagonist should never be cartoonishly despicable if they’re supposed to be taken seriously. I don’t understand why Goode thought writing a story that was both false and easily disproven was a good idea, but I have a feeling that she’s smarter than she lets on.
I would like to know why Lois was in hiding and why she didn’t bother telling her husband she had returned. What’s going on with Guardian? Will we get to see more of Cat? Once again, Bendis raises questions and gives a few answers. I don’t mind this style of writing as much as others seem to. Not everything is supposed to be perfectly wrapped up in a neat bow two issues into an arc. In any case, I’m excited to see what happens next.
Art – 5: Patrick Gleason is one of the best artists currently working. His art is so fresh and stylistic without branching too far into experimental territory. The sequence in which Superman goes into space is so gorgeous. The emotions seep through the panels and you can really feel his anger and frustration. It’s a powerful sequence made even better by the lack of dialogue or inner monologue.
Cover Art – 4: I really enjoy this cover. I think it’s striking and a well-drawn image. I think my only problem is that there’s a little too much white space, but I have no idea what would make it better. It’s not even that large of a complaint and the white space doesn’t horribly detract from the image.
Manapul’s Variant Cover Art – 2: Yikes. What in the world is going on with Superman’s face? I like the idea of the image, but I know Manapul can do way better.
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