Mild Mannered Reviews – Action Comics #1005

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Action Comics #1005

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 28, 2018

Cover date: January 2019

“Invisible Mafia” – Part 5

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Ryan Sook
Inker: Ryan Sook
Cover: Ryan Sook
Variant Covers: Francis Manapul

Reviewed by: Mario Bennese

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Action Comics #1005In a seedy bar, some criminals engage in a business deal. One sketchy character gives one of Red Cloud’s lackeys a H-E-R-O Dial when The Question emerges from the shadows. The Question makes quick work of the thugs and demands to know the identity of Red Cloud. At the Daily Planet, Clark and Robinson discuss their collaborative story when Deputy Chief Melody Moore contacts Kent. The two schedule a rendezvous. Elsewhere, Red Cloud’s lackeys discuss what went down at the bar. Paranoia is beginning to hit them as they fear Red Cloud may be in the room listening to their entire conversation.

Later that night, Kent and Moor meet up. Moore tells Clark that she’s essentially been told to call off the arson investigation by the mayor. The mayor believes that once a person like Batman or Superman enter the equation, it’s a tainted case. The two part ways. Changing into his dynamic alter ego, Clark flies over to the mayor’s house where he finds him on the floor in a fetal position. Suddenly, Red Cloud appears and attacks the Man of Steel. Superman manages to escape, but has difficulty finding the mysterious villain. On a shady rooftop, Red Cloud reveals herself to be Robinson Goode.

3Story – 3: Not too much happens in this issue. This feels like an issue that’s going to take us into what would be the story’s third act. I hope that this proves to be the case because I’m getting a little tired of this story. Not that the writing is awful or anything, but I’m beginning to feel like this story is lasting a little longer than it should. A while back, I had read some complaints about Bendis’ storytelling, with the most notable point being that he writes stories that are a bit of a slow burn. On a twice monthly schedule, this wouldn’t be much of an issue – a ten issue arc would take five months to tell. Unfortunately, the Superman books are back to being monthly, meaning that long story arcs seem to go on forever. That isn’t to say that I dislike long arcs. When written strongly and well-paced, they can be massively enjoyable. Right now, I’m feeling this story would read better as a collected edition. I’m still interested in the story, but I’m getting hungry for something new.

4Art – 4: Ryan Sook continues to deliver. There are some panels with some weird faces, but it might just be the inking that throws things off. There’s a great image of Superman in flight near the end and Clark looks a bit like Dean Cain.

4Cover Art – 4: Overall, I like this cover. The image of Superman surrounded by Red Cloud’s vapor is striking. I just feel that they went a little overboard on the shadowing.

5Variant Cover Art – 5: I adore this cover. Then again, it has two of my favorite things on the same cover, so I might be a little biased.

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November 29, 2018 8:35 pm

I miss the days when we were getting a Superman book a week. Two issues of each storyline per month meant no story could really drag on for too long. It also meant no one writer could have TOO much control of the character. What we are getting now is the worst of both worlds, in my opinion, lol. One writer, who takes forever to tell a story. And he’s telling two different ones at a snail’s pace, and neither will end.

November 30, 2018 3:55 am
Reply to  s-shield

The superman book every week also had its drawbacks. Stories suffered because writers had inconsistent styles and quality.
About 20 years ago there were 4 superman books with 4 different writers; Jeph Loeb, Joey Kelly, Mark Schultz and Joe Casey.
Loeb was good.
Kelly was great.
Schultz was bland.
Casey (shudder) was horrendous.
Together they made some interesting story arcs, but overall the quality was inconsistent.

December 1, 2018 12:24 pm
Reply to 

That’s a fair point actually. At times it could also be a little problematic for the art. For example if you liked Dan Jurgens and Tom Grummett but weren’t big on Jon Bogdonove or Stuart Immomen it meant you still had to buy that artists work if you wanted to see the entire story. But on the other hand it made the Superman titles feel like a weekly tv series that you were following. I think it can work if you have writers who are very much on the same page as it were, and artstyles in each of the… Read more »

December 1, 2018 7:32 pm
Reply to  MattComics

As far as Bendis Action Comics is concerned, while I can agree that the plot can move a little faster, if you think about it in context to other Superman books in the past, I don’t think this has been the worst paced Superman book in recent memory. “FOR TOMORROW” by Azzarello was MUCH more slowly paced and that’s considered by many to be one of the best Superman stories ever (I dispute that). It was slow and long winded and greatly mis-characterized Superman. Issues 2,3 and 4 could have been condensed into one issue. By issue 5 of that… Read more »

November 29, 2018 9:35 pm

Thing is it doesn’t even make for that great of trade if you’re getting the amount of story in a trade that an older comic would have covered in one or two issues.