Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Patrick Gleason
Colors by: Alejandro Sanchez
Letters by: Josh Reed
The new Daily Planet reporter Robinson Goode, continues to push for stories that out Superman in a bad light, while Clark searches out answers on the fires of Metropolis. He also learns the whereabouts of his wife Lois Lane.
Clark Kent’s heart and mind seems to be getting stretched in multiple directions. Following his wife and sons departure, and the attack by old Kryptonian foe Rogol Zaar, Superman has had to deal with a series of problems. It’s fascinating to see a writer like Brian Michael Bendis attack the man of steel both mentally as well as physically. It’s hard to tell what’s connected and what’s a separate issue. Maybe there is just one entity trying to make Clark’s life a living hell, or maybe there are many. Bendis does a great job of keeping many things a mystery while revealing more on Miss Goode’s intentions, and the “Invisible Mafia” that are behind the fires. Also, seeing more investigative reporting work in Action comics is a welcome sight. The whole Clark and Lois storyline is interesting but will be admittedly worrisome for fans of the longtime couple. It’s not lost on me that the fact Superman can’t contact his family only adds more mystery to Lois’ return in the previous issue. You can’t deny this new run on Superman is keeping things exciting.
Something that should be noted is the continuity references that showed up early on in this issue. On the credits splash page, we see a computer at the Daily Planet covered in sticky notes. Some of them are fun have names like Bendis and Jim Lee on them, others mention comic book pitches like Red Tornado for the Black Label imprint, and one just flat out references the Geoff Johns series Doomsday Clock with the question “What is the Superman Theory?” It’s difficult to say how serious we should take any of this with the inclusion of so many jokes. But a Crisis event is happening and Batman writers Scott Snyder and Tom King, have been very vocal about the ever-shifting continuity of the DC Universe.
One of my favorite aspects of Christopher Reeves’ take on Clark Kent was how the actor did little things to change his appearance and perception, to make him less like Superman. Not just his clumsiness, but the way he slouched to appear shorter and less imposing. I would not be surprised if that was a source of inspiration for artist Patrick Gleason’s take on the character in this series. It’s a really neat thing to include considering we haven’t seen much of it in recent years. Clark should want to keep his identity secret and a pair of glasses won’t cut it. Which makes the line in this issue by a drunk noticing he looks like Superman pretty funny.
I think this current run has been incredible so far. Both the main title and Action Comics have been inspired by classic stories from the past, but have added a new twist to things. I don’t want to see Lois and Clark have relationship problems as much as the next person, but it’s important to let this creative team tell their whole story first before judging it. Superman is getting the Daredevil treatment where everything that could go wrong, will go wrong. So how will the most hopeful and inspirational superhero in comics deal with going through his own personal hell? I’m not sure, and in this issue, we got to see how he takes out his frustration. What I do know is that Bendis and Gleason have me excited to find out, and have me more invested in a Superman story than I’ve been in years.