Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artist: Ryan Sook / DC Comics
Sometimes you take a break from comics. Its not that you don’t love comics, but you’ve just been reading so much and need a little space to get your head right. “Don’t look at me like that baby. Trust me, I’m experimenting with Harry Potter but he’ll never replace you”.
Coming back you confront a small slice of the crippling obstacle that prevent many from reading comics in the first place. When it’s years on top of decades the sentiment is, “How do I start without being blind-sighted by references and content I know nothing of?”. When it’s a month it a much tamer — “Well I’ve clearly missed something important”. That’s where I was reading Action Comics #1006.
Written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Ryan Sook, the issue opens with Clark Kent confronting the mayor of Metropolis. He allegedly shut down the investigations into the mysterious fires sparking up (pun all the way intended). Kent’s inquiry leads him to another confrontation with the Red Cloud. Afterwards the villainess (who’s shocking identity has clearly become something I’m supposed to already know) corresponds with her employer, the leader of the mysterious group pulling the city’s strings.
This comic continues to be a refreshing counter weight to the “Super Man” title that I remember, highlighting the local criminality of Metropolis rather than Earth-devastating threats. A big part of Superman’s character is his ability to inspire both awe through his god-like power and goodness through his patience and empathy. The mayor alludes to one of these points, derisively suggesting that Superman stick to extinction level events (and Toyman), leaving emergency service work to the city authorities. Superman’s benevolence is tested when the Red Cloud’s next target questions his refusal to kill her and insistence on giving her a chance at redemption. “Let’s teach her to do better by example”, “Oh #$@#$ that”. It’s a funny back and forth but it’s some great insight into Supe’s moral philosophy.
Sook creates a couple impressive shots. In a flagship book like Action Comics a clean, technically sound style is strong. The pages are also well balanced with a fair share of back and forths with some characters and exciting action shots often dominant with the Red Cloud’s mist. My favorite pages of the issue were in the secret lair of our big boss when he and Red Cloud converse in this dark room with a beautiful black and gold hue.
I’m back on comics, and Action Comics #1006 is a great place to come back to.
Reading Action Comics? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.