Action Comics #1006 is here and I am more than ready to take flight alongside the Man of Steel once again but before we dive in, lets checkout the covers.
Ryan Sook has created a very detailed cover as a transparent blueprint of Metropolis adorns the Man of Steel in a very intense pose. This reminds me of a journalist or detective’s office wall that maybe embellished with maps or blueprints to help solve a crucial ongoing investigation. This ties in nicely to the issue as it very much highlights Clarks’ mission in getting to the bottom of the fires plaguing the city. Though the knife does indicate that the aforementioned office wall may belong to someone nefarious.
The variant cover is a real treat as Francis Manapul has created another seasonal cover as Clark, Lois and the inhabitants of Metropolis party the night away as they Celebrate the turn of a new year. This cover is full of colour specifically Superman’ chest emblem that just pops off the page. Superman himself has a very confident look on his face as he prepares to take to the skies. That confidence may be due to the cheeky kiss he has just received but its nice to see a more playful, confident Superman take centre stage.
Action Comics #1006 starts out with an integral side of Clark on display, that of a journalist investigating the rash of fires plaguing the city. Clarks’ investigation leads him straight to the top of the Metropolis political pyramid as he works the tip given to him in the previous issue by Melody Moore. I really enjoyed this segment of the issue as it reminds the reader of the fact that Clark is more than the cape and tights. Of course the reader is aware of this side of the character, that of an investigative reporter but this really is the only book where its spotlighted and an active part of the overall storyline. This is the best part of Brian Michael Bendis’ writing both Action Comics and Superman as all bases are being covered and the fans are really getting the full scope of Clarks’ character. Whether it’s the aforementioned journalist, doting father and family man or Superman.
As the story moves on we get a really sweet moment between Clark and a child that really hit home. The child’s expression really highlighted what Superman means not just to the inhabitants of the DC Universe but to us as well. The magnificence and grandeur of Superman taking flight was captured beautifully in this scene and the child’s expression said it all. I saw a lot of Christopher Reeve in this page and I was grateful for it.
Following a gorgeous splash page of Clark demonstrating his xray vision in the most creative yet complex of ways, the action really kicks in. Deputy Fire Chief Melody Moore becomes the target of The Red Mist AKA Robinson Goode in a brazen attack no doubt buoyed on by her contest with the Man of Steel from the previous issue. As Melody begins to succumb to The Red Mist, Superman steps in for the save and goes face to face once more with this seemingly intangible foe. Now it has to be said that I’m not the biggest fan of dissipating power sets for characters but I’m certainly sold on it now, thanks to The Red Mist and specifically artist Ryan Sook.
The action and combat between Superman and The Red Mist that takes place in this issue is phenomenal as it demonstrates the full capabilities of both characters. I love how the creative team on this book allows the action to really breath and progress naturally. Of course, the contest comes to a close thanks to one of Superman’ most prolific and well known powers, his compassion and belief that everyone can be redeemed. It felt so good to see this side of Superman come into play once more. Superman’s belief in people is unwavering and a crucial part of his character. Bendis continues to tap into this side of the character and always manages to insert it at the crucial time in an effort to continuously push character development forward.
After we got some really touching dialogue between Superman and Melody Moore, the mystery shrouding The Red Mist’s employer is somewhat lifted as a one on one confrontation between the aforementioned villain and her employer is depicted. The reader is exposed to some key information regarding this mysterious gangland boss specifically her ties and history to Metropolis, this is compounded by the shocking splash page finale to this issue. It is a must see for every Superman fan that is most certainly 80 years in the making.
The team of Ryan Sook and colourist Brad Anderson have once again delivered in every department. From panoramic action to really expressive conversation between characters, they continually pushing the narrative forward. The confrontations between Superman and The Red Mist are always a visual spectacle.
Where the ‘Superman’ series has been focusing predominantly on the character of Superman, Action Comics focuses much more on Clark Kent. Also the rigors of that characters journey that ties beautifully into that of Superman’ life and responsibilities. Bendis does an impeccable job of doing this while introducing some really interesting characters who are continually growing and flourishing in their own right. Specifically Melody Moore who showed a real heartfelt and vulnerable side to her character in this issue, which was a nice contrast to the more assertive and confident side to her witnessed in the last issue.
Action Comics #1006 is a must read book and this issue has asked some very interesting questions, mostly thanks to the finale page that is most certainly 80 years in the making. That is a bold statement but I kid you not it left me stunned, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.