Superman: Action Comics #1024 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; John Romita Jr., Penciller; Klaus Janson, Colorist; Brad Anderson, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: As Bendis’ Superman run heads into its last act, he turns the focus back to his new arch-nemesis duo of Red Cloud and Leone, who have wreaked havoc on every corner of his life. Thanks to Leone’s purchase of the Daily Planet, the paper is now under investigation. The cover hypes the reveal of the new owner of the Daily Planet—Jimmy Olsen—but that doesn’t happen in this issue. Instead, the first half of the issue mostly consists of Superman and his boys arriving just as Lois is in an argument with Cameron Chase in the middle of an FBI raid. It’s fine, with some clever dialogue, but very little happens. That might be for the best, because when things do start happening, I have a massive disagreement with the direction Bendis takes the story. Remember Chief Melody Moore, who was introduced in the beginning of the run as a new friend and ally for Superman in an increasingly corrupt Metropolis?
I can’t continue talking about this issue without major spoilers, so be warned.
The decision to have her come back just in time to be unceremoniously murdered by Red Cloud feels like a weak attempt to raise the stakes, as well as to give Superman a defining tragedy for this run. The problem is, not only is it an unnecessary fridging and an over-villainization of a complex villain, but Moore hasn’t been around long enough to have the impact they want. It’s a shame because it casts a pall over the entire issue, which includes some fun dialogue between the two main villains and their fellow villain Dr. Glory, and the return of Supergirl from her recent adventures in space/being brainwashed. Having the whole Super-family together for a mission could have been a lot of fun, but as it is they’re mired in a story that feels way too dark for Superman and essentially guarantees that Red Cloud is likely to be shelved after this run rather than getting a chance to be a more fleshed-out character.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.