Action Comics #1005 - Review
Invisible Mafia Part 5
Action Comics opens up with a storytelling device that has so far remained consistent with Bendis’s run on the title: a shot of a reporter’s desk at the Daily Planet. I greatly appreciate this as carryover from issue to issue. In some ways, it is reminiscent of a “Previously on” recapping device from other mediums and clearly a Marvel flair that Bendis has brought to DC. It’s a great way to get any reader pulled into the current arc without having to go into super detail on everything that has preceded it. The panel gives Ryan Sook some fun in crafting in all the detail on the desk and really rewards the reader with spending the time to peruse the panel to pick up on clues. I love this hook. It instantly slows me down and sets the pace for reading the rest of the book. The temptation, and reality, to turn and burn through reading issues is generally all too great, and so this speed limiter is a nice touch.
Something that I think Bendis does a good job with throughout the arc is laying the foundation of things to come not only for this run, but in what will come in the future at DC. In one of the first issues of his run, if not the first one, what seemed to be just a fun Easter egg buried in the opening shot of Clark Kent’s desk was a tease of the Dial H for Hero device. I had no idea that not only would Bendis make this relatively obscure device prominent in his run, but that somehow along this journey the foundation will be laid to launch an upcoming mini-series.
I think what Bendis does here is massively important in helping build out the DC Universe at large.
All too often, we will see attempts to build out universes and launch new titles/characters without the proper connective tissue to make people want to care about these attempts [ I am looking at you DC’s New Age of Heroes ]. I am intrigued to see where this will lead.
One of the big surprises for me on this issue is how Ryan Sook’s art and Brad Anderson’s colors combine to create a feel that isn’t typical of a Superman book. I mean this as a compliment. We often expect certain aesthetics from well-known characters and titles, and this issue defied those expectations for me. Combined with the pace and the shadows, the color palette exuded a Vertigo feel at times and most definitely reminiscent of a Bat-book. It is a nice change of pace, and I wish more titles would take these creative risks.
In attempts to remain as spoiler-free as possible, I will say that I marked out a bit at the return of a long missing and fan favorite DC hero. I would presume most of the DC audience at large is happy to see the return of this character in what may be their first Rebirth appearance. The reveal at the end of the true identity of Red Cloud was a bit surprising to me. I didn’t think it would be the character that was shown. I do think it was a nice touch to have that unveiling on Red Cloud after the opening of the title where, in some prominence, on a notepad is scrawled, “Who is Red Cloud?”