Invisible Mafia Part 6
Perhaps it is my perception that oftentimes when we see Clark Kent in action as reporter, he usually feels very milquetoast. Not the case in Action Comics #1006. It’s refreshing to see a Clark who is much more assertive in his role of ace reporter, asking pointed questions of a crooked public official that we learned about in the prior issue.
Ryan Sook, Brad Anderson, and Josh Reed stand out in an early two-page spread. On one page, we get to see Clark use his super-hearing. Across six panels, it page starts and end with a mid-range shot of Clark. The in-between panels act as a slow push in and push out of the scene. We get to see Sook accentuate some smugness from Clark, delighting in hearing how he has them rattled a bit. This transitions to some consternation upon hearing again how the public at large thinks his relationship with Lois is on the rocks with a purported affair with Lex Luthor. Josh Reed does quite the interesting lettering work here, keeping all the the overheard dialogue running down the center of the page, overlapping the panels at just the right points. It tracks well and is a clever technique to fit in a lot of words without displacing the art. The opposing page is equally brilliant in its juxtaposition of having absolutely no dialogue or word boxes: simply showing Clark in action with something we have seen so many times—ducking into the alley, pulling open his shirt to reveal the ’S.’ There is a sweet moment here of a Clark being caught in transition by a boy in an alley reading comics, gently shushing to keep a secret between them and taking off into the sky, leaving the boy in wonder.
Big takeaway from this issue is Superman’s speech on how is empathy is strength and how he extends his hand in friendship to offer to help Red Cloud. Something that I think is easily overlooked in Superman at a first glance, but something we always know in the back of our minds, is that it’s Superman’s heart that is his real power, not the massive display of strength that we often see. It is good to be reminded of that from time to time.
While we are introduced to the person who appears to be pulling the strings and may be the big bad of this arc, the big reveal is the cliffhanger. Bendis continues to surprise in using things that we all have seen before but haven’t paid mind to ever again. In this case, it’s the car from the cover of Superman’s debut in Action Comics #1. It’s an iconic image that has been seen countless times and yet, I don’t think anyone has ever asked if that car was still around or if it was important. Fascinating twist to repurpose a seemingly throwaway piece of lore. I look forward to seeing why it is important to the villain.