Action Comics #1001: Invisible Mafia
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Patrick Gleason
Colors by: Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by: Gleason, Brad Anderson, Francis Manapul
The Large Picture
Action Comics aims to focus on the core dealings and interactions of the news folk at the Daily Planet, which is struggling to stay afloat. Coming off the heels of a near-extinction-level-event, the destruction of Kandor and all its citizens, a revelation from a new threat, Rogol Zaar that he intentionally destroyed Krypton, and Lois and Jon exploring outer-space with Jor-El, the Man of Tomorrow is heading toward a new chapter.
This issue opens with Clark recounting his story to Perry, Jimmy, Robin, and Trish of Superman casually disarming, detaining, and even conversing with two thieves who attempt to take Lex Luthor’s safe from the rooftop of LexCorp Tower. Clark learns from Robin that a kid, Darryl Conners, identified Superman as the arsonist to Deputy Fire Chief Mallory Moore. Clark follows up on the lead and tracks Darryl to the bleachers of a school football stadium. It turns out that he was paid by “some guy, some big bald dude.” Clark checks the criminal database (which for some reason includes images that resemble DC publisher Dan Didio and series author Brian Michael Bendis). Clark dons the cape for a mid-afternoon flight, someone watches him from deep beneath the streets of Metropolis. Who are they? Why are they so obsessed with Supes? Who is REALLY lighting Metropolis on fire?
The Plot of The Panel
You can always count on Bendis to use fast-paced dialogue and language that ranges from “poetic” to “confusing.” Bendis delivers what he’s well-known for. Since his DC debut in Action Comics 1000, Bendis has launched an all-out blitzkrieg of new characters, along with a string of (at times) incoherent plot points, and dialogue that tends to be more confusing than poetic. However, I was surprised in this issue at the heightened coherence of the plot and the overall narrative flow. The dialogue is still more confusing and at times distracting than it is clear. But this issue is a step in the right direction. The overall story seems flat, however.