Superman faces off against the Red Cloud and Bendis shows off some quality Superman writing!

Action Comics 1006
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils by Ryan Sook
Inks by Ryan Sook and Wade von Grawbadger
Colors by Brad Anderson

What I have loved about Brian Michael Bendis’ run on Action Comics over the last six issues has been the way he’s written Superman. Bendis has tapped into some of the important facets of the Man of Steel’s persona – his caring, his selflessness, his desire to make things better for everyone – so perfectly. The first arc in ACTION COMICS, with Clark and Superman both delving into the seedy underbelly of Metropolis, has been one of the best runs of 2018, and it’s clear that it’s continuing into the new year.

With the mysterious Red Cloud – really, Clark Kent’s new coworker at the Daily Planet, Robinson Goode – taking hold of the criminal element in Metropolis the way Intergang did in the 1990s, it presents a different challenge for Superman. His fists won’t help him here as much as his investigative talents as a journalist. But that doesn’t mean his superpowers aren’t needed, either.

His showdown with the Red Cloud here was so well done. Superman doesn’t throw a punch. He doesn’t use any offensive maneuvers at all, in fact, only using his his powers to protect deputy fire chief Melody Moore.

And Superman tries to reason with the Red Cloud, to give her the chance to stop before things get out of control, and it’s one of my favorite Superman quotes in recent memory:

“… I was going to say… that a great many interesting and powerful people have stood exactly where you are right now… and they made the same mistake of taking my empathy for weakness. And, more importantly, they forget that just behind me… there are all kinds of characters just waiting… who do not have my patience. You can turn this around. I know you can.”

The Red Cloud does make a strategic retreat, but her conversation with other power players following her confrontation show that she didn’t heed Superman’s words. That probably doesn’t bode well for her chances.