Action Comics #1001
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Patrick Gleason
Colors by Alejandro Sanchez
Letters by Josh Reed
The job of being Superman continues whether or not his family is with him or his job might be going under. Superman continues to do his job. Clark Kent is doing his as well by asking questions both as a reporter and as Superman. Those questions are about the rash of fires that have plagued the city of Metropolis and who is setting them.
The fires become the main focus of this issue as the mystery continues to get deeper when the young man who accused Superman of being the one to cause them in the first place decides to tell the truth after getting a visit from Big Blue and takes the kid to his mother. Unfortunately, this continues to muddy the investigation and puts Superman in an awkward spot because his continued help with the investigation could taint the results. At the Daily Planet, Clark is trying to help in any way he can, but the issue of his wife’s disappearance is not only getting to him emotionally, but the Planet’s gossip reporter is continuing to hound him for information and her constant attempts to provoke might be working on some level. At least to the point where the new City Beat reporter continues her mystery interest in Clark.
We do get to finally uncover the people responsible for the fires and their motives are pretty basic. Unfortunately, who they are working for and with are not. They are not ready to be revealed yet and will take deadly steps to remain in the shadows.
From a story standpoint, I wanted more. I like the direction of many of these storylines, but I felt like there was a lack of focus in the issue. The threads that are the most interesting seems to be lost a little bit. I actually found myself more interested in the office politics going on at the Planet than most of the fire storyline. Hopefully, the next issue will address some of those issues in a way that elevates the drama for both Superman and Clark Kent.
Gleason’s art is really good. I found myself going over many of the panels again and marveling at the details in the backgrounds. I also really like the physical differences Gleason puts into the depiction of Clark vs Superman.