[SPOILER ALERT FOR ACTION COMICS #1005]
For months since taking over the reigns of Action Comics, writer Brian Michael Bendis has plagued the Man of Steel with a mysterious metahuman foe known only as Red Cloud. Thus far, she has only played puppeteer from the shadows.
However, in the recently released #1005, not only did she first battle Superman, but that villain was revealed on the 23rd page to be none other than Clark Kent’s fellow Daily Planet reporter Robinson Goode.
Brian explains, “Yeah, it’s this cool thing where there’s someone at The Daily Planet who’s using The Daily Planet as their cover story like Clark does. [I] like this idea that you wouldn’t know that you could go toe-to-toe with Superman until you tried. So she went for it, which is very much what we’ll find out is true to her character, and why she got her powers in the first place. She found out ‘Ooo! I can fight Superman to a stand-still. That’s a whole different deal. That puts me in a different category.’”
Bendis admits that characters like Red Cloud are part of his direction to throw new varieties – or “flavors” – of villains at Superman and force The Man of Steel to think strategically. “[Having] someone he can’t punch – does he inhale her? Or blow her away? He has to make some choices on how to handle her. And is she poisonous to him? We’ll find all those things out. And her origin, where her powers come from, will reveal why she’s such a threat to him.”
However, the big reveal was not the only source of interest for readers that Bendis penned in this issue. He also used the book as a platform to tease his planned return of Dial H For Heroes and the return of The Question after a failed New 52 reboot. Vic Sage’s alter-ego also seems to be on the hunt for Red Cloud’s organization, a story that Brian is mum on at the moment.
As to the fans’ mixed reaction to his run thus far, Brian responds, “We’re into the runs now, and I’m hearing very enthusiastic responses. People are picking up the book and are really into it. I know there was a lot of hype around this, but now it’s when people decide on their own whether they want to stick around or not. And I really, genuinely just so moved by how into the story everybody is. [So] thank you to every Superman fan who’s been really digging this, [and] if you’re still upset with me, still be patient. There’s more to come.”
Action Comics #1005 is available in comic shops now!