[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Ryan Sook
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Josh Reed
Gummy, one of the Invisible Mafia, is trying to buy a H-E-R-O dial when the deal is “broken up” by The Question. We don’t learn much else, but it leads to Gummy going to a meeting of the Mafia and meeting Kumquat, Candy’s replacement. At the Daily Planet, Clark is giving Robinson Goode some pointers on a story, and as they’re discussing it and Clark’s giddiness, apparently he feels the new arrangement with Lois is good thing, Clark receives a call from Melody Moore. They end up meeting and she tells him that the Mayor has warned her off of the mysterious fires around Metropolis. Clark sees the oddness in the situation and goes to check up on the Mayor. Finding him passed out in a hotel room, he is then attacked by the Red Cloud. This leads to an audience only reveal of the Red Cloud’s identity!
This issue is light years better than the previous, but mainly because it avoids the awkward Lois Lane subplot that Bendis has developed. It teases that we might learn a little something, and the inclusion of the H-E-R-O- dial is fun. The inclusion of the Question is also welcomed, despite it not going very far.
While it’ nice to see The Question, it doesn’t move the plot forward as much as it does sideways. And despite providing the big reveal of the identity of The Red Cloud, the intrigue between Deputy Fire Chief, Melody Moore and the Mayor also moves things sideways instead of forward. Instead of feeling line this arc is near wrapping up, it seems that it will instead plod slowly along. If the character work were exemplary it might work, but it’s only adequate this issue. It’s hard to understand Clark’s giddiness from last issue’s reunion with Lois as it was so poorly executed. It’s a truly awkward moment.
While the Invisible Mafia story line is providing a mystery, it doesn’t feel like a job for Superman….
This issue continues to introduce more ideas while not moving the plot much further. Despite the reveal of The Red Cloud’s identity, it doesn’t feel like this issue moves the plot along enough. It’s not really that surprising a reveal, and it actually makes a lot of sense considering the character’s actions in previous issues. After last issue’s awkward and terrible reunion between the super-couple, It feels like the story line is settling down into classic mediocrity, the positives seem to be superficial with little substantive content.