“Invisible Mafia Part 3”
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Yanick Paquette
The Story So Far:
Lois Lane is gone. She’s traveling with her and Superman’s son and Jor-El. Clark, of course, is the only one who knows the truth about where she is, everyone else just thinks Lois left Clark. He had contact with them up until a recent battle, and now he doesn’t know where his family is.
A rash of fires has taken Metropolis by storm, and Superman is the prime suspect. Turns out that the kid who fingered Superman was paid to do so. By someone attached to Mr. Strong’s criminal gang, which includes a new enforcer, the Red Cloud, who can…well, can turn into a cloud and choke people.
Oh, and one of the Daily Planet’s newest reporters, Miss Goode, appears to be working with Strong’s crew to get ahold of a piece of Kryptonite for reasons unknown.
And Superman figures out that Lois is back, and in disguise.
This issue opens with Goode meeting with a person called “Candy”, who is connected to Mr. Strong and can get Kryptonite for her. Goode appears to want to be able to ward off Superman if she should have to, but her intentions are still not fully known.
She returns to the Daily Planet with the Kryptonite in her purse, and when she does, Clark, of course, appears to have an episode. No one knowing the truth about him, of course, he plays it off as a migraine. Perry sends Ms. Goode to wait for the ambulance that was called, and as soon as she leaves, naturally, Clark starts feeling better.
While waiting for the ambulance, Goode is confronted by Batman, who takes the kryptonite from her and asks her how she got it, and why she has it. She claims it’s for a story. A Pulitzer level story. Bats takes the kryptonite with him and leaves.
Batman and Superman meet so Bats can tell Clark what he learned. As Batman leaves, Superman hears a mention of Kryptonite, which turns out to be Goode going back to Candy, claiming that Candy set her up. The Red Cloud kills Candy as Superman arrives, and Goode plays the part of damsel in distress.
The issue ends with Lois, typing furiously away in an apartment, when the doorbell rings. Lois opens it to find Lex Luthor.
I appreciate what Bendis is doing over on Superman. It’s not really my cup of tea so far, but it’s interesting enough. But this story, this “ground-level” action in Action Comics is where Bendis REALLY shines. It’s where he did his best work for Marvel, with Daredevil and Ultimate Spider-Man, and this really is his best Superman story of these two opening arcs. It’s dark and gritty, and naturally for a dark and gritty Bendis comic, involves the Mob. And I love it.
The comedy, though off-putting for some, works for me for the most part. More on that in a minute.
The art was a high point. I like Pat Gleason, but his work wasn’t missed with the stellar Yanick Paquette stepping in for art duties. I feel like Gleason might be misused in the previous issues, because Paquette’s art really fits the street-level feel of this book.
What Doesn’t’ Work:
As I mentioned above, some of the comedy didn’t work for me. Batman joking around with Superman seemed a little out of place. I did laugh, but it didn’t feel like Batman to me.