The slow-burn of the Bendis’ Action Comics brings the series down hard.
Superman’s world is literally going up in flames. There have been arsons that have happened all across Metropolis. This is a plot amongst a group of street-level criminals known as the Invisible Mafia. Unfortunately for them, their supposed invisibility from Superman is threatened. When one of their own tries to pin the arsons on the Man of Steel, it begins several investigations aimed right at them. How long do these criminals have before justice catches up to them?
**Some Spoilers Below**
With the mafia getting more and more attention, members are searching for other means of protection. One of them tries to buy the Hero Dial from the Dial H for Hero series but is stopped by a surprise guest hero. The Question has apparently been keeping an eye on the mafia and uses this sale as a chance to strike at them. While the leader can get away, she demands Mr. Strong work harder to end these threats. Meanwhile, Superman continues his investigation as Clark Kent into the fires. It takes an interesting turn, however, when the fire chief reveals the Mayor told her to leave it be.
I want to enjoy this story, but it’s just so slow. The investigation is an intriguing angle, but it just doesn’t fit this series. This comic was the go-to title for those who just want some kick-ass action. We haven’t had anything like that since issue #1000. I feel like this story would be more suited in Detective Comics or any Batman comic. In Action Comics it just comes off as very dull storytelling. The only positive that comes in the story is a cliffhanger ending.
Along with the mafia, we have the Red Cloud performing hits across the city. After a confrontation with Superman this issue, their identity is revealed and I was honestly surprised. It’s not enough to save the issue, but it did surprise me.
While I am not a fan of the story, the art continues to be some of the best on the shelves. The colorwork, in particular, is well done. Each setting in Metropolis is unique with the colors used. The best example is in the opening that perfectly blends the vibrant colors of a nightclub with dark shadows to hide the approaching Question. It walks a line of bright and subdued that fits the home city of Superman. It’s very atmospheric and I can’t get enough.
This series has to change as soon as possible. I fully believe that this was meant to be in the main Superman series. There is so much more action going on in a solo series than the title that has The word in it! If you are a fan of pretty art and slow-burning mysteries, this might be for you. However, if you want Action Comics to be just that, you might want to skip this.