The Red Cloud is a newspaper reporter/mob enforcer with aerosolized super powers that even threatened the life of the Not So Last Son of Krypton. She's mad because her organization, the "Invisible Mafia," is folding like the Sunday funnies and she lays the blame at the feet of Lois Lane, and by extension her super powered husband. Lois, who has never understood the phrase, "mind your business," inevitably goes stumbling into the aforementioned Red Cloud and therefore requiring the invocation of her high powered hubby.
Smallville's finest, however, is not alone. His teenaged son Jon Kent is back from a thousand years in the future with a genius pal along for the ride. As well, Connor Kent, the multiply-rebooted Superboy of another era, is just kind of hanging out and trying to figure some things out.
If the Red Cloud had this exact same day happening some other time, she may have had a big of an edge. On this day, well …
… let's just say that she may be boxing a bit out of her weight class. On a day like this, the decision to go after Lois and Jimmy? It blows.
Jimmy Olsen hangs on to some of the whimsical charm that made so many fans of his recent maxi-series, and Lois is like a bull in a crystal collectibles shop where all the figurines are made of secrets and lies. There are a number of legitimate "moments" here — three rushes of red, as noted above, Jimmy's thoughts on Superman's secret identity, and the best take on defunding underworld connections we've seen in some time. Of course, visuals from the legendary John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, Brad Anderson, and Dave Sharpe help this feel like a big chunk of biff and pow.
What didn't work? Despite the clarity of the plot's punch and counterpunch, it was more a series of things that happened than a traditional narrative structure, and definitely not the strongest use of the periodical format. If this was part of a long binge of comics, it'd be great, but as a single chunk of culture, it doesn't quite make the cut. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Action Comics #1023
By Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson
Just days after Clark Kent's own shocking revelation, the facts behind who actually owns The Daily Planet have been revealed-and all hell has broken loose! The fallout from the Superman: Villains special starts here! No one is safe as a new era of Superman stories begins! Plus, now that the dust has settled, is the Red Cloud hero or villain?
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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