Cloudbusting. A 1987 song by Kate Bush
Red Cloudbusting. This.
Oh, well done, Superman Family. Sorry, House of Kent. That’s what we’re calling Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, Superboy and, er, Brainiac 5 in 2020. The name doesn’t matter, though, it’s just great to see that uppity Red Cloud, aka Daily Planet reporter Robinson Goode, taken down.
And that’s how it should be. While Red Cloud’s mystical abilities might be enough to fend off Superman on his own, four Kryptonian-powered heroes and one of the greatest minds of the millennium should be too much for her.
Elsewhere, the other Kent family member, Lois Lane, gets unexpected help as FBI agent Cameron Chase probes her over the accusation that’s she’s from another earth.
Someone who is from another earth, Marisol Leone, the boss of Metropolis’ Invisible Mafia, manages to escape the Daily Planet building, right under Chase’s nose.
As for Robinson Goode, imprisoned in the Phantom Zone by the Superman Family, she gets an offer she can perhaps refuse.
Whether Superman has anything specific in mind, we aren’t told. Red Cloud’s agreement, though, is heavily implied by the fact that next time we see her she’s in Stryker’s Island prison rather than the spectral dimension to which Kryptonian criminals were banished.
That’s a creepy image from artists John Romita Jr, inker Klaus Janson and colourist Brad Anderson. It looks like Brainiac has attached some 31st-century tech to Goode to dampen her powers. I hope this isn’t the last we see of her before Bendis’s upcoming departure, I want to know just why Superman is still insisting she can turn her life around, following the murder of his fire chief pal Melody Moore.
I also want to see Leone caught – she’s supposedly gone back to another earth, but wouldn’t that be the perfect way to stop people looking for you on this one? I’d like Agent Chase to work this out, and find her, because as it is, Leone leaves her looking like an amateur. Perhaps Kate Spencer could help, being not only the DC Universe’s only lawyer, but also the superhero Manhunter.
Bendis gives Leone a great bit of characterisation via a final note to the jailed Red Cloud, her former partner; I am, though, surprised that Leone doesn’t exact a final revenge upon Goode.
Superman certainly wants to teach Star Labs a lesson, having decided the scientific research facility is full to the brim with nothing but bad eggheads. We see just how angry he is in another well-done scene from Romita and co. The artists also deserve praise for their take on the Phantom Zone – OK, it’s not the same as in other recent Bendis Superman titles, but it’s a big place, maybe we’re seeing the antechamber!
As he’s been doing in Action Comics for nearly three years now, Bendis delivers an enticing blend of character and fight scenes. I’ve described the showier moments, this is the best of the quiet ones, with lettering by dependable Dave Sharpe.
Oh, please let Bendis have concrete plans for Kara, she’s had a crappy decade at DC and deserves some good times. A Wonder Comics Supergirl would be just the ticket.
A little mystery is that this issue is titled ‘The House of Kent: Epilogue’ but solicitations back in September reckoned that would be the title of #1028. This issue is half wrap-up, half-aftermath, so perhaps the two chapters were truncated into one. So long as we get that final issue by Bendis next month, I’m OK with that – he probably came up with a better plan. A Christmas cum Chanukah story, maybe?
I like the placement of the logo on this issue’s cover. The actual image, though, is just unpleasant – this isn’t Hallowe’een, I don’t need The Superman Who Dripped Blood. Next issue’s cover, if it stays as the solicitations showed, looks a lot nicer, more in keeping with the warmth Bendis has consistently injected into his Superman books.
This issue is a case in point, with a happy ending that will come as no surprise to anyone who read DC’s best maxi-series of the last year, but it’s something that needs to be reflected here. Interesting times ahead!