Yesterday, we exclusively previewed five pages from Action Comics #1005 and teased many of the events of a loaded issue, including the identity of the new villain that’s murdering mobsters in Metropolis.
**WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Action Comics #1005.**
Now, if you had some suspicions as to why the Daily Planet’s newest employee would get her hands on some Kryptonite in Action Comics #1003 (see above), you’d be right because on the last page of issue #1005, Robinson Goode was revealed as the Red Cloud. After speaking with Deputy Chief Moore about the mayor of Metropolis telling her to stop investigating suspicious fires, Superman took to the skies to do some recon on the mayor. What he didn’t expect was to get ambushed by the Red Cloud and did he ever, bringing him down to his knees in pain and causing him to flee the scene.
“The interesting thing we see at the end is that she jumps Superman in an impulsive move, and is highly successful and that changes everything,” Bendis tells SYFY WIRE. “That was an idea I was really excited about. People jump Superman and Batman all the time and get their asses kicked. But what if someone jumps Superman and uh-oh, [Goode thinks], 'My powers might really be a problem for him.' That changes the whole dynamic, that elevates her in the ranks of Superman villains.”
So it appears that the former Star City Sentinel reporter didn’t need the Kryptonite after all. “Goode didn’t know she could go toe-to-toe with Superman,” Bendis explains. “She thought she was a C-list villain in Superman’s world."
“That is what’s the fun of the reveal, when people have a chance to re-read the earlier issues, they’ll see that those earlier scenes with Goode were done, knowing what we all know now.
In fact, there’s one scene where it looks like Goode and the Red Cloud are in the same place,” he notes, referring to #1003, in which Goode goes back to Candy to confront her about a potential leak in her organization, and the Red Cloud appears and murders Candy right before Superman arrives. (It also raises the possibility of Goode's power to project her abilities out from her own body.)
Bendis was inspired by a mobster who worked as a reporter just to keep an eye on what the newspaper knew about the family. "The idea that someone in that bullpen using the Daily Planet the way Clark does, but as a cover for negative stuff, made it fun," Bendis shared. Normally an escape from stress of Superman, the Daily Planet could become a new source of tension.
In Action Comics #1005, mobster Miss Gummy is spooked knowing the Question came looking for the H-Dial, which was in her possession, and then later complains to Mister Strong about a "big boss lady.” Could she have been speaking about Red Cloud?
“She’s actually not the leader of the mob, but we’re going to find out her relationship to the leader in the next issue. We’re going to meet the leader next issue.”
With the Red Cloud’s identity now revealed, Goode’s story and her relation to the entire crime organization and its boss are sure to be on the horizon for Action Comics #1006, due out Jan. 2. This upcoming issue will be the conclusion of Bendis’ first Action Comics arc, leaving us with a formidable villain who's fully spooked Superman, and is keeping him on his toes.