With Superman otherwise occupied and Lois Lane not currently in Metropolis, Robinson Goode, a.k.a The Red Cloud, essentially has free reign to conduct whatever business wants, at both The Daily Planet and for The Invisible Mafia. Spoilers for Action Comics No. 1012 follow.
Superman and Lois are at the Fortress of Solitude, taking whatever chance they can get to spend time together. Instead of focusing on the problems of the world around them for this brief moment of time, they act simply as a married couple. Just living in the moment with Clark trying to coax Lois’s true thoughts about her first impressions of his arrival at The Daily Planet. This reprieve doesn’t last long, though, as Superman has to help as many people as he can, on Earth and off. As such, Lois returns to her job as well, trying to figure out the story behind Leviathan.Image by DC Comics/Art by Szymon Kudranski
Back in Metropolis though, Robinson Goode meets with a contact that has seemingly been taking out members of the underworld with no interference from the police or Superman. This woman’s name is Rose, and she has another side to her whose name is Thorn. Get it? Because roses have thorns? Anyway, it turns out that she’s been single-handedly taking out entire warehouses full of criminals and, while the Thorn personality is ok with it, Rose is having a harder time with it.
Robinson reports what she’s heard about Rose/Thorn to her boss, Leone, where it turns out that not only has Rose/Thorn been taking out these crime-ridden places, Leviathan attempted to recruit her.
This issue acts as more of a tie-in to Event Leviathan than a full-blown standalone issue, but it does its job with what it’s attempting to do. It’s attempting to show the relationship between Superman and Lois, while also showing the reach of Leviathan. This issue does both well, even if it does feel a bit uneven. The two stories being told don’t really flow together that well and feel entirely separate from one another, which makes the transition in the middle of the issue jarring. Both stories are interesting, even if the Superman/Lois one is better, but they don’t really work well together.
Guest artist Szymon Kudranski, who has recently been killing it on The Punisher, does a great job of trying to connect both of the stories here on a visual level, though. His Superman and Lois art feels a bit lighter and more fun, while the other story feels a lot more like his Punisher artwork, which is dark and dirty. Yet the two different styles manage to work together really well.
Despite the two stories being told in Action Comics No. 1012 being interesting and the art being great, they are too disparate to really work together on the whole.