Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Action Comics #867
Johns, Frank & Sibal
I loved the last issue so much I assumed this would be one of the classic Superman arcs. I was wrong. This second installment fails in several places. However, in the areas it does deliver, it nails them. Unfortunately, this makes for a very so-so issue. I am not ready to give up by any means, but this issue was a letdown compared to the stellar story from last issue.
The issue starts off with Superman and Supergirl trying to determine who or what was chasing Superman. Superman had assumed it was Brainiac. Supergirl is able to explain how it is one of his probes. This seems to imply that every other encounter Superman has had with Brainiac was actually his probes, which is odd.
Supergirl is a huge drag in this issue. She comes across as whiney. Basically she seemed like a kid who ran away from home and found herself a sugar daddy to latch onto. Add in that her facial expressions come across as her being slapped by her drunk father and you have a terribly annoying character. It was too much Supergirl and it made Superman look like a novice super hero in dealing with people.
Next, Clark visits his parents. This had the outstanding interaction between Clark and Pa Kent. Pa reveals all the artifacts he kept from Clark’s childhood and they have an excellent chat. Ma Kent, on the other hand, expresses her concern about Clark heading off after Brainiac. This makes no sense in the context of all that she has already seen Superman go through. Ma Kent is supposed to be a strong influence on Clark and here she comes across as an overly concerned, borderline senile, nervous Nellie.
Enter Lois and the Daily Planet crew. This part was excellent. Lois looks classy and hot all at once. Clark looks like a doofus, with a bad haircut. It all fits so well. The artwork seems to have departed from using the 1970s movie versions of Clark and Lois which was a little odd, but the artwork and dialogue are still great here.
Finally, Clark is in outer space. He is in a spaceship listening to his father tell him all about Brainiac. This is more outstanding storytelling. However, the ending is very confusing. It seems Superman finds a city that Brainiac is stealing. Somehow Superman gets captured. I really have no idea how this played out.
There you have it. Some great scenes, some bad ones and some confusing ones. This gives you a mixed comic. Sure, it’s possible you might like Supergirl and her involvement here, so that will make you like this comic all the more. You might also like your Ma Kent to be overprotective, so that will also help you like this more. The ending really didn’t work visually for me and I’m not sure how else it could be interrupted.
I think a new reader could pick this up and not be lost. They might be intrigued by the Terminator-like characterization of Brainiac. It could play out to be very cool.
This issue is a bit of a letdown, but I am eagerly awaiting the next one nonetheless.
3 out of 5 geek goggles
Action Comics #867