Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Action Comics #869
Johns, Frank & Sibal
Superman is faced with impossible odds. He overcomes them only to be knocked down again while his loved ones are caught in the balance as part of the back drop to his struggle. This issue provides some excellent action, a good plot movement and some nice back story about some newer characters. The artwork is great as you’d expect. This issue is nearly perfect.
This issue has a pretty cool cover of Superman and Pa Kent hanging out, leaning on a fence drinking a beer – um – wait, soda pop.
As the Brainiac machine invades Metropolis Supergirl begins to take action and defend the city. The sequence gives more great characterization of the cast from the Daily Planet. However, the interaction between Lois and Supergirl feels forced and odd. Also, the whole involvement of Supergirl is pushed in this story almost unnaturally. She’s sacred, brave and has all this knowledge of Brainiac. I feel like we are advancing the character decades in the span of a few pages just to get her up to speed in the grand Superman scheme.
In Brainiac land Superman is getting squeezed by Brainiac. The interaction is interesting because it reinforces that Superman wants to be human. He doesn’t want to be Kryptonian. The suggestion that he has deserted his race sets him off and he turns the tide on Brainiac.
In searching for the lost city of Kandor, Superman finds another city instead. There are people still in there and one of them is Supergirl’s father, Jor-El’s brother. This part of the comic is excellent. Superman finally gets to speak to a real peer of this father’s. Not a hologram or Zod, but a live person who was always on the side of Jor-El. We also get more of the back story of Supergirl, which was more interesting then her role in the comic’s main story.
The issue concludes with Brainiac getting his second wind and putting the hurting on Superman. Can he escape in time to save Earth, Metropolis, the sun, Lois and his parents?
The issue is great. Action enhanced with character moments followed by mind games and plot advanced followed up with action then origin and finally a cliffhanger. It’s a brilliant ride for a 22 page story.
The artwork is great on many levels. Superman is a spot on duplicate of Christopher Reeve. The action is clear and precise. The details in the cities in the bottle help illustrate that even the small details are accounted for. It’s a fantastic visual comic.
This comic and this arc has been fantastic. You may not like the bulked up version of Brainiac, but the story is very good. Superman actually seems to be in danger. Add in that there are a whole new slew of characters waiting to pop out of those jars and you have a nice, new direction for the Superman universe. This is a great comic.
5 out of 5 geek goggles