Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Action Comics #870
Johns, Frank & Sibal
Well, this is the issue where a major character bites the big one. The arc had been pretty good but it will be lost in the gimmicky death that was leaked to the press before the issue hit the stands. I actually didn’t find the death scene to even be that good. Sorry to say it but I actually found it to be a little light on the drama. Anyway, Superman finds a way to beat Brainiac and in the process loses someone he loves and gains a whole new Krypton city.
The issue begins with Brainiac having won. He has Supergirl, Superman and he has Metropolis in a bottle. Things look bleak, but miniature Lois manages to get Superman’s attention and he draws strength from it. Superman then pounds the crap out of Brainiac. The question that came to my mind with this was: why didn’t he do this two issues ago? I liked the scene, but the other question I had in my head was: how was Brainiac so easily defeated? This is the villain that has the knowledge of all those planets and Superman just grabbed his skull and beat his head in. Kind of anticlimactic if you ask me. Superman had a better test from Brainiac when he occupied Doomsday’s body about ten years ago.
Superman and Supergirl split up the duties in the aftermath as Superman sends Supergirl to the sun to intercept Brainiac’s weapon. They have some good dialogue here and it really seems Supegirl’s role is infinitely more defined when Superman is in the picture. Superman takes Metropolis and Kandor when he leaves the ship. He has one more encounter with Brainiac, but after he defeats him again he leaves him on Earth unattended. A puzzling move.
Superman frees the two cities and in the process Brainiac sends a probe crashing into a loved one’s house causing the death of one of Superman’s main lifelines. It’s presented very well, but I would have liked the death to stand a little more on its own instead of intertwined with the cities being freed.
The artwork is excellent. It gives a few new views of Brainiac that help shape out some emotion in him. Superman is a clone of Christopher Reeve which is no less amazing then the first time I saw this rendition of him. The death scene is good, but I think the emotions weren’t explored enough visually for the man of steel.
While I did enjoy the story I was a little disappointed that we didn’t learn anything about the device that Brainiac launched into the sun or about how Superman reversed the tiny cities. I realize the story didn’t need it, but I would have liked a little more science with my Brainiac.
A very good issue, but it’s not the best ever. Personally I felt the battle with Brainiac was a little light and perhaps cut a little short to get to the death at the end of the comic. On the other hand I kind of liked that Brainiac “got away”. It was a fun issue in its own right with an emotional ending. The comic does a good job of playing the spectrum of emotions. I am going to miss (fill in character’s name) a lot though.
4 out of 5 geek goggles