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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Action Comics #868

Action Comics #868

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 13, 2008

Cover date: October 2008

"Brainiac Part 3: Greetings"

Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Gary Frank
Inker: Jon Sibal

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Cat Grant is queen of the newsroom.

Her return has woken the male libido in literally every male member of staff.

A shining moment for the gossip queen, until she makes her first enemy via a spilled big belly cola...

Kara Zor-El, aka Supergirl, arrives searching for Clark but it turns out he's off on assignment. Kara thanks the older lady and is about to leave when said lady tugs on her cape - angrily. Cat takes great offense to being referred to with an ageist term even if it was polite and respectful.

Kara is about to retaliate when she notices something seriously wrong with Cat's physiology... (no I WONT spoil it - suffice to say Kara finally acts like 'a stranger from another planet') enter Lois who shuts Kara up and fabricates a reason to get Kara alone.

Kara explains that despite searching she can't find Clark, the cousin she was meant to be looking out for and as it turns out the fear in the pit of her stomach is warranted.

Clark is unconscious aboard Brainiac's ship probed by his sentries and roachbots. The probe is two way and Clark sees Brainiac's true history. Enraged Clark awakens and demolishes the droids keeping him captive and rips an endoscope from his stomach via his mouth.

Choking up bile and physically drained Clark sees Brainiac has a zoo of pods all containing a living species of a different race. He barely has time to react before a Coluan baboon creature attacks him. Clark makes short work of him and now composure regained he makes his way into the main control chamber.

Upon entering he discovers hundreds, perhaps thousands of bottled cities, including something that amazes him... the one true Kandor! Tri-Circles begin lighting up all over the ship and Clark discovers the pilot who slowly rises from his mechanical cocoon; a 7 foot Coluan man... Brainiac!

Brainiac immediately claims ownership of Superman with physical force! Clark fights back determined to free Brainiac's prisoners. Brainiac shrugs it off and explains without fail he will be perfection evolved - the ultimate vessel of knowledge and power.

Jonathan and Martha meanwhile are worrying about their son, lost in space somewhere. Martha feels that somehow this villain Clark is facing spells something gloomy for their future. Jonathan however is more positive and, almost like a sign, he asks Martha to picture their son soaring through the skies like a bird... only to have one literally fall from the sky and die at their feet...

Back in space Brainiac explains he thought he had a perfect sample of Kryptonian life - the only sample, but one of his probes, had discovered Superman but for whatever reason didn't lead him to the Kryptonian and had left the Coluan on a quest across the universes to find him but the idiotic Kryptonian had searched him out!

Clark comes to realize after Brainiac drains information from a selected planet he ensures its destruction and moves on... could he have deliberately caused Rao to go nova? Brainiac is unimpressed, he had been in stasis for three centuries, his probes doing his work for him, but the promise of a Kryptonian brought up on another world was something that demanded his attention.

An insult to the House of El crest and the Kryptonian flag encourages Clark to fight... a poor fight filled with anger and Brainiac is unfazed. The Sunstone ship Clark arrived in stored a flight path to a world promising a wealth of information. So despite Clark being a pathetic specimen, he's inadvertently sold out his adopted homeworld... and his cousin!

Clark is horrified but this one true Brainiac is too much for him.

Kara and Lois are atop the Daily Planet and Kara proves she isn't as bad as her own book has painted her thus far, she points out to Lois she is Clark's protector, not the other way around. If Clark was on a deadly mission, she should have gone with him!

Steve Lombard is the first to notice what happens next, while watching a footballs game his electrical equipment suddenly dies, and quickly Metropolis is drained of power.

Kara looks skyward and sees something she thought would never threaten her again - a Brainiac probe...

Steve looks up in the sky beyond the probe and whispers, fear filtering through his voice "Where the hell's Superman?"

To be continued...

5Story - 5: I'm at a loss for words, this arc has made me remember why I love the Superman Family.

In three pages Geoff does what I thought was now impossible - he fixes Supergirl. He makes the Daily Planet a workplace again and intersperses characterization, comedy, dread, horror... I'm curious as to whether the space pirate 'third' Kryptonian has been erased from existence as Brainiac focuses on Kara and also doesn't reference the little dog too...

I did like that Clark was depicted as slightly inept because it finally makes Brainiac a force that is perhaps the deadliest enemy Superman has ever faced. Does that mean the rogue probe 'Milton Fine' is gone too?

Who will die... Martha or Jonathan... it's almost too much (I say almost)...

Argghhh this book is SO good its like chocolate chip cookie dough! MORE please!

5Art - 5: Faultless, I don't think I need to say anything else do I?

5Cover Art - 5: Brainiac scares me... in a H.R Giger kind of way and this cover has me yelling, Clark, TURN AROUND AND WALK AWAY... NOW. When a cover emotes a reaction that isn't 'meh' you know it's something special.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2008

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