Mild Mannered Reviews – Superman #13

Superman #13

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Superman #13

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 16, 2024
Cover date: June 2024

“House of Brainiac” – Part 2: “Last Sons”

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Rafa Sandoval
Cover: Rafa Sandoval & Alejandro Sanchez
Variant Covers: Lee Bermejo, Sebastian Fiumara, Jerry Gaylord, Alan Quah
Artist Spotlight Variant Cover: Jim Lee & FCO Plascencia
Ape-ril Fools Variant Cover: Maria Wolf & Mike Spicer

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Warriors Bar patrons are surprised by the arrival of bounty hunter Lobo who was held captive recently by the Lex Luthor Revenge Squad. Superman arrives and the Main Man is shocked by how ‘no nonsense’ the Man of Steel has become.

Aboard Brainiac’s ship the evil mastermind examines all his captives, among them Livewire, Parasite, the Superman family, Lex & Lena Luthor. At his side are variants of himself and an army of Czarnians.

This Brainiac has been collecting information from across space, time and the multiverse. However the price seems to be that Brainiac is dying or corrupted from excess data.

Superman takes Lobo to Supercorp and shows him videos of recent events (seen in Action Comics #1064). Lobo is stunned to see General Chacal, a legend of his history, and they realize Brainiac has stolen a city from his homeworld.

Lobo and Superman share a rare moment of reflection about how their lives have changed over the years as they soar into space to take on Brainiac. General Chacal and his army arrive to stop them.

On board the ship, a temporarily recovered Brainiac demands power be drained from his captives to heal him and enable the next stage of his plan. Lex sees an opportunity and offers a deal to save his daughter’s life.

Meanwhile Kara and Conner hatch a plan of escape.

To Be Continued in Action Comics #1065.

3Story – 3: The interaction between Clark and Lobo was interesting and I wish it had been explored more. It was good to acknowledge that they have both come so far from their origins and first meeting. The rest of the story generally felt like it had no structure. I understand it is part of a bigger story arc but there was nothing here that made it an unmissable chapter and no beginning, middle and end. It just felt like some cut scenes pushed together and as such the writing took a noticeable dip.

5Art – 5: Some really nice splash pages and panel work here. It feels very different to the recent issues and with this darker tone the art style compliments it and definitely distracts from the lack of story progression. Lobo and Brainiac have some really stunning large panels this issue.

3Cover Art (Rafa Sandoval & Alejandro Sanchez) – 3: It’s nicely illustrated but ultimately leads to the question… what is going on? I can see the fighting, I can see an angry Superman, I can see a pensive Brainiac looking off in the distance, I just can’t see what links everything together.

5Variant Cover (Lee Bermejo) – 5: A nice scene with Lois and Clark sharing a moment where Metropolis is enjoying a moment of serenity. Love the look of the couple here, Lois’s smile and Clark’s concentration. A really nice rendition.

5Variant Cover (Sebastian Fiumara) – 5: Come on Superman, you can do it! Love how Fiumara has captured Superman’s determination here. Nicely painted and has a really dark atmosphere to it.

3Variant Cover (Jerry Gaylord) – 3: Stylistically it’s the most unique of recent variants. It feels very much like an animated take on the Man of Steel. I like it but it doesn’t feel like it works with the story inside.

3Variant Cover (Alan Quah) – 3: Another cover with an animation style vibe. On its own it’s a nice piece of art but as with the previous cover, it doesn’t fit the book’s particular storyline.

3Variant Cover (Jim Lee & FCO Plascencia) – 3: Was this a finished cover or a sketch? I don’t mean to be harsh but there is so much white space and the art just feels uninspired and unfinished.

5Variant Cover (Ape-ril Fools’: Maria Wolf & Mike Spicer) – 5: An absolutely bizarre cover series but it embraces that fact and delivers an unforgettable cover. The color palette really makes the art pop!

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