Superman ’78 #5 [of 6]
Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 28, 2021
Cover date: February 2022
“Brainiac” – Chapter 5
Writers: Robert Venditti
Artist: Wilfredo Torres
Cover: Francis Manapul
Variant Cover: Jamal Campbell
Reviewed by: Marc Lax
While Brainiac readies to shrink Metropolis Jor-El prepares Luthor’s device to enlarge Superman and send him back to defeat Brainiac. Superman and his parents say their goodbyes with Jor-El getting particularly emotional.
The city of Metropolis watches the skies as Brainiac attempts to shrink them only to be stopped by the appearance of Superman. The people of Kandor cheer on as Superman makes short work of his robots. As Superman searches the ship for Brainiac he gets caught from behind. A giant robotic arm grabs Superman while Brainiac navigates the armor it’s attached to. He’s not going down without a fight.
Story – 3: The action heats up in this penultimate chapter. I have to say the earlier appearance of Jor-El left me very cold but in this issue it’s the complete opposite. Jor-El is very emotional and proud of his son. The citizens of Metropolis seem to be going for a ride. One minute they’re shrinking the next they seem back to normal. We only get red shading and whiting out to tell us that everything is back to normal. It would have been nice to get a better look at the whole city actually being shrunk. It feels more like the comic is telling us not showing us. I know the reds and whites are our indication of what’s happening, it just seemed to happen very quickly. It’s been fun playing spot the cameo with these issues but it gets a little distracting. I mean Shaggy from Scooby Doo and the cast of Barney Miller. A lot of people are going to miss that reference. I almost did and I used to watch the show. The only one that made sense was Gus Gorman played buy Richard Pryor in Superman III. He’s front and center.
There’s still some good action in this issue with Superman fighting robots! Not just any robots but Brainiacs! I know I seem a bit negative with this issue but it was still very enjoyable. I’m one for nitpicking and I suppose I’m in that mode for the penultimate chapter. Not that there wasn’t characterization or action, because there was plenty, I just wish the storytelling was a bit clearer.
Art – 4: The art is still very consistent. The characterizations are very good and it’s a nice looking issue.
Cover Art – 5: Francis Manapul gives us the best cover of the series! Superman flying straight at us while Brainiac holds Metropolis in a bottle. Superman in this series never looked better.
Variant Cover Art – 4: This cover has an awesome shirt rip and nabs Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent. Posture and all.
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