Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Action Comics #869 Review

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank and Jon Sibal

To start, what's up with the cover? I know most covers have nothing to do with the actual issue anymore these days, but this one takes the cake. His parents aren't in the issue outside a small cameo at the end, they don't go to visit them on the farm and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Brainiac story this issue continues. Wouldn't a cover with Metropolis in a bottle or, at least, Brainiac on it be a better choice?

Cover nonsense aside, this was another great issue from Johns and Frank. I'm really enjoying this Brainiac storyline, despite some small misgivings. If this is how good the build up to the New Krypton story is, I can't wait to see what they have in store for us in the months to come.

Speaking of misgivings, I still dislike the fact everyone acts like this is the first time they've ever run into Brainiac (or any version of him) and how they ignore the older Kandor and continuity without any explanation. I don't follow Superman titles on a regular basis, so if this happened a back during Infinite Crisis, a quick recap to let us know what the status quo was would have been nice.

The only other negatives I can think about for this issue pertain to the fight with Brainiac and how Superman bit his 'brain plug thingy' and it disabled him for a few minutes, which seems a bit stupid for someone/thing as intelligent as Brainiac to have as a weakness going into a fight, and how the Brainiac robots attacking Supergirl can manhandle her, but Lois and some Daily Planet staff can throw them off buildings while only being baseline humans. They're small things, but really pulled me out of the story when I came upon them and that makes them worth mentioning.

Otherwise, I really liked this issue and highly recommend it. Brainiac had some really great dialogue and, despite my dislike of his new muscle bound look, was a very credible threat to Superman in my eyes, which is a rare thing indeed.

One of the big revelations for the upcoming Superman event was the reveal that Supergirl's parents are alive in Kandor. I read a little bit of Supergirl's return to comics, but I thought her parents died in that, but they retcon that fairly easily here.

Finally, the biggest shocks of this issue come in the form of Metropolis being sucked up into a bottle and Brainiac firing a solar aggravator towards the Sun, which should wipe out Earth similar to how Brainiac destroyed a solar system in the opening parts of this storyline. Only thing odd about the solar aggravator is that he fired one that was nearly instant the last time and this one is going to take about an hour to reach our Sun...

Verdict - Must Read. Few small problems, but nothing deal breaking in this great issue. Highly recommended.

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