Sunday, August 17, 2008

Action Comics #868 review

Greetings: Brainiac part three

As the issue begins, Supergirl is searching for Superman. By this point, it seems, he's been gone a while. From there, we see Superman, just recently captured last issue by Brainiac, lying on a sort of operating table being prepped for storage. Shit's up down his throat, they're drilling into his brain. He starts seeing flashes of the things Brainian typically does after bottling a city, basically incinerating the remains leaving no traces left. He wakes up, quickly dispatching the machines prepping him and removing all little tubes and the like. Wandering around and examining his surrounding, he's briefly attacked by what looks like a giant space babboon. Taking out space chimp, he wanders into Brainiacs quarters and meets the man himself, locked in some sort of stasis. He awakens and greets Superman for the first time and is an imposing sight. This Brainiac is fucking huge! They tussle, but Brainiac has the clear advantage and restrains Superman quickly. He tells Superman his intentions of becoming the most perfect being in the world by absorbing all cultures into himself. How very imperial! Aparently, it's also pisseed off Brainiac to no end knowing that one Krpytonian got away but now, since Superman has found him, he'll now also be able to track down Earth and absorb Earth's culture into himself. The final page shows Brainiac's giant honking ship hovering over Metropolis.

I'm wondering who I should gush over first, Johns or Frank?

Gary Frank is a goddamn MILF hunter if I ever saw one. Issue starts off with Cat Grant strutting down the bullpen of the Daily Planet in some ho-bag pink mini thing. Frank loves whoring this woman out. He's absolutely got a thing for the idea of older women like this (and I'm pretty sure Johns just writes these scenes broadly). After the space chimp fight, there's this one little throw away panel of Supes turning around and throwing his cape over his shoulder. Everything, all the people he draws, the way they carry themselves.....I can just swim in this shit, man. Even his rendition of Supergirl has grown on me, and I friggin hate this Supergirl (I'm in the Linda Danvers camp). Sure, she's still running around in the little mini skirt, but he makes her come across less ho-bag, more trendy teenage girl.

Now to Johns. I'm wondering what he wants to do with this story now. He seems to be implying that Brainiac had something to do with the demise of Krpytron, which would be an interesting retcon to Superman continuity. Krypton's explosion has always been spontaneous. I don't know how they intend on accomplishing this, since Krypton's sun is still there. Hell, Superman, Superman-2 and Superboy-Prime flew through it at the end of Infinite Crisis. No matter. There was one thing that I noticed at the end of the issue that I wasn't sure if it was a throw away thing that Frank did or if it was something Johns intentionally wanted to showcase. On the very last page, which is a street view shot of Brainiac's ship, we see a club called the Zodiac Club. Now I thought this was interesting considering what's currently going on in the Final Crisis books with Libra and the Dark Side Club. Is this just something to give Metropolis a pulse or is this something that Johns will be running with later down the line? Interesting...

But speaking of Final Crisis, I was reading a review of Final Crisis #3 on AICN and the reviewer said he loved that Morrison was letting this creeping evil thing go on. Personally, I disagree with that assessment. If I want to see creeping evil, or gathering storm kinda shit, this issue is an example of it done well and in more limited space. These little shots we get of Jon and Martha Kent standing outside the farm and storms are gathering and birds are dying.....that's an effective way of presenting the same mood. Johns spent maybe, in all three parts of this story, a page and a half doing the same thing Morrison spent three issues on. That guy on AICN had no clue what he was talking about. He needs to read Action Comics.


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