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Superman: Brainiac Hardcover – March 10, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–Facing off once again with his old foe Brainiac, Superman is shocked to learn that the coldly logical supervillain was responsible for the disappearance of both an entire Kryptonian city and the death of hundreds of Kryptonians. When Brainiac turns his sights to Earth and adds the city of Metropolis to his collection of miniaturized specimens, the Man of Steel must confront a far more powerful and cruel opponent than he ever dreamed of, and Supergirl must overcome her own misgivings about her power in order to stop Brainiac's robotic minions from destroying the Earth. This somewhat standard tale of Superman confronting an evil alien bent on destroying the world is enlightened by realistic characters and dialogue as well as some heartrending displays of emotion. With a fair amount of graphic violence, this is a somewhat darker Superman than some audiences may be comfortable with; that said, the plot is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats. The artwork is excellent, with wonderful use of color. A fine general choice for collections in need of solid superhero titles.–Dave Inabnitt, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
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About the Author
Geoff Johns has written scores of comics including Infinite Crisis, 52, Green Lantern, All Star Batgirl, Teen Titans, X-Men, The Avengers, The Flash, JSA and Superman. Gary Frank is one of comics' most acclaimed and respected artists, with work including Avengers, Batman, Birds of Prey, Midnight Nation, Supergirl, Squadron Supreme, Supreme Power and Uncanny X-Men. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Thirty-five later Superman is on Earth. Then a mysterious robots appears on Earth. It belong to a mysterious being known as Brainiac. Superman has a piece of a puzzle which being haunting him for a long, long time. He discovered that Brainiac is collecting various cities from problem hundred or more worlds. Each city from each world is best of something.
As for Brainiac, I liked how Geoff returned him to his Silver Age origin, being a collector of knowledge and destroying every planet he assimilates. He is shown as a cold, calculating being with little or no emotion, and he never really leaves his ship because he doesn't want to dirty his hands (mysophobia). In the 90's, Brainiac was simply a psychic named Milton Fine, but then had countless other bodies, some organic and some robotic. When Superman finally met Brainiac, he was thrown for a loop because he was several inches taller than Superman and his physical match.
Overall, I liked this particular take on Brainiac, and I enjoy a good Superman story that tests the Man of Steel's powers and morals.
I've been a fan of Geoff Johns's work for years. I love how he brings heroic action and a feeling of wonder back to strips that rival what I remember as a child when I first encountered those heroes. This time Johns creates a Brainiac the like of which I have never before seen.
Over the last few years we've had a few incarnations of Brainiac, but somehow they really missed the overall feeling of awesome evil and impending doom that I remembered from the stories I read as a kid. Granted, a lot of things were more terrifying to me when I was younger, but an emotionless, cold machine should be truly creepy. (Terminator really did it for me!) I remember those early stories of Brainiac showing him acting more or less human, laughing and mad and scared. But he had green skin long before Harvey Dent did.
The version of Brainiac that Johns treats the readers to made me feel uneasy at first, then tipped the scales over to a genuine worried state before the book ends. This Brainiac is loathsome and vile, a true villain with its own agenda. I like the fact that Brainiac is actually a giant ship that has various automatons it can send out as probes, sentries, and offensive units. This Brainiac is actually a rolling army when it wishes to be.
The early pages depicting Krypton and Kandor are really good, and the fear those people have of Brainiac is palpable. When I first saw Brainiac do the skull-injection bit, I knew Johns was going to deliver a rough ride for his readers. This wasn't going to be your daddy's Brainiac.
Not only did Johns succeed in breathing new life and fear into Brainiac, but he also pulls off the whole Kandor-in-a-bottle thing. When I was younger, I loved the idea of a bottle city, but as I grew older I became aware that it was impossible to put an alien city in basically what was a terrarium. But I still like the image. I'm glad that Johns was able to save that.
He also reintroduces Cat Grant to the Superman mythos. She has never looked better. Gary Frank's pencils took me a little while to get used to in earlier graphic novels, but I love what he does these days. Superman looks a little different to me, a little less bulky, but that's okay. I love what Frank does with the supporting characters, the panel layouts, and the world. His art is truly fantastic to look at.
Cat Grant is going to be a real problem for Supergirl, as she already has been in that strip's story line. Cat not only has a razor sharp wit loaded with plenty of sarcasm, but Frank draws her as pure eye candy.
Johns also loads the book with extra features as well. We get more of Supergirl's backstory, more Kryptonian history, several Lois Lane pieces, and an ending that is totally unexpected. When I reached the end of the book, I had to sit down and re-read it a couple of times. This story is just that powerful. And it leaves you wanting more, which is always a sign of a successful tale.
If you think you know Brainiac, think again. Now Geoff Johns, he knows Brainiac.