Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Review: Superman '78 #2

I love the 1978 Superman movie. It had action. It had charm. It had humor. And it had a Superman I could believe in. Not just that he could fly but that he was truly good.

When Superman '78 was announced, I wondered if it could capture that magic. Two issues in and I can say yes.

Superman '78 #2 came out this month and made me smile. Writer Robert Venditti captures the spirit of the movie so well. From Superman earnest nature to Lois' spunk to Luthor's subtle evil mixed with wry humor. He even brings in some Superman II nods. It all just sings. 

Perhaps most interesting is how his Brainiac feels like the Brainiac we know but also is different enough to feel right for this univers.

Wilfredo Torres brings exceptional art here, evoking the actors who played these roles without being overly photo-realistic. His Superman really looks like Christopher Reeve. And his action sequences flow nicely. 

If you like the movie, you should be reading this book. On to the details.

The issue starts with Lex Luthor being paroled. He is offered a job at Kord Industries, as a cafeteria worker! There is a nice silent panel of the exasperated Lex contemplating his life. I loved it. It made me smile.

When Lex gets home, he finds Superman waiting inside his apartment.

You know that Lex likes the finer things in life. So I love how he says his prison cell had more amenities than this apartment.

And despite standing before Superman, I love the haughtiness. Classic Lex.

Despite calling Lex a 'diseased maniac' in the movie, Superman has no choice but to trust him. Maybe Lex can make some sense of the Brainiac skull.

Again, there is just enough of the movie to keep me plugged in. Lex calls himself 'the sharpest criminal intellect ...' just as he did in the movie. 

You also can sense that Superman is reluctantly doing this. I mean ... I might have tried STAR Labs first. But maybe there isn't a STAR in this universe.

Back at the Planet, Clark is trying to convince Lois that she can take a break from her work on the Brainiac probe and grab lunch with him. But she wants no part of it.

Lois eating McDonald's for lunch is very Margot Kidder. I don't know. That fits.,

But I love her tenacity. She calls the Brainiac invasion the story of the century. She even has a source confirming that some signal from space has been beaming to Earth since the probe attack.

I get the sense I am really going to love this Lois.

Despite the modest apartment setting, Lex has a hidden lab. We see the beginning of a Lex-o-suit!!y

Even holding some extra-terrestrial tech, he is cocky as hell. This is his classroom!

That signal was Brainiac of course.

In the sky, he says that Superman's presence is dangerous to our ecosystem. Brainiac wants to save us.

Great image though. Nothing says 'I am here to save you' like a phalanx of killer robots spilling out of a huge skull ship!

These drones mostly seem tp want to capture Superman but they are causing general mayhem in the city.

We get to see Superman bash a bunch.

And then we get the famous S-shield toss we saw in Superman II.

It looks just as silly here as it does in that movie. I especially love the 'krinkle krinkle' sound effect. It looks like cellophane! What does it do??

Again, I love how Brainiac's words play with the pictures. 

He has a 'devotion to the preservation of life' while his army is demolishing the city! Excellent use of words and art to tell a story.

I do love how the citizens of Metropolis rally behind their hero! Hard to know just how much time has passed between the first movie and this story but it clear Superman is beloved.

With Superman demolishing the drones, Brainiac has only one play to 'protect' Earth, shrink Metropolis with Superman in it.

Rather than have Brainiac hurt the innocents, Superman does the only thing he can do. He surrenders.

Now that is a cliffhanger.

This whole things just sings for me. As someone who loves the movie, this feels right. The characters are consistent. The dialogue is right. It all just works.

Like many, I wanted a Brainiac movie for Christopher Reeve. This feels like it is that movie.

Overall grade: A


Steve said...

I've always missed the old Brainiac. Skull Robot Brainiac had no more facial expressions so was just this thing and started them a practice of changing what it means to be Brainiac on an every few year basis. (Of course Crisis set that precedent for the whole DCU later so he's hardly the only victim) Brainiac used to be a reliable nemesis for Superman but now he's pretty much a new and unreusable character every time he's infrequently used. Looking back, I wish DC hadn't done Crisis and instead just pared down to Earths 1, 2, and 3.

Professor Alan said...

Thanks for giving me something else to add to my "when it hits the DC Infinite App" list ...

Anonymous said...

This series so far, is the joy of my comic book life at the moment. Whoever is writing this has the ineffable mood of the Donnerverse down pat...I can see all kinds of interesting vortices going forward...How did Lex become a millionaire? Maybe he defrauded Ross Webster? Female Metallo, Vera Webster. Imagine Lenny Luthor getting his hand on one of his Uncle's powersuits? And then drop in Supergirl for a Saturday Night Showdown with NuclearMan in the Thunderdome! You Know You Wanna See That!! Hell use the magic of"paper movies" to do "Superman The Quest for Peace" Right!! (use that storyline to debut Supergirl publicly sez I) There is a lot to work with here I hope DC exploits, but I am not hopeful.
I don't mind Skullbot Brainiac, he is a thing of his times, "Terminator-esque" his face has the range of emotion that is normally accorded to Darkseid. Everyone has their fave, whatevs.

Onward and Up Up & Awayward....:)


SG Fan said...

It's been a fun comic so far. Curious about the emphasis on the 'Last Kryptonian' makes me wonder if we might get a surprise Kara cameo in some form. A man can wish.