Superman #23.2: Brainiac
By Tony Bedard, Pascal Alixe, & HI-FI
According to Dan Didio, every September DC will try to do something new, creative, and fun. This year’s event is villains month, which has been pretty successful based on last weeks feedback and reviews. The second issues are out and DC is hoping the sales continue to roll in.
Superman #23.2 is a story that features Brainiac, one of the many foes in the Man of Steel’s gallery. Brainiac, if you couldn’t have guessed, was a brilliant mind, who discovered that his planet was next in line to be destroyed, so to prepare for this he tried to find a way to make his race stronger and resilient by testing on his son. This landed him in front of the honored magistrates and he was sent away. As Brainiac’s theory turns out to be true, he is able to save some of the people on the planet before they die, but is he doing it for them or himself?
Tony Bedard writes this issue, and he has had some success with the New 52 as he wrote several issues of Green Lantern: New Guardians. Bedard does a solid job with Brainiac’s back story; he is not an easy character to write, but Bedard seems to write him with ease. Bedard is good at showing us how driven and focused Brainiac is, as he is willing to test on his son to save his race. One of the finer things Tony does is that it seems like he is tying this issue into what Scott Lobdell is doing in the regular series, so they can play off of each other almost immediately.
Pascal Alixe really shines on the art duties this issue. His work looks similar to Kenneth Rocafort, who was the regular artist on Superman for a good stretch. We can really feel the pain on Brainiac’s wife’s face as she sees her son hooked up to the machines in his lab; just an excellent panel. The page of the planet blowing up is also a sweet shot. Alixe does a great job and should get a full time gig if he can consistently keep this up.
As week two of villains month winds down it seems like the stories are getting better. This issue was good at tying up loose ends in the current storyline for the series, and was reader friendly too. If DC keeps them coming like this, this September event will be a memorable one.