Action Comics #866

Story by
Art by
Gary Frank, Jon Sibal
Colors by
Brad Anderson
Letters by
Rob Leigh
Cover by
DC Comics

I'd heard some good things about "Action Comics" nowadays. True, some of it was directly from the mouth (and/or keyboard) of Geoff Johns, both here and in conversation with him. That said, I've been trade-waiting the Legion story that recently wrapped up in "Action Comics" with hopes of saving a buck or two and conserving a few moments of anxiety in anticipation of waiting between chapters. With my new post at CBR, though, I've decided to expand my selection a bit, so when none of my compatriots called this one out, I decided I'd give it a go.

I was not disappointed. This issue starts the long-awaited, much ballyhooed Braniac story. Braniac has some ties to Krypton, and the recent house ads may provide a clue or two.

The story is the perfect jumping-on point for any new reader of the Superman universe. Johns uses a few too many pages to introduce the cast, but it is those nice human moments that truly help us appreciate the super moments when Clark puts the glasses aside for his "other job". We get a nice glimpse into both of Clark's lives, as we see him at the Daily Planet and then in the field (literally) taking on Braniac.

The art is stellar. While Gary Frank has always been a very solid illustrator, he seems to be turning in the work of his career here. His Krypton scenes are distinctively alien, while his Daily Planet has the feel of an office that's used significantly enough that it can never quite get properly updated. All of Frank's characters are individuals, and each one brings a personality and body language to help this book feel like an old school comic -â€" the kind you read as a kid, even before you could read all the words. The storytelling is flawless and, without a doubt, the colors from Anderson help make the story as dramatic as it is.

This book was well worth the price. It's probably the one single DC comic I've really, truly enjoyed lately. That said, this book carries the Sightings trade dress, whatever that really means. To me, it doesn't mean too much, as it neither adds nor detracts from an enjoyable read.

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