By Geoff Johns (writer), Gary Frank (pencils), John Sibal (inks), Brad Anderson (colors)

After two issues of intense build up, I’ve gotta come out and say that I’m a little underwhelmed by the unveiling of the “real” Brainiac. From a design standpoint he’s little more than a humanoid in a “Cenobite” costume and leaves a lot to be desired. I can’t fault Gary Frank alone for his design choice as I’m sure editorial and Geoff Johns had their say, but I was hoping for something more menacing and alien looking. Making Brainiac a humanoid “humanizes” him and instantly takes away any bite he might have had. Ah well, you can’t win them all.

As for the story, it moves ahead but loses some steam. Much of the issue has Superman jostling with Brainiac in a futile manner. Brainiac, like a good villain, makes his true intentions known. It’s predictable and not very exciting. Obviously, Earth is his next target and now Superman’s going to have to find a way to stop him.

Now, I don’t know the character of Supergirl very well, but in this book she comes across as a cowardly, bumbling airhead. Seriously, how can someone as incompetent as her be qualified to wear that crest and call herself a superhero? How can she not know what breast implants are? I don’t get it? Johns inserts this scene as a comedic moment but all it does is display how stupid this character is. And that’s a shame.

Gary Frank once again provides some stunning visuals which easily justifies the $2.99 cover price. His storytelling and characterizations are just perfect but this book could have easily been a grade higher were Brainiac given a more menacing look.

*Sigh* Green man in a suit. (Grade: C+)

– J. Montes