By Geoff Johns (story), Gary Frank (pencils), Jon Sibal (inks), Brad Anderson (colors)

After two months of good build up, this Brainiac storyline took a bit of a nose dive last month. Things start moving in a better direction with Action Comics #869, but the daunting threat that was very apparent with this story’s introduction is no longer there. That’s not to say all is completely lost – it’s not. Gary Frank continues to provide knock out visuals, Supergirl is finally showing some backbone, and the book ends with a strong cliffhanger. The problem I have is the execution and subsequent handling of Braniac’s invasion.

Brainiac finally shows up on Earth and dispatches his army around Metropolis where they’re easily out-witted and out-manuevered like mindless drones. And yes, this is the same army that completely terrorized another planet just two issues ago. It’s cheesy seeing the staff of the Daily Planet deal with this threat in such a heroric manner while the rest of Metropolis flees. The reactions don’t feel genuine enough. Maybe these guys are just hardened to seeing threats like this all the time in their world, but if I saw these robotic monstrosities running around, I’d high tail it to the next town!

Superman finally finds a way to defend himself, but as it’s pointed out, there’s nothing he can do that Brainiac probably hasn’t thought of. The way this issue ends is quite stirring and fans of Star Trek may feel like they’ve seen a scenario like this before, but the fate posed to Earth is undeniable. Sure, there’s no way Superman (nor DC’s editors) will let something like this come to pass, but I’m hoping Geoff Johns will find a way to wrap this up in an entertaining fashion. (Grade: B-)

– J. Montes