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

The Story: Geoff Johns wraps up his Brainiac retcon as Superman must not only deal with his own means of survival, but also the fates of Metropolis and Kandor – two cities have been shrunken down for Braniac’s “private collection”. Meanwhile, Supergirl must come to grips with her role as a superhero and save the planet (not to mention solar system). Even on the verge of defeat, Brainiac has one final plan up his sleeve and he’s ready for his revenge!

What’s Good: This book is damn near flawless. Geoff Johns writes an issue that hits on the highest of highes and the lowest of lows. Superman using his ingenuity to fight and ultimately defeat Brainiac is one of brilliance. And Supergirl’s last minute surge of courage had me cheering. The dramatic shift in tone that plays out with the defeat of Brainiac and the loss of Pa Kent will hit readers hard. All of this is punctuated with Gary Frank’s incredible pencil work.

This story also sets up the big sweeping change that is New Kypton. The city of Kandor is finally saved and with it comes a race of Supermen. What will play out over the next few months will be fresh and completely new to the Superman dynamic.

What’s Bad: The death of Pa Kent. No matter how many times they kill him off, it gets me every time.

Conclusion: The last couple of issues felt like this story was losing steam, but Johns comes back in a big way. He swings for the fences and hits a grandslam. This is easily the saddest issue of Superman I’ve ever read and one I will not soon forget. It’s a great time to be a Superman fan.

Grade: A+

– J. Montes