Review: Action Comics #866

It’s no secret I love Geoff Johns. It’s no secret I love Superman. What some of you might not know is, I also love, love, love the first two Superman films. I know, me and everyone else. But still, it needed to be said, I think, in order for you all to truly understand how much I love this book. Bruce wrote up a nice review of it last week that can be found here. He used a lot of words to describe the book so I’m going to rely on pictures, because that’s what I do.

This reminded me of the brain bug from Starship Troopers or the alien from Alien. That is to say, it was scary. When has Brainiac ever been scary? Why not, right?

Oh noes! They bees steeling yur sitties!!! Told in flashback, it was really cool to see an update on the “Bottle City of Kandor” idea.

Geoff Johns is a master. I know the guys on The Pull List thought this scene was cliché and maybe unnecessary, but I loved it and found it completely necessary and is in fact my favorite section of the book. It probably has nothing to do with the plot and everything to do with strengthening Superman’s supporting cast. I think it succeeds admirably, despite clichés, much in the way that Brand New Day has successfully revitalized the Spider-Man cast.

Now it’s Gary Frank’s turn to be a master. The Chris Reeve Clark Kent is perfect, not creepy. Perfect.


In case you need context: Clark burns this blowhard’s chair leg in order to serve him up fresh. I mean, you don’t talk to his woman like that. Did this moron not watch Superman II?

That looks painful, as evidenced by the pink WHAMM! Why pink?

Superman really is a dick. Ah, but there it is. It’s no secret. Geoff Johns isn’t writing DC comics continuity Superman. He’s writing Superman movie continuity. I never though I’d say this being the huge continuity whore that I am, but this is the best thing to happen to Superman comics since ever. They have never been this good… excepting Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman, of course.

See, this moment is so cheesy. It’s total movie cheese! You remember this scene from the Superman movie. It’s there for the coolness factor and that’s it. There’s no way Clark could actually get away with changing clothes in front of a room full of reporters. But, it works damn it. It fricking works because Johns and Frank are just that damn good.

Another beautiful reminder of why we believe a man can fly.

The funniest moment in the book. Yes, I laughed out loud. Loudly.


The issue ends with a shot of a drooling Brainiac waking up. Okay, my knowledge of the history of Brainiac isn’t what it should be, so I’m really not sure where this story is going or which Brainiac that is. Maybe that’s a good thing. Either way, I’m more than a lot excited for the next issue as this was a great introductory issue to what could be another fantastic arc from Johns and Frank.

10 thoughts on “Review: Action Comics #866

  1. Loving this new Action Comics art. Cat Grant’s return is all-too-welcome, as are the other new characters that Johns has come up with. Here’s hoping these supporting players start to make appearances in Superman/Supergirl, etc.

    I don’t know if it’s a new colorist or what, but Gary Frank’s art looks excellent here compared to the Legion arc.

    I know Johns is writing for the trade, but I can’t help but read this monthly.

  2. it’s one of the few books i get overwhelmingly excited about (hence the ridiculous amount of scans in this post), Captain America and Buffy being the other two.

  3. Quote from me while reading this review:

    “Holy shit, he mentioned us!

    Aw man! We sound like dicks!” 😉

    Looking back, I think I wanted to find out who Catherine Grant is from that boardroom scene; cuz I’m too lazy to scan the internets. I think after the “dun dun dunnn!” ending of #865, I expected her to make a big splash in this issue, and I felt disappointed by it. Couldn’t articulate that properly in the episode, but now I really think that was it. If I had come in with a prior knowledge of her, I probably wouldn’t have cared.

    I like how you put it that this is Superman “movie continuity.” That puts a new spin on it. I may have to re-read that one.

    Good rant!

  4. based on how often i listen to your show, i’m surprised i haven’t mentioned you guys before.

    (man, TOO much man love.)

    the movie continuity thing has been there since the first arc of the Johns run and became more apparent when Gary Frank joined the book (what with the way he draws Superman), but i didn’t actually have that “OMG THIS IS MOVIE CONTINUITY” moment until i sat down to re-read then review this issue.

    i loved the Johns run before, but now i’m even more insanely crushing on it. 🙂

  5. Thanks for the props Billy. They are always appreciated because they are so rarely given. It’s nice to see the pretty art in the review that was absent in mine. I’m surprised you didn’t show the “cougar” Cat Grant moment in your scans. That was my favorite thing in the comic.

    Yeah, I should have given this issue 4 stars. I still think I could’ve gotten more bang for my buck, but the bang I did get was a lot of fun. The Gary Frank art in this issue was soooo good!

  6. i left the Cat scene out since there’s gonna be a pretty gratuitous ass shot in my next Review Roundup. as awesome as the cougar panels were, i don’t want to become known for being that guy, do i?

  7. Yeah I can understand that. Plus, by not showing it, you’ll give the people an actual surprise. Make them buy the comic ha ha!

  8. Pingback: Billy Z’s Top 10 Monthlies! « read/RANT!

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