Superman ’78 #2
Writer – Robert Vendetti
Artist – Wilfredo Torres
The holidays are approaching, and I have started my Christmas shopping. I was looking at a spinner rack of comics at Eide’s when I came across this issue of Superman ‘78. I really liked the cover art by Ben Oliver and bought it. I’ll be sending it to my uncle as a gift with a few other things. I decided to flip through it and give it a read.
Lex Luthor has been paroled thanks to the advice and efforts of Superman. One day, Superman visits Lex at his apartment to ask for help. The Man of Steel gives his arch-nemesis a silver skeleton faced drone and asks him what he can make of it.
Superman returns to the Daily Planet, and under the guise of Clark Kent, reminds Lois of their lunch date. Lois is in the middle of a story and tells Clark they will have to reschedule. As Clark leaves, Lois receives a phone call, which Clark overhears. A contact from SETI tells Lois they found a signal in space. Clark rushes to the top of the building to see a spacecraft approaching overhead. It looks exactly like the drone but much bigger. The alien Brainiac has arrived to tell Metropolis they are harboring a dangerous Kryptonian, and he will do what it takes to find them. Can Superman protect his beloved city from this new threat? Will Lex help Superman or will he use this distraction to his own benefit?
I am a fan of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, but I initially passed on this comic in favor of pulling Batman ’89 instead. I like when comics expand the mythos of television shows and movies. When reading this issue, I was trying to figure out if this takes place after Superman or Superman II. When Brainiac arrives on Earth, I thought to myself, which actor from the 70s would have played the villain if he was introduced on the big screen? That’s a good question we can discuss in the comment section.
I enjoyed the little Easter eggs that are included in the issue. First, Lex has an interview at Kord Industries. A nice nod to the future hero Blue Beetle. Second, after Superman leaves his meeting with Lex, the criminal mastermind enters a secret lab in his humble abode. You can see BZ1 in a glass container (possibly Bizarro?) and the armor Lex Luthor was known for wearing in the early 80s being constructed.
I give this three Superman Shields out of five. We have seen Brainiac threaten Earth time and time again, will this scenario play out the same way we have always seen it, or will there be a few new wrinkles in this encounter? It’s the ultimate matchup of brains versus brawn, will Luthor help Brainiac or Superman come out on top? Will Otis, Lex’s right-hand man, play an important part in the outcome?
Next Issue – In order to save Metropolis, Superman must surrender to Brainiac or watch his city burn to the ground! After being taken aboard Brainiac’s ship, Superman finds a shocking piece of his past that changes his entire future! Meanwhile, Lois Lane gets a cryptic message from a mysterious source claiming to have a way to save the Man of Steel!