REVIEW: ‘Superman ’78,’ Issue #2

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Superman ’78 #2 - But Why Tho

Superman ’78 #2 is written by Robert Venditti, illustrated by Wilfredo Torres, colored by Jordie Bellaire, and lettered by Dave Lanphear. It is published by DC Comics. Part 2 of the “Brainiac” arc features Superman reaching out to Lex Luthor, who is currently on parole, in order to help with the Brainiac crisis. However, it may be for naught as Brainiac and his drones invade the planet, intending to capture the Last Son of Krypton.

While the series is intended to capture the look and feel of Richard Donner’s Superman films, the beauty of comics is that you can often pull off scenes that would exceed even the heftiest of blockbuster budgets. Torres draws a collection of action sequences that pits Superman against Brainiac’s horde of robot drones and features Brainiac’s skull ship looming over the Earth, pulsating with ominous purple energy. There’s even a visual homage to Richard Lester’s cut of Superman II which put a smile on my face. Torres’s art also continues to be a pitch-perfect replica of the Superman films, including the likenesses of Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman as Superman and Luthor respectively. Bellaire’s bright colors are the cherry on top, giving sinister hues to Brainiac’s green and purple outfit and immediately drawing readers to Superman streaking through the sky.

Venditti’s script continues to build upon the world of the Donnerverse, particularly where Luthor is concerned. Though he is currently on parole, the self-proclaimed “greatest criminal mind of a generation” has fallen on hard times. The only jobs he qualifies for are minimum wage and he lives in a small apartment. This is a far cry from the captain of industry he previously was, and the only way that Superman is able to get him to help is to appeal to his colossal eg. Let’s just say that Luthor does not take too kindly to a being calling itself “Brainiac.” The best part of Superman and Luthor’s interaction is that Superman actually vouched for Luthor’s parole, and truly believes he can change. It perfectly fits the Man of Steel’s philosophy; he wants people to do their best—even a megalomaniac like Luthor.

Other strong story moments include Clark Kent attempting to go out to dinner with Lois Lane, hinting at a mutual attraction that would later blossom in Superman II, and Brainiac attempting to turn the populace of Metropolis against Superman. He does this by referring to Superman as an “infection” amongst mankind, and that his presence invites constant danger. It’s rather chilling to see his rhetoric in action. He is approaching Superman’s presence on Earth in a cold, intellectual manner and couldn’t possibly understand what the Man of Steel means to the people of Metropolis. And perhaps one of the most moving moments bears similarity to how New Yorkers felt about the Green Goblin in Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man film.

Superman ’78 #2 continues to flesh out the Donnerverse, as Superman seeks help from Lex Luthor while battling the forces of Brainiac. With a shocking cliffhanger ending, the stakes have been raised significantly-and this may be one fight the Man of Steel can’t win.

Superman ’78 #2 is available wherever comics are sold.

Superman ’78 #2
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TL;DR

Superman ’78 #2 continues to flesh out the Donnerverse, as Superman seeks help from Lex Luthor while battling the forces of Brainiac. With a shocking cliffhanger ending, the stakes have been raised significantly-and this may be one fight the Man of Steel can’t win.