Superman Adventures #3

Written by Scott McCloud
Penciled by Rick Burchett
Inked by Terry Austin
Colored by Marie Severin

So, what’s the story?

sa-03-coverSuperman and Professor Hamilton are examining the Orb of Krypton, the repository of Kryptonian knowledge Superman saved from Brainiac’s ship. Superman describes to Hamilton the world as it appears to him, but only him. Hamilton wants to run more tests on the orb to confirm that theory. Hamilton then shows Superman that Star Labs has identified Krypton’s location through telescopes. Supes and Hamilton share a moment, acknowledging that the light they are seeing is almost thirty years old, and any day they may see the flash of Krypton’s demise. The next day, the staff of the Daily Planet arrive, all having seen an unusual number of black cats on their way in to work. Moments later, the power goes out. Jimmy Olsen spies the cats converging at street level. Clark heads down as Supes, while the rest of the staff follows. Just as Superman determines the cats to be robots, Brainiac appears, demanding Superman return the Orb of Krypton. The robot cats converge into a giant, powerful cat-man and strike Superman. The fight ends quickly, but not before Brainiac takes Lois Lane hostage. Again he demands the Orb, now in exchange for Lois’ life. A call is made to Star Labs, and soon Superman has the Orb in front of Brainiac. Superman threatens to destroy the Orb, and all of Krypton’s knowledge, if Lois is not released unharmed. Brainiac has no choice. Superman follows with a demand that Brainiac give up his CPU. Brainiac does so, and Superman inserts the CPU into the orb, completing the record of Krypton’s data. Finally, Superman destroys Brainiac’s shell of a body.

When I fist read this issue, I thought it was terrible. The second time, I thought it had some potential. The third time…. Nope, this thing is a stinker all right. Some of the dialogue is excellent. The voices of Superman and Brainiac are right on the mark. But cats? And a cat-man-robot? And Brainiac just gives up? Even with my tolerating levels of disbelief, this one was painful.

How’s the Art?

Just fine. The excellent art almost makes up for the story.

Any continuity issues?

Probably. Brainiac’s comings and goings in the various animated series are fairly contiguous. This would be another copy of Brainiac escaping from Luthor’s computer network. Which means there are a lot of Brainiac copies running around. The story can be squared with continuity, but you might not want to.

Anything of interest to customizers or cosplayers?

Some interesting Kryptonian outfits in the Orb, but not much else.

Is this issue worth my precious time?

No. I have suffered enough for you.

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