Johns, Frank and Sibal begin another long story arc, this one dealing with Brainiac, in Action 866 (Aug. 08). It’s one of the “Sightings” stories, a label given to tales featuring villains who will be important over the coming months. As it refers to Brainiac, who is also the title character of the story arc, that’s a bit of a given.
The issue opens on Krypton, many years earlier, as Brainiac steals the city of Kandor, putting it into a bottle. Zod and Ursa are there, and tried to stop Brainiac’s robotic servants, but failed, and watch with horror as the city disappears.
As was set-up in the previous issue, Cat Grant returns to the Daily Planet. She comes off as a much harder character, although Clark believes that is a defense she is putting up because of her son’s death.
Another old/new character for the Planet staff is Steve Lombard. Steve had appeared a few times since Crisis, but never in a significant role. Now, it takes Clark only three pages before he uses his powers to embarrass the obnoxious and flirtatious jock.
Superman flies out to Smallville to check on his parents, and is there when what he believes to be Brainic attacks. It’s a weird attack though. Once the robot scans Superman, he simply collapses. But we see, deep in space, the real Brainiac in his headship, heading for Earth.
The story continues in the next issue.