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'Superman ’78' #5 delivers on big movie action
DC

Comic Books

‘Superman ’78’ #5 delivers on big movie action

Superman vs. Brainiac, who ya got?

The penultimate issue of Robert Venditti and Wilfredo Torres’ epic sequel to 1978’s Superman: The Movie is out this week, and it features a showdown between Superman and Brainiac. With Torres’s exceptional rendering of these characters as their real-life movie counterparts, a moment for Jor-El and his parents to share, and a heroic turn in the story, what more could we ask for? Superman ’78 #5 is a great example of how a penultimate issue can feel purposeful and yet set up the climax.

If you’re looking for a story that suits the Christopher Reeve character but with a limitless budget, you’ve come to the right place. This story goes big, be it Brainiac attempting to suck up Metropolis, or Superman interacting with his father (who looks a lot like Marlon Brando). Right from the start, it is incredibly clear Venditti is thinking about the movie version of this character to stay true to it but also do more than any movie budget could pull off.

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The issue opens with Superman trapped in Brainiac’s jar of Krypton city along with his parents, but they have a plan to get out. Superman has decided to leave his family to save Metropolis, which is currently being torn off the face of the Earth so that Brainiac can put it in a jar for his collection. Venditti supplies plenty of heartfelt moments between Superman and his parents, with opportune cutaways to the helpless citizens of Metropolis. Superman’s sacrifice leaving his parents shows his heart and heroics stand above everything else.

DC Preview: Superman '78 #5

It’s nice to see Superman get these moments.
Credit: DC Comics

A problem I’ve always had with this series is its slower pace and plot progression, and that’s still the case here. The increased action and high stakes help, but it’s hard the shake the feeling this will read best when collected.

Fans of action should enjoy a fight scene in this issue, which has Superman go toe-to-toe with Brainiac’s bots. Torres does an exceptional job capturing this fight in a realistic way, as if it were filmed with a real actor. There’s nothing depicted that an actor like Reeves couldn’t pull off, and it features iconic elements from the films like the freeze breath. There is a stiffness present to the action, but that actually plays into the nostalgic element of seeing our hero on the screen now depicted on the comics page.

Torres also does a good job with the shots of Metropolis citizens in disarray. There are a few familiar faces in the crowd that add a fun element, but their fear and confusion help ramp up the ticking clock as Superman must rush to their aid. Colors by Jordie Bellaire cast them in a red streaky glow that’s unseemly and a bit scary. It’s as if they’re being vaporized.

Superman ’78 #5 does a great job ramping up the stakes and anticipation of Brainiac dooming all of Metropolis with only Superman capable of saving the day. As penultimate issues go, Superman ’78 will make you feel like a kid again in a new way.

'Superman ’78' #5 delivers on big movie action
‘Superman ’78’ #5 delivers on big movie action
Superman '78 #5
Superman ’78 #5 does a great job ramping up the stakes and anticipation of Brainiac dooming all of Metropolis with only Superman capable of saving the day. As penultimate issues go, Superman '78 will make you feel like a kid again in a new way.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Great art that reminds us this is part of the movie universe
Sets up the finale while supplying meaningful moments and action
Can't escape the feeling it will read best collected
9
Great

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