As Christopher Reeve’s World of Superman fully showcases his iteration of Brainiac, the Man of Steel looks back on his strangest attack.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Superman ’78 # 2, on sale now from DC Comics.
While still one of the best superhero comic book adaptations, Christopher Reeve’s Superman films feature some interesting flourishes that may seem blatantly weird, further removed from the Silver Age of comics that bring them to life. inspired. Of Superman making Lois Lane forget his secret identity with a kiss in the 1980s Superman ii to Superman staring at the Great Wall of China with eerie power in the 1987s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, there are some truly dizzying moments and powers that the Man of Steel uses in this iconic superhero movie series. And in the comic book mini-series Superman ’78, which continues the story of Reeve’s first two films, the Last Son of Krypton revisits one of his attacks from foreign films.
The comic book series introduced Brainiac to Reeve’s film world, with the supervillain considering Superman an invasive species on Earth due to his Kryptonian heritage. While roaming the galaxy, cataloging all intelligent life, Brainiac sent a probe to Earth, where she fought Superman on the streets of Metropolis. While studying the drone’s head, Lex Luthor accidentally reactivates it, which causes him to send a transmission back to Brainiac himself, who quickly detours to Earth after learning of Superman’s existence. And as Brainiac launches his complete invasion of Earth, with Metropolis as the zero point, a growing number of Man of Tomorrow decides to use a secret weapon upon his release from Superman ii in Superman ’78 # 2 by Robert Venditti, Wilfredo Torres, Jordie Bellaire and Dave Lanphear from A Larger World.
Rather than personally engaging Superman, Brainiac unleashes a wave of drones over Metropolis as they devastate the city while searching for Superman. The Man of Steel manages to avoid being overwhelmed by the robotic army, but the combat quickly spirals out of control as drones continue to swarm around the superhero while inflicting massive collateral damage on Metropolis. Hovering over the city, a desperate Superman attempts to regain control of the conflict by blasting a large energy field in the form of his costume’s chest emblem, trapping several of the drones inside before let it become clear that this strategy provided only a brief stopgap.
The Energy Emblem was an attack used by Superman during the climactic clash inside the Fortress of Solitude at the end of Superman II. Outnumbered by General Zod and his fellow Kryptonian criminals escaping the Phantom Zone, Superman quickly loses his edge on the field inside his own headquarters. With only a handful of tricks up his sleeve, Superman throws the emblem-shaped energy field on No when the Savage Condemned pounces on him, sending No to the ground until he finally breaks free and joins the combat, which leads Superman to resort to even more desperate measures.
Superman’s use of the emblem-shaped energy field against Brainiac drones is about as effective as the tactic was when used against Non in Superman II, acting more as a temporary setback than leading to lasting change. And risking leaving his city ablaze, Superman must take drastic measures to stop the attack before the devastation escalates, setting up a meeting between the last son of Krypton and the ultimate alien enemy.
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