Geoff Johns keeps up the action in this next Superman trade. I really dug how Superman gets a bug in his bonnet to go out and be proactive about Brainiac. Sure, Brainiac is now directly tied to the destruction of Krypton, but still, it is nice seeing Superman get angry and put himself out there. Johns' Superman is definitely of the movie-mold; his relationship with his Dad has great resonance that comes to a dramatic close at the end of the collection. I'm a tad annoyed that the father and son couldn't have a beer together though, and even the "Root Beer" label that had appeared on their bottles reads "Soda Pop" in the trade. It's a little silly, and that's coming from someone who wants to keep comics kid-accessible.
There is a lot of page-time spent building up the fear Supergirl has for Brainiac. Brainiac's redesign isn't really scary enough to warrant such fear, although I always appreciate Johns' efforts to streamline continuity. The bulked up Brainiac himself wasn't that scary, although seeing Superman knocked out with all those tubes and such stuck in him was quite spooky. Superman actually did seem vulnerable for awhile there. I loved the War of the Worlds ending for Brainiac, and I actually laughed out loud at a few of Superman's high spots while beating down on Brainy. And I'll admit that closing was powerful.
Gary Frank does a great job with this story. I've never seen Supes look like he's trying so hard to fly so fast. When he's rocketing to his Dad's side, wow. Frank's characters do more acting than almost any other artists' figures. I kind of like Frank's take on the Kryptonian fashion of Kandor too. I was a bit surprised that Cat Grant has been so tramped up, she was a likeable character back in her first appearances in the Man of Steel era.