Action Comics #1065 feels consistent all the way through in writing, art, colors, and letters, despite there being multiple artists and colorists contributing to this continuation of DC's "House of Brainiac" event.

Review: ACTION COMICS #1065 — Unlikely Alliances

Action Comics #1065 is the third official part in DC’s “House of Brainiac” event. Again written by Joshua Williamson, this issue also features artists Rafa Sandoval, Miguel Mendonça, and Mirko Colak, with colors by Alejandro Sánchez and Mike Spicer, accompanied by lettering from Dave Sharpe.

This issue follows Superman and Lobo as they attempt to fight off the Czarnian army and enter Brainiac’s ship. They decide to change the playing field to make sure Brainiac doesn’t get too far. Once there, however, Lobo is given an offer he might not be able to refuse. Back on the ship, Supergirl and Superboy stage a breakout inside Brainiac’s ship while Brainiac himself works with Lex Luthor on a mystery project. Brainiac searches for his son, Vril Dox, in the backup story and finally discloses a part of his plan.

Brainiac works on a device with Lex Luthor
Brainiac works on a device with Lex Luthor



Something about Williamson’s work that’s sure to entice readers is how the writer always knows exactly what choice each character would make in any given scenario. He puts almost all of the characters through the wringer in this one, but the way they react to what’s being thrown in front of them is always natural. Superman’s entire life basically fell apart within the span of a minute in the beginning of the event, so he’s rightfully angry here, and takes that out on the Czarnian army because he knows they can take it. Lobo is hotheaded and is almost offended when Clark asks to retreat from the fight. Every character reacts appropriately to the news they’re given, and that strengthens the overall narrative of the issue by never leaving the reader wondering if a character they love would really do that. Everyone’s got a clear goal here with beliefs that are apparent through their actions.

The really interesting part of the issue lies in the story back on Brainiac’s ship. Supergirl and Superboy stage a breakout with Parasite and Livewire, and watching all these opposing personalities fight against each other while knowing they need to work together is a really strong way of moving the plot forward. Not only that, but it shows development in both Parasite and Livewire. During the rest of the run, they’ve typically been nothing but nuisances. Now? They help the two supers fight to get out. They don’t have a really noble reason, but it’s a step forward down the right path that’s nice to see Williamson take with these characters. It’s something fresh that’s bound to provide some interesting story opportunities moving forward.

Onto the backup story, Williamson takes an unexpected turn by letting the narrator actually be Brainiac’s son, Vril Dox. He’s clearly resentful towards his father, and it even feels like he hates him. The two share a tense relationship throughout the story. Brainiac clearly needs his son for something, but he wants absolutely nothing to do with his father. It’s an interesting dynamic told through the perspective of someone other than Brainiac for once, and it’s relieving to see an outside protective on him and his plans when he’s alone. You’re not just stuck in his head, but now in the head of someone who genuinely does hate him without Superman’s morals. He’s sure to be a welcome addition to the story moving forward.

Superman and Lobo take on the Czarnian army
Superman and Lobo take on the Czarnian army


Sandoval is responsible for the parts of the issue featuring Superman and Lobo. The artist is always an expert at capturing the urgency of a situation, as well as the rage and conviction in a character’s face when it gets down to it. Everyone is clearly doing what they’re doing with a purpose, and it’s one that’s felt in every panel. He also really helps in giving each Czarnian their own personality. They don’t all feel like carbon copies of Lobo, but really their own people. Every character has different mannerisms that helps to differentiate them, and that’s especially apparent in the group shots. Each one of them is performing a different action with a different look on their face that they continue to do as time goes on, almost becoming a signature for them.

Mendonça covers the portions of the issue that take place on Brainiac’s ship. He creates some really unsettling designs in this in the form of these genetically enhanced wolves that Brainiac has circling and guarding his ship. They’re haunting to look at the second they appear on the page, and Mendonça really sells that. He plays around with a few existing designs as well. Parasite and Livewire look great in their prison clothes, especially when they’re helping Superboy and Supergirl blast some Brainiacs. He also brings some new life to the ship in the form of some areas that we haven’t really seen before: Armories, long hallways, and science labs all feature in his pages and each is just as compelling to study as the last.

Colak draws the backup story of the issue, and the way he has Vril Dox and Brainiac play off each other adds to their already interesting dynamic. He often fully displays Vril Dox, with Brainiac never really being able to be caught at a good angle. This lends itself well to the story told from Vril’s perspective. In fact, Brainiac is only really shown when he’s meant to look menacing. That, and on one page where he seems to be in pain and vulnerable. Only then is he fully visible. Vril is only able to see his father when he’s vulnerable or when he’s stern and threatening, and never anything in between. Him only seeing Brainiac in those ways tells a lot about the character and how he was brought up, and gives the reader a reason to understand why he’s so fearful of him moving forward.

Superman lets loose
Superman lets loose


Sánchez covers the coloring for both Sandoval and Mendonça in this issue. He does a great job of lighting the various environments. With Superman and Lobo in space, he has every explosion glow off of the character’s faces. Back on Brainiac’s ship, Livewire’s blasts shine off of her as well as those around her. The most beautiful part of the issue is Brainiac’s ship. There are a few panels where the ship is on full display, and it looks electric. The purple glow in the mouth and the dots in the eyes that mirror those on Brainiac’s head make it look horrifying. The light also covers the rest of the metallic head, the colors mixing to create something really pleasant to look at. Something interesting about the ship this issue is that it almost never looks the same twice, as if it’s growing, and the colors grow and change with it. He’s also incredibly aware of the angles, and lights things accordingly. The ship is shown from multiple directions, and the lighting changes dependent on that.

Spicer covers Colak’s backup story, and he really helps in the point made earlier about hardly seeing Brainiac in this encounter. The area the two are in isn’t necessarily well lit, but Vril’s face is still the usual shade of green while Brainiac’s is often completely dark. He doesn’t hide from the light, but the story is focused on Vril and so that’s where the light shines. Brainiac’s face is always half colored and shaded with these dark eyes that only turn a bright purple while he’s vulnerable, almost signaling a malfunction in his system. Everyone worked together really well on this backup story to sell this narrative of detachment between the two.


Sharpe covers the whole issue, and works as consistently as he has through the rest of this event. Brainiac’s bubbles are still uniquely shaped, but so are the Czarnians’. Lobo’s bubble has always been these messy circles, but it’s the same for the other Czarnians. Theirs almost seem even wavier, maybe signaling that while Lobo is far from refined, he’s lived in a world without these characters while they’ve continued to only really be surrounded by each other. Another interesting change lies in Vril Dox in the backup story of the issue. His bubbles are the opposite of his father’s. While Brainiac’s are black with green text, Dox has these smoother bubbles with a green background and black text. He’s the opposite of his father, but also doesn’t contain that pounding, uncontainable thirst of knowledge that his father displays in his bubbles.


Overall, this entire issue is really well put together. The teams involved all work hard to make sure their work plays off the other’s, and that’s especially apparent in the issue’s backup story. Each separate person in this process dedicates something to each page, and the collaboration is seamless here. Consistency has reigned supreme in every part of this event so far, and this issue is no exception.

Mohamed Malla
Mohamed Malla
I have a strong passion for comics, and I have since I was a kid. I read absolutely anything I can possibly get my hands on, and I love that I can. I'm currently studying screenwriting, as I adore film and television as well.
Action Comics #1065 feels consistent all the way through in writing, art, colors, and letters, despite there being multiple artists and colorists contributing to this continuation of DC's "House of Brainiac" event. Review: ACTION COMICS #1065 — Unlikely Alliances