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Superman: House of Brainiac Special #1

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 16 critic ratings.


An essential issue in the Action Comics/Superman crossover as Brainiac’s secret history with Lobo and Czarnia is revealed!

How did Brainiac create a Bottled City of Czarnia? Who steps up to protect Metropolis after Brainiac’s army leaves it in ruins? Will Lois Lane confront Perry White about his own secrets as he runs for mayor of Metropolis? And how is Amanda Waller involved in all of this?

All these questions are answered in this crucial issue that connects to DC’s Superman-Sized event!

Meanwhile, Bibbo steps up! With the heroes gone and a city in need of some champions, our favorite bartender organizes the community to save their beloved home.

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
42 pages
Amazon ASIN

16 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    Fortress of Solitude

  • 95

    Geek Dad

    Overall, it’s a great issue – but that middle story is really what makes this an all-star tie-in.

  • 93

    Superman Homepage

    “Chapter I”
    Where Superman #13 failed, this special more than makes up for. I enjoyed the history of Czarnia and how Brainiac was involved in its evolution… or is it devolution? It was interesting to see Brainiac exploring his actions and influence even if he did it with an analytical eye. I thought it was interesting to look deeper into Lobo and Superman‘s connection and even moreso that they were both indirectly influenced by the villain’s actions.

    “Chapter II”
    I’m sure I don’t need to draw parallels with what’s going on in politics right now but unless you’re living under a rock you can’t fail to see how the issue reflects our current climate. Swapping out galactic aliens for human beings this chapter hits hard. I’m sure it will have a few readers upset or feeling targeted with a ‘woke’ story and I guess that’s the point of it. I’ve always enjoyed when Superman stories spend time with his supporting cast so to see Perry and Bibbo take the lead was also a welcome change of pace.

    “Chapter III”
    I’m not the biggest Amanda Waller fan to be honest, so the revelations about her weren’t much of a surprise, nor all that interesting to me. The change to the members of The Light was far more interesting, and also made much more sense with how everything has played out since the latest Superman #1. I like that this bookend references past storylines because it adds more depth to House of Brainiac.

  • 90

    DC’s House of Brainiac hit the ground running in its first two chapters across Action Comics and Superman, and while the next chapter hasn’t arrived just yet, there is one important stop to make before we get there. DC Comics delivers the Superman: House of Brainiac Special #1 to comic stores this week, and it lives up to its billing as “Chapter 2.5” throughout three compelling stories that paint an impressively complete picture of the current state of things and how they came to be. These stories not only matter to the greater story, but also serve to flesh out that world pre – and post – attack, while also teeing up the next big move in Brainiac‘s master plan. The scale is already grand, but what is perhaps most impressive is how the creative teams keeps everything moving forward while tethering readers to the people experiencing all this chaos. That attention to detail is paying off in spades.

  • 90

    First Comics News

    This special serves as a gap between chapters two and three with three stories that show the state of Metropolis as well as Brainiac’s pillaging of Czarnia and Amanda Waller’s meeting with a team of Brainiac variants that completely shocked her (I have to say, Joshua Williamson continues to impress with his writing that makes up for the event that was Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths where his writing didn’t shine I’m sad to say); Perhaps the one story that is the most impressive was the Mark Russell/Steve Pugh story revolving around Bibbo and his willingness to help Perry White with his campaign of running for mayor of Metropolis that had plenty of heart that reminds Superman fans why Bibbo is such a fan-favorite; This special moves the arc forward thanks in part to the three stories that never feel like filler material but help in giving readers the full scale of Brainiac’s master plan while displaying the chaotic elements that come with it. A great companion piece to an extraordinary arc.

  • 86

    The Super Powered Fancast

    “Chapter One: Secrets of Czarnia”
    The story delivers some solid background into both Brainiac and his motivations. There is some interesting and engaging moments throughout the story and I really enjoyed the contrast between the cultures with an emphasis on Czarnia and its people. The art is really good and perfectly captures the story and its tone.

    “Chapter Two: Campaign Headquarters”
    Russell delivers a wonderful interlude that continues to expand on the world of Superman and his allies by showing a dark side of the city of tomorrow. The story has some great moments for Perry and Bibbo and I really enjoyed the art style and how it captures the lighter tone of the story.

    “Chapter Three: Signal”
    The story does a great job of setting up the next arc for these characters. Waller continues to be a menace and the art in this issue showcases that brilliantly with its use of shadows.

  • 85

    Caped Joel

  • 84

    Nerd Initiative

    The cause and effect of Brainiac’s latest attack filters through the Superman mystique with this latest special. Each story creates a past, present and future sense as victory inches closer for the collector of worlds. The creative teams highlight the influence of events that fans will not want to miss on NCBD.

  • 80


    The House of Brainiac Special accomplishes a lot of load-bearing work, elevating what could be a simple four-color Superman space romp to something altogether more challenging. There’s a promise of deeper reward in these pages, making the wait for the story’s further chapters all the more anguishing.

  • 75

    The Aspiring Kryptonian

    The art and storytelling are all top notch, where my issues lie are with the relevancy of this book Superman: House Of Brainiac Special #1 to the House of Brainiac crossover. Chapter one starts us out strong, giving us some backstory to the new Czarnians in play but the book struggles from there. Chapter two takes up the bulk of the issue and while the politics discussed are relevant and important to current global situations, it feels disjointed from the rest of the crossover. By the time we get back to Brainiac in chapter three, it feels more like a teaser for Absolute Power than an advancement to House of Brainiac. Overall I enjoyed the book, but I think the Mark Russell tale deserved its own spotlight outside of the current crossover.

  • 70

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    Superman: House of Brainiac Special #1 brings an issue that expands a little on Brainiac’s past and possible motive for his current invasion. Naturally, the stories in this issue are hit-and-miss, with the first one being the best story by default, while the second is the worst, and the third is the second best but it has a bit of trouble. The third story makes a big reveal concerning Amanda Waller and her mysterious secret allies that may divide readers invested in her story and the upcoming Absolute Power event, so mileage will vary on that.

  • 65

    Derby Comics

    Overall this was a fine, if unspectacular addition to the House of Brainiac arc. The main story has been great enough so far that I’m not mad that this was a short distraction, but I can definitely say I’m ready to get back into the main plot.

  • 62

    Comic Watch

    This special is fun if you want more insight into Brainiac’s story and plans, but overall, it is a filler issue. The biggest crime of this issue is there’s no Superman. If you really care about the House of Brainiac storyline and background Superman characters, this issue is for you. The issue falls right in the middle of not being terrible, but not being a big deal if you decide to skip it.

  • 50

    Supergirl Comic Box Commentary

    Joshua Williamson writes the two Brainiac stories. The first one covers how Brainiac got a hold of the Czarian city he controls. It also gives us another link to the uncertain thinking we have seen Brainiac suffer from in this arc. The second Brainiac story has a much better reveal, something that I really liked. Unfortunately it also involves the now ever-present Amanda Waller, a character I could do without. Edwin Galmon provides a sterile futuristic art style to the Czarnia story. Fico Ossio brings a much muddier, grittier art style to the last story. But it is the middle story that I found lacking. Writer Mark Russell does two things which sat wrong with me. One, he puts forward a rough and rumpled version of Perry White. That’s not my Perry. And Russell is known for the political leanings in his stories and this one is no different. This one is a bit heavy handed and rather simplistic in its approach to a real problem. Steve Pugh remains rock solid on art. So this felt like a little step back from the tsunami of the first two issues.
  • 50

    The Comic Book Spot

    This is a typical DC anthology issue that was going pretty well. Then Amanda Waller arrived and ruined. To this day, DC has failed to get her over with fans and instead of cutting bait, we’re continuously force-fed her schemes and missions that are always doomed to fail. There is enough history of villains doing this already. At this point, the only Amanda Waller story that would interest me is the one where she dies.

  • 40

    Weird Science DC Comics

    Superman: House Of Brainiac Special #1 makes the bizarre choice of sandwiching a heavy-handed one-shot about immigration, that has nothing to do with Brainiac, written by Mark Russell, between two shorts that give readers a small nugget of info about Brainiac‘s plans and motivations. I don’t know what DC Editorial was thinking with this special, but it wasn’t anything good.

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