Adventures of Superman 445 – Brainiac wants brains

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Milton Fine is back, and under the control of Vril Dox in Adventures of Superman 445 (Oct. 88), as Jerry Ordway becomes both writer and penciller, with Dennis Janke on inks.

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Cat Grant gets a big chewing out by Perry White in this issue, for coming in to work drunk, playing romantic games with both Clark and Jimmy, and generally not living up to her potential.  Even Jimmy is disenchanted with Cat, feeling that she has been using him.

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Brainiac finds he is having difficulty maintaining Milton Fine’s body, which suffers severe and debilitating headaches, limiting his powers.  After experimenting with spinal fluid, he decides he needs to harvest human brains to find a cure.

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And Superman?  He has been hiding out in his parents home, trying to come to terms with his execution of the Phantom Zone criminals, consumed with guilt for taking their lives.  Even Pa Kent cannot ease his pain.

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Cat Grant is pretty much falling apart in this story, getting drunk and wallowing in her problems, including a nasty custody battle for her son.  As she leaves the bar, she gets captured by Brainiac.  Jimmy Olsen spots this, and tries to help, but gets taken as well.

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Superman does get into action by the end of the story, and his battle with Brainiac is far more violent than normal.  Enough so that Jimmy can take advantage of it and get himself and Cat to safety.  Superman manages to turn Brainiac’s mental blasts back on him, rendering the villain comatose.

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