Sunday, August 22, 2010
Superman: New Krypton (Review)
Citizen's Grade: Impressive.
Geoff Johns, James Robinson, Sterling Gates, & Greg Rucka weave a masterful tale of the lost, "bottle" city of Kandor and the new civilization of Krypton. After Superman had saved both Metropolis and Kandor from the clutches of Brainiac, Kandor had "re-grown" to original size in the antarctic (at the site of Superman's Fortress of Solitude), Supergirl had destroyed Brainiac's missile fired at the Sun (which would have sent it Supernova), and Superman had beat down Brainiac. But all that came at a cost....as Pa Kent was killed because of a second Brainiac missile fired at the home of Pa & Ma Kent (See: Superman: Brainiac for the whole story).
As Clark Kent comes to grips with the death of his adopted Father, Superman must come to grips with the resurgence of Krypton...New Krypton.
His Uncle and Aunt Alura are the leaders of New Krypton which becomes unpredictable when their new, untested powers come to the forefront thanks to Earth's yellow sun. How do the Humans of Earth deal with 100,000 Supermen & Superwomen? But dark and secret forces are at work behind the scenes, who have been studying The Man of Steel, and planning his destruction.
While a Kryptonian delegation is meeting with the President of the United States in Metropolis, Doomsday attacks! With the help of super-powered Kryptonians, Superman and Supergirl are able to fight off Doomsday and get him out of Metropolis. But the Kryptonians have other plans for the scientific experiment from their past....taking him by force to the moon where they beat him to death. Afterward, in an act of defense....Kryptonian forces round up any and all "enemies" of Superman, letting nothing (not even police officers that they murder) stand in their way. After transporting Superman's enemies to the "phantom zone", they are confronted by the heroes of Earth and a fight breaks out.....with Superman and Supergirl in the middle.
Realizing that Earth no longer wants them, the Kryptonians (now led by Alura alone, after the murder of her husband) dig up Kandor and create a new planet. New Krypton sits exactly opposite Earth on the other side of the sun. Superman and Supergirl both leave Earth for New Krypton, and Superman joins the military led by none other than General Zod.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Olson has uncovered information leading him to the Guardian and the secret, military organization whose sole mission is to kill Superman. As Jimmy fights for his life, the shadowy group recruits Earth's most brilliant man to help them unlock the secrets of Brainiac.....Lex Luthor. The group's leader is also revealed, thought long dead (but I'm not going to tell you who it is....read it for yourself!!).
On New Krypton, Kal-El begins to realize that his fantasy of what Krypton was like is just that....a fantasy. In New Krypton's caste system of hierarchies and classes, the Labor Guild is abused and ignored. Superman befriends a Labor Guild member and after a hostage situation is defused, convinces Alura to hear their requests for a seat on the council. Afterwards, Kal El refuses Zod's orders to kill a criminal and is put on trial for treason....though he is acquitted.
After an attempted assassination; which leaves General Zod near death, Kal El is put in charge of the military of New Krypton. But assassinations continue, and Kal El (with the help of Adam Strange) must try and figure out who is behind the killings. A secret conspiracy is uncovered with ties to the shadowy Earth group, and reaching clear to New Krypton's ruling Council. Zod and Kal El solve the murders and find the culprit, the Labor Guild (who was assumed by all but Superman to be behind the assassinations) get a seat on the Council, and all seems well.
.....But Brainiac has returned!
Superman: New Krypton is a 4-Volume collection which is the pinnacle of at least a couple of years worth of issues in Superman comics. Johns, Robinson, Gates, & Rucka do a great job, with artwork provided by various artists (including Jesus Merino, Gary Frank, Pete Woods, Renato Guedes, Rags Morales, & Ron Randall)....which is very good as well. The writers and artists did a wonderful job unfolding this story as a novel would, with plenty of social unrest, mystery, tension, and political intrigue. This event leads directly into the "Last days of New Krypton" and "War of the Supermen" events. I can't wait to see how this unfolds, but am confident from the New Krypton story that I will enjoy it.