Hey everyone. Sorry about the continued backlog of reviews – I’ll try and get them out this weekend! Just finished the last of my coursework for my Master’s degree two days ago, so I’m finally free and clear. Now, if I can just find a pesky ‘job’ before my money runs out!
As someone who isn’t traditionally a fan of the character Superman or any of his books, the quality of his titles right now has come as something of a surprise. No title illustrates this quite as well as Superman: World of New Krypton, a sprawling sci-fi book about Superman’s adventures off Earth, among his own kind. Working together, Greg Rucka and James Robinson have turned what could have been a labored year with Superman off his main titles (and Earth) into one of the most creatively intriguing periods of the character in recent memories.
With the attempted assassination of General Zod, New Krypton is panicked, and the House of El steps up to try and maintain order. Rucka and Robinson continue to portray all the characters, from the sociopathic Ursa to the cold Alura, with far more humanity than they’ve ever been shown elsewhere, and it makes the drama all the greater. Things continue to degenerate on New Krypton, and the big crossover between the Superman family titles – “Codename: Patriot” – clearly starts here. It’s an exciting opening to the story, though I have to say, I hope you don’t have to read all four relevant books in order to follow the story.
Woods, normally quite good, demonstrates a little bit of weakness early in the issue as the assassin attempts to fight his way through the crowd of Kryptonians, but picks up quickly – by the time you see him dragged down, screaming, by forty or more angry supermen, you’ll begin to realize the damage a riotous population can do. He also continues to do excellent design work on the world itself, amping up the alien feel of the technology while still making it a recognizable offshoot of the familiar Fortress of Solitude designs.
Ultimately, World of New Krypton remains an interesting, fun book that does an exemplary job of illustrating just what it is that makes Superman so great while laying seeds for a ton of potentially fascinating future stories. With hope, “Codename: Patriot” can live up to this excellent opening issue.
– Cal Cleary