For all my current qualms with the storytelling of Rucka and Robinson on the Earth-based books, especially post-“Codename: Patriot”, Superman: World of New Krypton, their collaborative project with artist Pete Woods, continues to be one of the consistently strongest books the Superman-family of books has produced. Separated from his tiresome gallery of villains and massive support network, World of New Krypton continues to use the struggles of the new nation trying to form its identity to look at previously underused facets of his personality.
Rucka and Robinson occasionally pile it on a little thick, as illustrated in this issue in particular. A relatively common criticism I heard of Aaron Sorkin’s famous show, The West Wing, was its often simplified view of politics that frequently boiled down to a single idea: “We could solve any problem if only everyone just sat down and listened.” That could definitely be thrown against the current issue of World of New Krypton, which rushes through the Thanagarian conflict in a matter of pages before moving onto the much larger threat of the moon hurtling towards New Krypton.
Woods continues to display a strong sense of design, adding the Thanagarian battle fleet and Kryptonian tech designed to move a moon to his resume. While his art isn’t as eye-catching as some of today’s superstars, he continues to display a workmanlike mastery of DC’s cosmic side and an ability to handle action and drama with an equal amount of skill and comfort.
Despite the rush-job – and the morally and narratively easy way out – with the Thanagarian conflict, the issue is still essentially enjoyable. They continue to play to Wood’s strengths with a large variety of sci-fi inspired costumes and settings in which to work, and the book displays none of the jerky, cliche storytelling currently plaguing the two core titles. It isn’t the book’s strongest issue to date, but continues to cement Superman: World of New Krypton as both a must-read book for Superman fans and general superhero sci-fi fans alike.
– Cal Cleary