By Koppy McFad
November 14, 2008 - 23:23
This story takes place within the recent "JIMMY OLSEN" special. That's right-- within it! In that comic, Olsen tracked down Jim Harper, the original Guardian and interviewed him. In this comic, we find out exactly what he told Olsen which all plays a part in the bigger "New Krypton" storyline, running in the pages of SUPERMAN, ACTION COMICS and SUPERGIRL.
The story is steeped in the history of the DC universe, not just the Superman mythos but also with links to Manhunter--Paul Kirk, Codename Assassin and the original Newsboy Legion, not to mention the Jack Kirby issues of Jimmy Olsen some three decades ago which first re-introduced the golden age hero, the Guardian-- in clone form (a very radical idea back then!)
With all that history, it is easy to get lost. There are few footnotes and a lot of detail-- some of it seemingly thrown in at random, like the surprise appearance of a pre-Crisis member of the Legion of Superheroes. Newcomers will frankly be mystified and will miss the significance of many of the events in the talk..
Still, there is a sense of tragedy permeating the tale of the Guardian, a man who watched his own death, endured the death of his friends and discovered a secret that could change everything. There is very little action in this tale but it does flesh out the big NEW KRYPTON storyline well, giving a nice human dimension to a tale of god-like beings.
The art is a bit workman-like-- professional and well-drafted but still feeling a bit flat. The scenes that should be shocking just look rather weird. The cover is also a bit deceptive as it shows a scene that does not appear in the comic. And of course, the title of the comic is almost as convoluted as the story. Why did they bring the old "Adventure Comics" title back, just for a one-shot? Why not just call it, "the Guardian special"?
Rating: 6 /10