On the anniversary of the destruction of Krypton, Superman and Superboy get the unique opportunity to prevent a similar event from happening to another world...and are told not to do anything to save it...by its own populace.
James Robinson was one of the writers on the best Superman saga of the past two and half decades: New Krypton (a saga I covered extensively here at ComicBookBin). Only the Death and Return of Superman possibly surpasses it. So seeing Robinson writing Superman again obviously made me happy. "The Last Days" probably won't be the next greatest Superman saga after the aforementioned two, but it is already shaping up to be one of the more interesting ones of the past few years. In the first part of this new story, Robinson already dabbles in the themes of religious extremism, free will, science vs. religion, and any number of sci-fi "prime directive" type themes involving first contact with an alien race. Throw in the fresh and exciting father/son themes that Superman and Action Comics have been making great use of recently with the introduction of Jon Kent, Lois and Clark's son, and even though the "rebirth" might be over, we continue to witness the birth of a new era of the Superman franchise, as well as character.
What else can I say about Doug Mahnke? Like Robinson, I've covered his work here at ComicBookBin extensively over the years, particularly his work on the Green Lantern franchise and in particular, The Sinestro Corps War. Here in Superman #40 he really gets to cut loose and deliver some great full page spreads of Superman and Jon. While I love it when Mahnke handles the pencils and the inks, with him handling only the pencils here, it really allows him to put some extra detail into his work, which is striking.
I'm stoked to see James Robinson and Doug Mahnke teamed up on an issue of Superman. I don't know how else to put it. I'm stoked and can't wait for the next issue from the two of them.