By Koppy McFad
September 30, 2008 - 20:47
Superman fails to stop the mysterious being called Atlas. So it is up to Krypto, the Superdog to save the day.
Apparently, Atlas is more than just another shirtless strongman and enjoys both magical protection and some mysterious backers who have prevented Superman from getting the upper hand against his foe. So while an injured Superman seeks help, Krypto holds Atlas off. Amazingly, the dog of steel actually has Atlas on the ropes for a while as he is apparently immune to the hidden weapons that earlier brought down Superman.
The sight of Krypto heroically protecting Superman and Metropolis from Atlas is rather touching and inspiring. We get a look into his simple-but-determined thought processes and see the reactions of both Atlas and the people of Metropolis to Krypto's actions so Krypto comes off as even more heroic.
The story has problems with pacing however. As Krypto battles Atlas, Superman walks to a nightclub where a certain young magician conveniently happens to be preparing for a show. He then engages this new member of the cast in some rather casual banter which might be entertaining if we didn't know that Krypto was fighting for his life just a few kilometres away.
Robinson, the writer, has used these kind of exchanges to showcase new cast members, helping to flesh them out and make them more endearing. In his old comic, STARMAN, he would devote whole issues to minor characters like the Shade or David Knight, even if it meant interrupting a larger story arc. That may have worked for an idiosyncratic title like STARMAN but in this book, it comes off as a forced distraction. Not to mention, it makes Superman look rather stupid.
The art is eye-catching and moving but it also has a painted, posed look that prevents it from fully capturing the movement and power of the characters. It almost looks like every page is intended as the cover of another comic rather than part of a story. But at least the characters in the story look more human and more relatable than they did in previous issues. And of course, Krypto comes off looking very good, like a real dog rather than a cartoon canine.
Rating: 6 /10