By Andy Frisk
August 7, 2009 - 22:46
General Zod’s would be assassin is nearly torn apart by an angry mob moments after shooting Zod. His life is saved only through the intervention of Commander El and his Red Shard Unit. Zod is placed in stasis in order to keep him alive while New Krypton’s Science Guild attempts to determine the nature of the progressive damage being done to his body by the shot from the assassin’s mysterious weapon. Meanwhile, an interrogation of the assassin, named Ral-Dar, yields nothing but cryptic answers. When Commander El is called away to the medical facility for an update on Zod’s condition, Ral-Dar escapes, with help, and heads toward Earth. Kal-El, realizing that, “The last thing we need is ‘Commander Kal-El’ on Earth…” in pursuit of Ral-Dar, retrieves from his quarters a very familiar red and blue suit and cape while uttering, “This is a job for SUPERMAN!”
These six little words are music to the ears of Superman fans. While World of New Krypton has been one of the best stories this year from DC Comics, and the heroes Mon-El, Nightwing, and Flamebird have been filling in well as leads in Superman and Action Comics respectively, the absence of Kal-El as “Superman” in each of his titles has been long. The promise of seeing Superman in action again will be great, even if it’s only for a few issues while the current mini-arc “Codename: Patriot” plays out and Kal-El has to return to New Krypton to finish out World of New Krypton.
The developments in this issue of Superman: World of New Krypton mark a change of focus and tension. Up through the previous issue, the tension and conflict has been between Kal-El and Zod. With Zod incapacitated now, the defense of New Krypton falls on the shoulders of Zod’s commanders, Kal-El, Ursa, and Gor. Kal-El is now in a position to truly affect change, and influence the Military Guild. With him away on Earth pursuing Ral-Dar though, he might not be able to affect much, if any change. Commander Gor’s ultra-militant, even for a military commander, outlook might create more tension between New Krypton and Earth in both Zod and Kal-El’s absence.
This mini-series has been, as mentioned, one of the best DC Comics storylines of the year, and one of the best Superman storylines ever. Storytelling, pacing, character development, and art (which has been praised repeatedly in these World of New Krypton reviews, and rightly so) are all strong and worthy of representing the first, and still the best, superhero. Kal-El might not be the only Kryptonian anymore, but he’s still the most noble, interesting, and inspiring of them all.
Rating: 10 /10