By Andy Frisk
November 4, 2009 - 23:01
Jemm, Son of Saturn, storms New Krypton’s High Council Chamber and nearly starts a war between the two worlds. Kal-El, who has helped Jemm in the past as Superman, manages to convince Jemm that it’s not the time for such a confrontation. In honor of the aid Kal-El supplied to Jemm as Superman, Jemm doesn’t unleash “the full fury of Saturn” upon New Krypton, but puts the New Kryptonians “on notice” that “we will be watching.” The departing Thanagarians, who the Kryptonians tussled with in issue #8, issue the same warning. Later on, Kal-El mediates a dispute between a Military Councilor and an Artist Guild Councilor and is questioned by a recovering Zod on New Krypton’s ability to wage war. Finally, when the Artist Guild Councilor is found murdered, a new player makes his presence on New Krypton known…
Tensions between New Krypton and extraterrestrial worlds continue to rise, reflecting the rising internal tensions between the Guild Leaders of the High Council. The discovery of the murdered Artist Guild Councilor will do nothing to abate the rising tension, and as always, there’s General Zod waiting to recover from his wounds to pursue his own agenda. One can’t help but feel that Superman: World of New Krypton is taking a bit of a breather this issue though. While there is plenty of plot movement this issue, it all feels a bit choppy. Jemm bursts onto the scene and quickly exits. The Thanagarians likewise burst on the scene, issue a warning, then quickly leave (albeit they got more panel time than the Saturnians did). Then another extraterrestrial player shows up at the end of this issue, and sets the stage for next issue’s murder investigation. It’s all a little rushed, as if these events had to happen to advance some plot development of greater significance down the road. This just might be the case. As readers we really can’t complain though. Superman: WONK has been, and continues to be DC Comics’ must read series. Blackest Night has been great as well, but Superman: WONK has been much richer in storytelling depth. Once we get past the parade of Thanagarians, Saturnians, and Rannians, the story should get back on track and continue its build up to what is looking more and more like an impending all out war between Earth and New Krypton.
One aspect of Superman: WONK that definitely isn’t taking a breather is the art. Woods and Randall continue to deliver a consistent artistic interpretation of the world’s greatest hero and his reborn ancestral world. While we might be subjected to a parade of various alien races who make quick entrances and exits, they look really good doing it. The ability of superhero sequential artists like Woods and Randall to come up with updated interpretations of classic heroes and wholly new representations of strange worlds and technology is a testament to the creative energy that saturates the medium. The work of those like Woods and Randall on titles like Superman: WONK is just one (albeit very large) aspect of what makes superhero comic books so appealing in their creativity.
Overall, Superman: WONK and all of the Superman Family of books still represent the pinnacle of superhero and sci-fi books on the markets, even if with this issue things slow down a bit. We’ve been spoiled by a phenomenal string of amazing issues thus far, and we’ll have more to look forward to starting next month.
Rating: 7 /10