By Andy Frisk
June 3, 2009 - 18:05
Kal tours Hal
The Green Lanterns, on a fact finding mission at the behest of their leaders, The Guardians, claim jurisdiction over the detainment of Val-Ty, the captured Phantom Zone criminal, but since The Guardians on Oa (The Green Lanterns’ home-base world) have no standing on New Krypton, Zod takes possession of Val just before Kal attempts to allow The Green Lanterns to depart with him. Since in Zod’s custody, Val will be executed against the desires of Kal. Zod ordered Lieutenant Nar, of Kal’s Red Shard Squad, to execute Val on site, in spite of Kal’s orders to arrest him. Nar does not follow Zod’s orders, and Nar’s actions, coupled with Kal’s attempt to turn Val over to The Green Lanterns, puts Kal and Nar just where Zod wants them, allowing him the opportunity to eliminate Kal as a threat. The entire episode, from the orders to pursue the criminals to Zod’s orders to execute Val, all appear to be part of a larger plot by Zod to discredit Kal, and put him at his mercy.
Plenty of events transpire, and many subtexts to the overall story arc are developed in this issue. Zod finally manipulates Kal into acting in a way that allows Zod to take advantage of Kal’s good nature. We see more of the cultural diversity of Kandor, and the history behind it. We also get to witness Sodam Yat’s reaction to the news of Mon-El’s residence on Earth (Sodam Yat and Mon El are both Daxamites), and his thoughts on all of the newly super powered Kryptonians in existence. Yat’s reactions and thoughts are all conveyed masterfully by Woods’ depiction of the look on Yat’s face when observing various Kryptonians demonstrate their abilities, without the need of a single word or thought bubble. Kryptonians and Daxamites are racial cousins, with Daxamites not holding their Kryptonian cousins in high regard.
Woods’ art maintains its high level of quality again in this issue, and Gary Frank’s covers, while not really an accurate depiction of the issues action, also remain strong.
Overall, issue 4 of Superman: World of New Krypton is a worthy contribution to this great, classic Superman tale. It serves as a necessary bridge to the future action that is undoubtedly going to take place when Kal and Zod finally face off, but isn’t much of a stand out issue on its own, like the past few have been. This issue does deliver some interesting new insights into the Kandorian and Kryptonian society of the post-Final