And so we finally come to a place where all of concurrent storylines in the New Krypton saga are up to the same point. And though I was not reading any of this as it came out, it’s fairly obvious that this particular stream was the flagship title at the time, even though it wasn’t appearing in any of the regularly published series. This is where we actually got a proper taste of “New Krypton” as a world and a society. And even more importantly, this is where we had appearances Superman himself.
The setup for all of this is that the Kryptonians of Kandor, rescued from Braniac, have formed their own planet in an opposite orbit of ours, with relations with earth having gone downhill. Alura (Supergirl’s mother) has offered Superman a home there on the condition that he renounce his ties to earth forever. Superman agrees (at least outwardly) largely because he’s concerned over the reinstatement of General Zod to a position of power.
So the plot of the book, mostly by James Robinson and Greg Rucka, has Kal-El learning to be a Kryptonian, which includes joining the military guild and becoming an officer in General Zod’s army. He then has to deal with things like spiteful fellow officers, uprisings from the semi-enslaved labor guild, visits from suspicious Green Lanterns, and manhunts with murderous Kryptonian criminals. The plot is so-so, but what makes the book a good read is the unique situation for the Man of Steel and the interest of seeing Krypton explored as a culture. It is a pretty interesting world, with a nice touch of using the different styles of rendering Krypton to represent the planet’s varying guilds (eg. classic pre-crisis is the Artists Guild, Byrne reboot is the Science Guild, etc.)
The other interesting part of the book is General Zod himself. We know he is still a villain, or at least will still wind up as one, but we also get to see him as a military leader who is genuinely trying to hold his people together. His decision to not pursue sentencing for treason charges against Kal-El because his commitment to principles and sacrifice only makes Zod’s army stronger is an interesting one, and makes me want to keep reading the character.
Final verdict: not perfect, but better than a lot of the other material out there so far.
Superman: New Krypton Index
Last Son • Brainiac • New Krypton vol. 1 • New Krypton vol. 2 • Mon-El • Supergirl: Who is Superwoman? • Nightwing and Flamebird vol. 1 • New Krypton vol. 3 • Codename: Patriot • Supergirl: Friends and Fugitives • Nightwing and Flamebird vol. 2 • Supergirl: Death and the Family • Mon-El – Man of Valor • New Krypton vol. 4 • Last Stand of New Krypton vol. 1 • Last Stand of New Krypton vol. 2 • War of the Supermen