The latter half of this penultimate chapter of the New Krypton saga keeps things moving in high gear as General Zod, Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, Mon-El, the Legion of Super-Heroes, and even Lex Luthor do battle with Brainiac. The upcoming war between New Krypton and Earth gets a few story beats, but the bulk of the action is focused on saving Kandor and the other bottled cities. It’s good that the other bottled cities are part of the mix because otherwise the inevitable doom at the end of this epic would make this one feel like a bit of a waste of time.
The book begins with an awesome scene featuring Superman and Quislet, and goodness knows we haven’t had enough of those. It goes on to have some fun interaction between Brainiac 5 and Supergirl in some time travel shenanigans where Supergirl is seeing him for the first time, and Brainiac is seeing her for the last time. Supergirl’s death is foretold (just like the pre-Crisis version experienced in Crisis on Infinite Earths) but I’m pretty sure that was never followed up upon before the DC Universe fully rebooted (again) a few years ago. Superboy gets beaten up by both Lex Luthor and General Zod, yet still gets to brag about his tactile telekinesis. And General Zod, of all people, gets to be the hero of sorts and basically defeats Brainiac in single combat, without powers. Because…he is Zod, I guess. Kneel before Zod!
At one amazing point in the story, Brainiac kills Luthor, a moment that I’d have loved to have been “real”. A good, proper killing off of a villain is a very rare thing – they’ve been coming back to life a lot longer than heroes have. And so when you are reading a Superman comic the one thing you know for sure, even more so than that neither Superman nor Lois Lane will die, is that there is no way Lex Luthor is staying dead. And of course this is confirmed before the issue is over. But that’s not the only thing that’s going back to normal soon! Nope – the big reset button is coming, people – only one more book away.
I know this isn’t really a serious commentary of this story, but I find it hard to muster it up in me. The whole New Krypton thing is so much relentless build up to war that it’s hard to care about anything else that’s going on, even though this battle with Brainiac has had the potential to be one of the more fun parts of the story.
That said, there is an amusing cameo by Vril Dox II (of L.E.G.I.O.N.) at the end of this story that I enjoyed.
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