Writers: Geoff Johns, James Robinson, Sterling Gates
Artists: Pete Woods, Gary Frank, Renato Guedes, Jon Sibal, Jose Wilson, Magalhaes, Jesus Merino, Pete Perez
Review by: John Gustafson
Superman has defeated Brainiac once again, and in doing so found the lost city of Kandor, which had been bottled up inside Brainiac’s spaceship. The “genie” has been let out of the bottle, and the city of Kandor has been released on planet Earth, with 100,000 Kryptonians looking at their newfound freedom with a desire to discover their new surroundings.
New Krypton connects the stories begun in the Action Comics, Superman and Supergirl books.
Volume One begins in the most unlikely of ways – a detective story featuring Jimmy Olsen. Jimmy spots an observer to Superman’s and Atlas’ recent battle, presents his preliminary findings to Clark Kent, and sets about to uncover the mystery. In doing so, he is attacked by the anti-hero Codename Assassin and tracks down the information pertaining to the original Guardian, the government cloning project focused on him.
Meanwhile, Kent is mourning the recent death of his father, while the Kryptonians begin to mull over what to do about their present situation. Superman appoints himself as a diplomatic emissary between the United States/Earthlings and the Kryptonians, in an attempt to quell the fears of the populous that 100,000 Supermen and women will not be a danger.
The task immediately proves to be difficult as one Kryptonian inadvertently kills a whale, but since when is Superman never up to the challenge. The heart of the story presses the issue that while Superman is Kryptonian, he is also an Earthling and there can never be another Superman despite the resurgence of Kryptonians. The powers may be the same, but the person, the hero is unique.
Even though the story about Superman being a unique individual among god-like people has a fantastic introduction, it takes half the book getting to the point. The Jimmy Olsen story feels decidedly out of place in the context of the larger story, as does a long introductory piece setting up Codename Assassin.
Yes, there is a surprise reveal at the end of the Olsen story that ties directly into the New Krypton story, but at the sacrifice of this collection. It is clear that what is revealed in the Olsen piece will be revisited in later issues, but as a Volume One collection, the book suffers from this disconnect.
Judging the book by what is promised to come does not work in the reader’s favor. The book has to hold up based on what is present, and how well it argues for the content in such a state. Volume One is two stories in their very beginnings, and in the formative stages of getting to the overall plot.
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