It’s funny that “Superman: World of New Krypton” #10 is showing the decay at the center of New Krypton, because even as this mini-series wraps up I’m starting to feel its decay as well. One of the big sub-plots in “Superman: World of New Krypton” has been the plight of the downtrodden Labor Guild. With no voice on the Council, they’re glorified serfs working for the good of the rest of Kryptonians but treated like dirt. And now, finally, it’s pushing its way into the center stage.
It seemed almost a given that this story would have to come to a head sooner or later. After all, “Superman: World of New Krypton” is starring Superman, and at the end of the day either it’s going to have to go or he’ll end up leaving. Superman’s not a character who’s going to let a prettied up version of slave labor stick around forever, and in a world where everyone is now charged up with the powers of a yellow sun, it’s a situation that can’t possibly last. What’s odd, though, is that even as this story has kicked in, the continual parade of other space races from the DC Universe has continued throughout the pages of “Superman: World of New Krypton.” Green Lanterns, Thanagarians, Saturnians, and now Adam Strange. Is there anyone left? The thing is, of all of the guest stars, Adam Strange makes the least sense. Aside from a slight connection to Thanagar these days, he doesn’t belong here, save for a sounding board that Superman gets to talk to.
In some ways that’s the problem with “Superman: World of New Krypton.” At twelve issues it’s a tiny bit too long, and it feels like Greg Rucka and James Robinson are pushing the story towards its year-long length by any means necessary. But because it’s going on so long, it’s feeling a tiny bit… well, overripe. It’s time to hit the conclusion, but that’s still two months away. Just like New Krypton itself, it’s time for some things to end.
On the bright side, Pete Woods and Ron Randall continue to turn out beautiful, clean art. Even what in other hands would be throw-away panels look nice here; Tam-Or making his escape not only has a strong, determined look on his face, but I like how his hood is catching the air and pulling back in just the right manner. Likewise, Adam Strange’s reluctant expression before he says, “I’m here to deliver a formal protest,” is drawn perfectly, and you can see the bad feelings all over his face. I’ve loved Woods’ pencils since “Deadpool,” and Randall’s an artist I’ve followed since “Dragonlance,” so the two teamed-up is a great final product in my eyes.
I’ve enjoyed my sojourn on New Krypton, I’m ready to leave. Superman needs to head back to his own titles, and back to his real home planet: Earth. This has been a fun experiment, and I commend them for trying something different. But just like how Rucka and Robinson have shown that the Labor Guild’s being barred from the Council needs to become part of the past, so does Superman’s time on New Krypton.