The idea of Superman taking a year-long absence from “Superman” and “Action Comics” sounded interesting when the plans for the books were first announced, but since then the books have slowly dropped in quality and interest for many readers. If you’re not happy with Greg Rucka’s and James Robinson’s scripts on those two titles, though, you might be surprised at how strong their collaboration is on “Superman: World of New Krypton.”
With each new issue of “Superman: World of New Krypton,” I find myself hoping more and more that New Krypton will continue to be a presence in the DC Universe. I find the characters and political situation fun reading, perhaps in no small part because Rucka and Robinson have kept Superman’s idealism without making him politically naÃ¯ve. Even better, what started out as a story strictly bound to New Krypton is expanding, with the last two issues bringing the Thanagarians into the mix, as well as another space-faring race showing up at the end of this issue. I like that Robinson and Rucka are thinking about just how New Krypton’s appearance would affect other planets as well as Earth, to say nothing of scientific details like what New Krypton might need to get its own moon.
It also helps that Pete Woods (assisted this issue by Ron Randall) has made this the most attractive-looking of the Superman titles right now. Ever since I saw Woods draw Geoff Johns’s and Kurt Busiek’s “Up Up and Away!” storyline a few years ago, I’ve been eager to see more comics starring Superman from Woods. His clean art style is a perfect choice for any “Superman” comic, with crisp character designs and smooth ink lines. I think best of all is how he draws Superman, with just the right combination of leanness and muscle mass to make him look imposing but not a steroid-hulking freak.
Maybe it’s because “Superman: World of New Krypton” stars Superman instead of Mon-El or Nightwing & Flamebird, but there’s no doubt that “Superman: World of New Krypton” is the most entertaining of the three Superman books being published right now. With four issues to go, I’m sorry to see its end approaching, but it’s been a thoroughly enjoyable ride.